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Diode Characteristics

Simulation # 1

P-N JUNCTION Diode Characteristics

Electronic circuits and devices simulation laboratory

Department of Electronic engineering

NIT Rourkela

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Aim: Simulate and analyze the characteristics of Diode D1914.

a. Plot the diode forward characteristics
b. Plot DC load line
c. Find DC resistance, Dynamic resistance and average ac resistance.

P-N junction diode is the most fundamental and the simplest electronics device. When one side of an
intrinsic semiconductor is doped with acceptor i.e, one side is made p-type by doping with n-type material, a p-n
junction diode is formed. This is a two terminal device in which the effect of adding additional energy source results
in the free electrons being able to cross the depletion region from one side to the other. The behavior of the PN
junction with regards to the potential barriers width produces an asymmetrical conducting two terminal device,
better known as the PN Junction Diode.
P-N junction can be step graded or linearly graded. In step graded the concentration of dopants both, in n
side and in p side are constant up to the junction. But in linearly graded junction, the doping concentration varies
almost linearly with the distance from the junction. When the P-N diode is in unbiased condition that is no voltage is
applied across it, electrons will defuse through the junction to p side and holes will defuse through the junction to
n side and they combine with each other. Thus the acceptor atom near the p side and donor atom near n side
are left unutilized. An electron field is generated by these uncovered charges. This opposes further diffusion of
carriers. So, no movement of region is known as space charge or depletion region.

Fig.1 Symbol and V-I characteristics of a P-N junction diode

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There are three possible biasing conditions for the standard Junction Diode and these are:

1. Zero Bias No external voltage potential is applied to the PN junction diode.

2. Reverse Bias The voltage potential is connected negative, (-ve) to the P-type material and positive, (+ve)
to the N-type material across the diode which has the effect of Increasing the PN junction diodes width.
3. Forward Bias The voltage potential is connected positive, (+ve) to the P-type material and negative, (-ve)
to the N-type material across the diode which has the effect of Decreasing the PN junction diodes width.

If, we apply forwards bias to the p-n junction diode. That means if positive side of the battery is connected to the p
side, then the depletion regions width decreases and carriers flow across the junction. If the bias is reversed the
depletion width increases and no charge can flow across the junction. Figure 1 shows a low-power diode in series
with a current limiting resistor R1. The diode current Id, junction voltage Vd, and temperature T (degrees Kelvin)
are related as:
I d I o (e KT 1)

Where Io = the reverse saturation current 1012Amps,

q = the charge of electron = 1.6 1016C, and
K = Boltzmann constant k = 1.38 1023J /T.
T = temperature
For a normal p-n junction diode, the equation becomes

I d Io (e KT 1)
Here, = emission co-efficient, which is a number between 1 and 2, which typically increases as the current

Fig.2 Basic circuit diagram for P-N junction diode characteristics

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1. Connect the circuit as shown in Figure 3.

Fig.3 circuit diagram for simulation

2. Then select PSPICE button and proceed as shown in Figure 4.

Fig.4 window for simulation file name specification

Fig.5 Windows for new simulation profile

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3. Select DC Sweep and enter the parameters shown in Figure 6.

Fig.6: Window for entering parameters for DC sweep

4. We may plot diode current versus the voltage across the cathodeanode by placing a current marker as shown
and sweeping the input voltage. Press F11 to simulate to plot the diode characteristic of diode current versus the
swept input voltage.

5. This is not the correct characteristic, however as it is necessary to change the swept input voltage to the voltage
across the diode V1(D1). Select the space between the x axis numbers and the menu shown in Figure 7 should

Fig.7: Window for axis settings

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6. Select Axis Variable and highlight V1 (D1), which automatically places it in the Trace Expression box as
shown in Figure 8. Press Ok

Fig.8: Window to assign variables for axis

7. Figure 7 will appear again so select Scale Linear and press OK. Place cursors as shown in Figure 8 and
measure the DC resistance on the forward-biased diode characteristic.

Fig.9: Forward diode characteristic

8. To obtain the dynamic ac resistance, use a second cursor on a magnified portion of the characteristic.

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Fig.10: Magnified section to measure delta changes in V and I

9. The load line plotted in Figure 11 is a useful technique for selecting quiescent DC operating conditions.
Increase the swept input voltage to 15 V and superimpose a load line on the characteristic by selecting
Trace/Add (a trace menu in Probe) and entering (5V -V1 (D1))/500 in the Trace Expression.

Fig. 11: determining the quiescent conditions using the load line

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Comparison of different diodes:

1. Replace the diode with D1N4002, D1N4148, D1N750

2. Compare the characteristics and resistance values in tabular form.

1. What conclusions can be drawn from the comparison of simulation of characteristics of diode?

2. Why the values of DC resistance, Dynamic resistance and average ac resistance are different for

different type of diode?

3. Specify the application for each diode used in simulation.

4. When the PN junction is forward biased, what is the sequence of events takes place?

5. Define The depletion region of a PN junction diode

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