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EEE 41
Lecture 12
PN Junction I-V Characteristics

EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

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Announcement
First Exam: October 15, 2016 (Saturday)
1pm 4pm
VLC, LC1, LC2, 120, 123

EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

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Today
PN Junctions
I-V Characteristics

Read: Chapter 6.1

EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

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Linearly Graded Junction

EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

Biased PN Junctions

Note: VA should be less than Vbi for low-level injection

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Effect of Bias on Electrostatics


Forward Bias

Equilibrium

Reverse Bias

EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

PN Junction Electrostatics (VA 0)


Built-in potential, Vbi (non-degenerate doping):

Depletion width, W:

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

PN Junction Electrostatics (VA 0)


Electric field distribution, E(x):

Potential distribution, V(x):


Note:

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Peak Electric Field

For a one-sided junction:

Therefore:

EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

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Current Flow
(Qualitative Analysis)

EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

Forward Bias:

Equilibrium:

Reverse Bias:

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Current Flow in a PN Junction


When a forward bias (VA > 0) is applied, the potential barrier to

diffusion across the junction is reduced

Minority carriers are injected into the quasi-neutral regions


np > 0, pn > 0

Minority carriers diffuse into the quasi-neutral regions,

recombining with majority carriers

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

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Current Flow in a PN Junction


Current density: J = Jn(x) + Jp(x)

J is constant throughout the diode, but Jn(x) and Jp(x) vary with

position

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In the Depletion Region


In steady-state:

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Ideal Diode Analysis: Assumptions


Non-degenerately doped step junction
Steady-state conditions
Low-level injection conditions prevail in the quasi-neutral regions
Recombination-generation is negligible in the depletion region
Jn and Jp are constant in the depletion region

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Ideal Diode Analysis Approach


Solve the minority carrier diffusion equations in the quasi-neutral

regions to obtain np(x,VA) and pn(x,VA)


Apply the boundary conditions:
P-side: np(-xp) and np(-)
N-side: pn(xn) and pn()

Determine the minority carrier current densities in the quasi-

neutral regions

Evaluate Jn at x = -xp and Jp at x = xn

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Carrier Concentrations at xp and xn:


Consider the equilibrium (VA = 0) carrier concentrations:
P-side:

N-side:

If low-level injection conditions prevail in the quasi-neutral regions

when VA 0, then:

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Law of the Junction


The voltage VA applied to a PN junction falls mostly across the

depletion region

Assuming low-level injection conditions prevail in the quasi-neutral

regions

We can draw 2 quasi-Fermi levels in the depletion region:

EFP

EC
EFN
Ei
EV

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

Excess Carrier Concentrations at xp and xn


P-side:

N-side:

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Example: Carrier Injection


A PN junction has NA = 1018 cm-3 and ND = 1016 cm-3. The applied

voltage is 0.6V.

What are the minority carrier concentrations at the depletion region

edges?

What are the excess minority carrier concentrations?

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

Excess Carrier Distribution


From the minority carrier diffusion equation:
And using the boundary conditions:

Use a new coordinate system:


P

The solution is of the form:

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

Excess Carrier Distribution


Applying the boundary conditions:
gives
gives
Therefore,
for
Similarly, we can derive:
for

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

The PN Junction Diode I-V Characteristic


P-side:

N-side:

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EEE 41 Lecture 12 (Alarcon 2016)

The PN Junction Diode I-V Characteristic

[UCB]

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Diode Saturation Current

I0 can vary by orders of magnitude, depending on the

semiconductor material
In an asymmetrically doped PN junction, the term associated with
the more heavily doped side is negligible
NA >> ND:

ND >> NA:

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Summary
The total voltage dropped across a PN junction is (Vbi VA)
Depletion Layer Width:

Peak Electric Field:

Under forward bias (VA > 0), the potential barrier to carrier

diffusion is reduced

Minority carriers are injected and diffuse into the quasi-neutral regions

Diode Current:

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Next Meeting
PN Junctions
Reverse bias current
Reverse bias breakdown

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