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Power Semiconductor Devices

Semiconductor theory
Introduction: Depending on their conductivity, materials can be classified into three types as conductors, semiconductors and insulators. Conductor is a good conductor of electricity. Insulator is a poor conductor of electricity. Semiconductor has its conductivity lying between these two extremes. A comparatively smaller electric field is required to push the electrons to make it conduct. At low temperature virtually semiconductor behaves as an insulator. However at room temperature some electrons move giving conductivity to the semiconductor. As temperature increases, its conductivity increases hence it has negative temperature co-efficient. Classification: Intrinsic semiconductor: A pure semiconductor is called intrinsic semiconductor where even at room temperature electron-hole pairs are created. Under the influence of electric field, total current through the semiconductor is the sum of currents due to free electrons and holes. Extrinsic semiconductor: Current conduction is increased by adding a small amount of impurity to intrinsic semiconductors, so it becomes extrinsic semiconductors

PN Junction Diode
In a piece of semiconductor material, if one half is doped by P-type and the other half is doped by N-type impurity, a PN junction is formed. The plane dividing the two halves or zones is called PN junction. The N-type has high concentration of free electrons while P-type has high concentration of holes. Therefore at the junction there is a tendency for the free electrons to diffuse over to the P-side and holes to the N-side (process called diffusion). The net opposite charge in each layer prevents further diffusion into that layer. Thus a barrier is set up near the junction which prevents further movement of charge carriers. This is called as potential barrier (0.3V or germanium and 0.7 for silicon). Under forward bias condition: When positive terminal of battery is connected to the P-type and negative terminal to the N-type of the PN junction diode, the bias applied is known as forward bias. The applied positive potential repels the holes in the P-type region so that the holes move towards the junction and the applied negative potential repels the electrons in the N-type region and the electrons move towards the junction(When applied voltage VF is less than V0) and hence the forward current IF is almost zero.

Eventually when the applied potential is more than the internal barrier potential the barrier will disappear and hence the holes cross the junction from P-type to N-type and the electrons cross the junction in the opposite direction resulting in relatively large current flow in the external circuit. A A P N C C R Forward bias V L R V Reverse bias L

Reverse bias region VR

IF(mA )

Forward bias region

Reverse Breakdow n voltage Under reverse bias condition:

VF Knee voltage or cut-in voltage(Vo) IR(A )

When the negative terminal of the battery is connected to the P-type and positive terminal is connected to N-type of the PN junction, the bias applied is known as reverse bias. Under this condition, holes which form the majority carriers of P-side move towards the negative terminal of the battery and electrons which form the majority carriers of the N-side are attracted towards the positive terminal of the battery. Hence the width of the depletion region which is depleted of mobile carriers increases. Thus the electric filed produced by applied reverse bias is in the same direction of electric field and hence the barrier is increased. Therefore, theoretically no current should flow in the external circuit. But in practice very small reverse current in the order of microamperes flows under reverse bias. This current is called as reverse saturation current. The magnitude of reverse saturation current mainly depends upon junction temperature because the major source of minority carriers is thermally broken covalent bonds. When large reverse bias is applied, the free electrons from the N-type moving towards the positive terminal of the battery acquire sufficient energy to move with

high velocity to dislodge valence electrons from semiconductor atom in the crystal. Thus large number of free electrons are formed which is commonly called as avalanche of free electrons. This leads to the breakdown of junction leading to very large reverse current. The reverse voltage at which the junction breaks down is known as breakdown voltage.

Zener diode
When reverse voltage reaches breakdown voltage in a PN diode, the current through the junction and power dissipated at the junction will be high. Such an operation is destructive and the diode gets damaged. However, diodes can be designed with adequate power dissipation capability to operate in the breakdown region. One such diode is Zener diode which is heavily doped than the ordinary diode. The forward bias condition is same as the ordinary PN diode, but under reverse bias condition, breakdown of the junction occurs and the breakdown voltage depends upon the amount of doping. If the diode is heavily doped, depletion layer will be thin and consequently breakdown occurs at lower reverse voltage, besides the breakdown voltage being sharp. Thus the breakdown voltage can be selected with the amount of doping. When the reverse bias field across the junction is sufficiently high, it may exert a strong force on bound electrons to tear them out from a covalent bond. Thus a large number of electron hole pairs will be generated through a direct rupture of the covalent bond thereby resulting in large reverse current at the breakdown voltage. Though Zener breakdown occurs for lower breakdown voltage and avalanche breakdown occurs for higher breakdown voltage, such diodes are normally called Zener diode A V VZ RL Vo VZ VR Reverse Reverse bias Breakdown(A) IR region voltage Application From the zener diode characteristics, under the reverse bias condition, the voltage across the diode remains almost constant although the current through the diode VF IF (mA)

increases. Thus the voltage across the zener diode serves as a reference voltage. Hence the diode can be used as a voltage regulator. The arrangement shown is useful when it is required to provide a constant voltage across a load resistance RL where as the input voltage may be varying over a range. As shown, the zener diode is reverse biased and as long as the input voltage does not fall below Vz, the voltage across the diode will be constant and hence the load voltage will also be constant.

Power Transistors
The transistors which are used as switching elements are operated in the saturation region resulting in a low on state voltage drop. The switching speed of modern transistors is much high. They are extensively employed in dc dc and dc ac converters with inverse parallel-connected diodes to provide bidirectional current flow. Transistors are normally used in low to medium power applications. The power transistors can be classified broadly into five categories 1. Bipolar junction transistor (BJT) 2. Metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) 3. Insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) 4. Static induction transistor (SIT) 5. COOLMOS We will see the first three in brief

Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT)


A bipolar transistor is formed by adding a second p or n region to a pn junction diode. With two n regions and one p region, two junctions are formed and it is known as an NPN-transistor. With two p regions and one n region, it is called as PNP-transistor. The three terminals are named as collector, emitter and base. A bipolar transistor has two junctions, collector-base junction(CBJ) and base-emitter junction(BEJ). For an NPN type, the emitter side n layer is made wide, the p base is narrow and the collector side n layer is narrow and heavily doped. For a PNP type, the emitter side p layer is made wide, the n base is narrow, and the collector side p layer is narrow and heavily doped. Collector Collector C C iC p n iC iB iB Base n Base p B iE B p n iE Emitte r (a) NPN Transistor E Emitter E

(b) PNP Transistor

The transfer characteristics of a transistor is as shown. There are three operating regions of a transistor: cutoff, active and saturation.

R
C

IC

Active VCE VCE VCC Cutoff Saturati on

RB

IB + VBE

+ VCE IE

IB In the cut-off region, the transistor is off or the base current is not enough to turn it on and both junctions are reverse biased In the active region, the transistor acts as an amplifier, where the base current is amplified by a gain and the collector emitter voltage decreases with base current. The CBJ is reverse biased and the BEJ is forward biased. In the saturation region, the based current is sufficiently high so that the collector emitter voltage is low, and the transistor acts as a switch. Both the junctions are forward biased. Applying Kirchhoffs law we get
i E = iC + i B

VB

(This equation is true regardless of the bias conditions of the junctions) We define the parameter as the ratio of the collector current to the emitter current

iC iE

or

i E = C i

Value of ranges from 0.9 to 0.999. Combining the above equations we get

i B = (1 )i E
We define another parameter as the ratio of the collector current to the base current.

iC = iB 1

Value of ranges from 10 to 1000. We can also rewrite the above equation as

iC = i B

Note that since is usually very large compared to unity, the collector current is an amplified version of the base current. The input and output characteristics of transistor is as shown IB VCE1 VcE2 VCE2 > VCE1 VBE (a) Input characteristics IC Satura -tion region Active region IBn IBn >IB1 >

IB2

IB0 IB1 IB0 =

Cutoff region 0 VCE (b) Output Characteristics

MOSFET (Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor or Insulated Gate Field Effect Transistor)
The MOSFET is a voltage controlled device that works on the depletion capacitor concept. In this a layer of silicon dioxide is grown on the surface, which act as a dielectric media between gate and the channel. Based on the channel created between, the MOSFET is broadly divided as shown. MOSFET Depletion type P - Channel N - Channel Enhanceme nt type P - Channel N - Channel

It has got three terminals, Gate, Drain and source N-channel MOSFET consists of highly doped P type substrate into which two highly doped N regions are diffused. These N regions act as source and drain. A thin layer of insulating silicon dioxide (SiO2) is grown over the surface of structure and free electrons are cut into the oxide layer, allowing to move between source and Gate Source Drain drain Aluminium +++ layer +++ ----------- Silicon layer
n+
-

n+

P - Substrate

Induced nchannel

The metal area is overlaid on the entire oxide layer and metal contacts are made to source and drain. The SiO2 layer insulates the gate from the channel due to which a negligible gate current flows even if no biasing is applied to gate. So no PN junction is existing in MOSFET and hence known as Insulated Gate Field Effect Transistor. Depletion Type: The depletion type MOSFET can be operated in two different modes: a. depletion mode b. enhancement mode SiO2 D Circuit symbol and Circuit Laye r Drai Drai G n n N P VDS Substrate Substrate Gate Gate Source VGS Source PNS Channel Channel The device operates in depletion mode, when the gate voltage is negative. When VGS = 0, a significant current flows for a given VDS When negative voltage is applied to gate, electrons accumulate on it. If one plate of capacitor (gate) is negatively charged, positive charge is induced on the other plate. Because of this, free electrons in vicinity of positive charge area repelled away in the channel As a result of this, the channel is depleted of free electrons passing through the channel thus the conduction between source to drain is reduced. Thus as the value of VGs is increased, the value of ID decreases The device operats in enhancement mode when the gate voltage is positive When VGS > 0, the positive gate voltage increases the number of free electrons passing through the channel. The greater the gate voltage, the greater is the number of free electrons passing through the channel. This increases i.e. Enhances the conduction of channel, this positive gate voltage operation of MOSFET is called enhancement mode of MOSFET Drain Characteristics of Depletion type MOSFET ID(mA ) VGS = 1V Enhancement VGS = 0V mode VGS = 1V Depletion VGS = 2V mode VDS (V ) Drain Characteristics
Depletion mode Enhancement mode C

ID(mA)
IDSS

B
VGS (OFF)

Transfer Characteristics

VGS (V)

When VDS = 0, no conduction takes place between source to drain. If V GS < 0, and VDS > 0, then drain current increases upto a point of time when the drain current reaches saturation called pinch off point. If VDS is increases above this, ID remains constant. For further increase in VDS, avalanche breakdown occurs in pinch off region and the Drain current increases rapidly When VGS > 0, the gate induces more electrons in channel side, it is added with the free electron generated by source. Again the potential applied to gate determines the channel width and maintains constant current flow in pinch off region as shown Transfer Characteristics of Depletion type MOSFET If VGS = 0, the device has a drain current equal to I DSS. Due to this fact only it is called normally ON MOSFET In depletion mode, when VGS = 0, maximum current will flow between source to drain thus ID = IDSS. When VGS is increased in negative side, after a certain extend the positive charges induced by gate completely depletes the channel thus no drain current flows (point A) In enhancement mode when VGS is increased in positive side, more free electrons are induced in channel, thus it enhances the electron resulting in increase of ID Enhancement Type: SiO2 D Laye N Circuit symbol and Circuit r Drai Drai G P n n VDS Substrate Substrate Gate Gate N VGS Source Source S N P Channel Channel The device operates in this mode, when the gate voltage is positive. The enhancement type MOSFET has no depletion mode and it operates only in enhancement mode. If differs in construction from the depletion mode MOSFET in the sense that it has no physical channel. It may be noted that the P type substrate extends till the silicon dioxide layer completely as shown. The MOSFET is always operated with the positive gate to source voltage. When the VGS = 0, the VDS supply tries to force free electrons from source to drain. But the presence of P region does not permit the electrons to pass through it. Thus there is no drain current for VGS = 0. Due to this fact the Enhancement type MOSFET is called Normally OFF MOSFET

If some positive voltage is applied to the gate, it induces a negative charge in the P type substrate just adjacent to the silicon dioxide layer. The induced negative charge produced which would be attracting the free electrons from the source. When the gate is positive enough it can attract more number of free electrons. This forms a thin layer of electrons, which stretches from source to drain. This effect is equivalent to producing a thin layer of N type channel in the P type substrate. This layer of free electrons is called N type inversion layer. The minimum gate to source voltage which produces invertion layer is called Threshold voltage. When VGS is less than threshold voltage no current flows from drain to source. However if VGS is greater than threshold voltage, inversion layer connects the drain and source and we get significant values of current Drain characteristics of Enhancement type MOSFET ID(mA ) VGS > Vm VGS =Vm VDS (V ID(mA) ID(ON)

VGS (th) VGS (V) Transfer Drain ) Characteristics Characteristics When VDS = 0, ID = 0. The value of drain current increases with increase in gate to Drain to source voltage upto saturation value (provided VGS > threshold voltage) after which drain current remains almost constant value Transfer characteristics of Enhancement Type MOSFET When VGS < threshold voltage, there is no drain current. However in actual practice, an extremely small value of drain current flows through MOSFET. This current flow is due to the presence of thermally generated electrons in the P type substrate. When the value of VGS is kept above VGS(th) a significant drain current flows as shown in figure. Power MOSFET find increasing applications in low-power high-frequency converters.

IGBT (Insulated-gate bipolar transistors)


An IGBT combines the advantages of BJT and MOSFETs. An IGBT is a voltage controlled device that has high input impedance like MOSFETs and low on state conduction losses like BJTs. However the performance of an IGBT is closer to that of a BJT than MOSFET. This is due to the p+ substrate, which is responsible for the minority carrier injection into the n region. IC C C RS G RBE E RD VCC

G E

VG

The symbol and circuit of an IGBT switch is as shown. The three terminals are gate, collector and emitter instead of gate, drain and source for an MOSFET. Like MOSFET, when the gate is positive with respect to the emitter for turn on, n carriers are drawn into the p-channel near the gate region. This results in a forward bias of the base of the npn transistor, which there by turns on. An IGBT is turned on by just applying a positive gate voltage to open the channel for n carriers and is turned off by removing the gate voltage to close the channel. Typical output characteristic and transfer characteristic are as shown VGE7 IC IC VGE6 VGE7 > VGE6 > VGE5 VGE5 VGE3 VGE2 VGE1 VCE VGE (a) Output Characteristics (b) Transfer Characteristics IGBT is finding increasing application in medium power applications such as DC and AC motor drives, power supplies, solid state relays and contractors

SCR (Silicon controlled Rectifier)


The SCR is a prominent member of thyristor family. It is so called because silicon is used for its construction and its operation as a Rectifier can be controlled. It is widely used as switching device in power control applications. It can switch ON for variable length of time and delivers selected amount of power to load. It can control loads, by switching the current OFF and ON up to many thousand times a second hence, it posses advantage of RHEOSTAT and a SWITCH with none of their disadvantages. The SCR is a four layer, three junction device the layers being alternatively P-type and N-type silicon, whereas terminals are Anode (A), Cathode(C) and Gate(G). The gate terminal is connected to inner P layer which is lightly doped and it controls the firing or switching of SCR. The anode is always at a higher positive potential than the cathode and doping of anode and cathode layers is high. The operation of SCR is explained by the help of four modes namely 1. 2. 3. 4. A P N G C RL G P N PN P Q1 G P N P N NP N Q2 IA
Forward conducti on Latchin g current

Forward Forward Reverse Reverse

blocking mode conducting mode blocking mode conducting mode A

A IE1 A Q1 IC1 IG G IB2 IB2 R IC2 Q2 IE2 V

A Rin G C VG

VA
C

Holding current

VB
R

IG=1

VB
O

IG=0 VA
C

Revers e leakag e Reverse conducti ng

Revers e blocki ng

Forward blockin g

Forwar d leakag e

1. Forward blocking mode (OFF State) When a positive Voltage is applied between anode A and cathode C of SCR, junctions J1 and J3 are forward biased and junction J2 is reverse biased. Even if forward voltage is applied between anode and cathode, there is no flow of current from anode to cathode. This is because of junction J2. However a small amount of current starts flowing from anode to cathode due to the existence of leakage carriers in the junction. As the applied voltage starts increasing, at certain stage, J2 will undergo avalanche breakdown and looses its blocking capability, thereby behaving as a conductor. The voltage at which junction J2 breakdown is called as forward break over voltage or threshold voltage or the critical point at the avalanche breakdown and is designated by the letter VBO. When forward voltage is less than VBO, SCR offers high impedance. In this mode thyristor can be treated as a open switch.

Forward Conducting Mode As J2 breaks down, SCR acts like closed switch; thereby current flowing from anode to cathode increases irrespective of voltage. When forward voltage becomes greater than VBO, SCR starts conducting and the anode to cathode voltage decreases quickly to point B, because under this condition the SCR offers very low resistance hence it drops very low voltage across it. The voltage drop across the SCR during ON state is of the order of 1V to 2V depending on the rating of SCR. If the value of the gate current IG is increased from zero, the SCR turns ON even at lower break over voltage. Once the SCR is switched ON then the gate losses all the control. In the ON state, the anode current is limited by an external impedance or resistance and it must be more than Latching current in order to maintain the required amount of carrier flow across the junction. Hence Latching current is the minimum amount of anode current that it must attain during turn ON process to keep the SCR in conduction even when the gate signal is removed. SCR cannot be turned OFF by varying the gate voltage. It is possible only by 1. Reducing the anode current below its holding current. Holding current is the minimum amount of anode current that it must fall below the normal value to bring the SCR from conducting state to blocking state. 2. Application of reversal voltage Reverse Blocking mode

When switch S is open, if C is made positive with reference to A, junctions J1and J3 are reverse biased and J2 is forward biased. No current starts flowing from C to A. However small amount of current starts flows from C to A due to the existence of leakage carriers in the junction J2. If the reverse voltage is increased, then at a critical breakdown level called Reverse breakdown voltage VBR an avalanche occurs at J1 and J3 and reverse current increases rapidly, there by acting as conductor. The voltage at which the junctions J1, J2 and J3 loose its reverse blocking capability is called a Reverse break over voltage VBR. As the inner regions are lightly doped as compared to outer layers, the thickness of depletion layer of J 2 during forward bias condition will be greater than the total thickness of two depletion layers at J2 and J3 when the device is reverse biased. Therefore VBO is greater than VBR

Reverse conducting mode After the break over of junctions J1 and J3, SCR acts as a closed switch in the reverse direction, thereby current flowing from cathode and anode increases irrespective of voltage. A large current associated with VBR gives rise to more losses in the SCR outcoming in the form of heat, there by creating possibility for damaging it. So, by the manufacturers warning, SCR is not operated in reverse conduction mode. Two transistor analogy of SCR The basic operation of SCR can be described by two transistor analogy. The SCR is split into two three layer transistors As shown Q1 is PNP and Q2 is NPN device interconnected back to back, ie the collector of one transistor is connected to the base of the other transistor, thus it forms positive feedback and the collector current of one transistor become base current of other transistor Suppose the supply voltage applied across terminals A and C is such that the reverse biased junction J2 starts breaking down. Then current through the device increases. It means Ie1 begins to increase, and hence IC1 (IC = IE), Now IB2 increases since IC1 = IB2, and hence IC2 because IC = IB. As IC2 = IB1, now both IE1 and IB1 has increased which further increases IC1. Therefore there is a regenerative or positive feed back effect. This particular action is called latching action or regenerative action. Integral regeneration is not possible when the SCR is reverse biased.

Applications 1. 2. 3. 4. Used Used Used Used as a static switch to replace the electromechanical relay to control the amount of power delivered to the load in power conversion and regulation circuits for surge protection

GTO (Gate Turn OFF Thyristor)


A gate turn-off thyristor (GTO) is a special type of thyristor a high-power semiconductor device. GTOs, as opposed to normal thyristors, are fully controllable switches which can be turned on and off by their third lead, the GATE lead Normal thyristors (SCR) are not fully controllable switches. Thyristors are switched ON by a gate signal, but even after the gate signal is removed, the thyristor remains in the ON-state until any turn-off condition occurs (which can be the application of a reverse voltage to the terminals, or when the current flowing through (forward current) falls below a certain threshold value known as the "holding current"). Thus, a thyristor behaves like a normal semiconductor diode after it is turned on or "fired. The GTO can be turned-on by a gate signal, and can also be turned-off by a gate signal of negative polarity Turn on is accomplished by a "positive current" pulse between the gate and cathode terminals. As the gate-cathode behaves like PN junction, there will be some relatively small voltage between the terminals. The turn on phenomenon in GTO is however, not as reliable as an SCR and small positive gate current must be maintained even after turn on to improve reliability. Turn off is accomplished by a "negative voltage" pulse between the gate and cathode terminals. Some of the forward current (about one-third to one-fifth) is "stolen" and used to induce a cathode-gate voltage which in turn induces the forward current to fall and the GTO will switch off (transitioning to the 'blocking' state). To have an efficient control over gate controlled turn Off, the base drive of transistor 2 must be minimum, that is IB2 must be minimum. This can be obtained by considering npn >> pnp. In order to obtain the above said condition, the GTO thyristor structure has a thicker n base region. GTO thyristors suffer from long switch off times, whereby after the forward current falls, there is a long tail time where residual current continues to flow until all remaining charge from the device is taken away. This restricts the maximum switching frequency to approximately 1 kHz. It may however be noted that the turn off time of a comparable SCR is ten times that of a GTO. Thus switching frequency of GTO is much better than SCR GTO thyristors are available with or without reverse blocking capability. Reverse blocking capability adds to the forward voltage drop because of the need to have a long, low doped P1 region.

GTO thyristors capable of blocking reverse voltage are known as Symmetrical GTO thyristors, abbreviated S-GTO. Usually, the reverse blocking voltage rating and forward blocking voltage rating are the same. The typical application for symmetrical GTO thyristors is in current source inverters GTO thyristors incapable of blocking reverse voltage are known as asymmetrical GTO thyristors, abbreviated A-GTO. They typically have a reverse breakdown rating in the tens of volts. A-GTO thyristors are used where either a reverse conducting diode is applied in parallel (for example, in voltage source inverters) or where reverse voltage would never occur (for example, in switching power supplies or DC traction choppers) Advantages 1. It eliminates the external circuitary for switching off the thyristor 2. High speed operation 3. The switching frequency of GTO is much better than SCR. Disadvantages 1. Larger gate current is required to turn on 2. GTO suffers from long switch off time. Applications The main applications are in variable speed motor drives, high power, inverters and traction

DIAC (DIode AC switch- Uncontrolled Switch)


A DIAC is a two terminal, three layer, bidirectional device which can be switched OFF state to ON state for either polarity of applied voltage. It operates like two diodes connected in series. The basic structure of DIAC is as shown. The two leads are connected to P region of silicon chip separated by an N region. MT1 and MT2 are two main terminals by which the structure of the DIAC is interchangeable. It is like a transistor which the following basic differences 1. There is no terminal attached to the base layer I 2. The doping concentration are identical (unlikeF a bipolar transistor) to give the device symmetrical properties MT1
N

P N P
N

MT1

VBO

MT2

MT2

Operation When a positive or negative voltage is applied to the main terminals of a DIAC, only a small leakage current IBO will flow through the device. If the applied voltage is increased, the leakage current will continue to flow until the voltage reaches the break over voltage VBO. At this point, avalanche breakdown occurs at the reverse biased junction it may be J1 or J2, depending upon the supply connected between MT1 and MT2 and the device then drops to break back voltage Vw as shown. V- I Characteristics of DIAC If the applied voltage (positive) is less than VBO a small leakage current IBO flows through the device. Under this condition, the DIAC blocks the flow of current and effectively behaves as an open circuit. The voltage VBO is the breakover voltage and usually has a range of 30 to 50 volts. When the (positive or negative) voltage applied to DIAC is equal to or greater than the break over voltage then DIAC begins to conduct, due to avalanche breakdown of the reverse biased junction and the voltage drop across it becomes a few volt, the DIAC current increases sharply and the volt across the DIAC decreases. Thus the DIAC offers a negative resistance Applications of DIAC 1. Light dimmer circuits 2. Heat control circuits 3. Universal motor speed control

TRIAC (TRIode AC switch- Controlled Switch)


It is a 5 layered 3 terminal bidirectional device, which can be triggered ON by applying either positive or negative voltages, irrespective of the polarity of the voltage across the terminals A1, A2 and gate. It behaves like two SCRs connected in parallel and in opposite direction to each other with a common gate. Because of the inverse parallel connection the two terminals cannot be identified as anode or cathode. The anode to gate voltage applied in either direction will fire (ON) a TRIAC because it would fire at least one of the two SCRs which are in opposite directions.

Construction It has three terminals A1, A2 and G. The G is closer to anode A1. It has six doped regions. The schematic symbol of TRIAC is as shown A2
N4

A2

IA C

Forward conduction Latching current

P1 N1 G
2

Holding current

N3

P2N

A2 A1

A1

Reverse leakage

VBo C
Reverse blocking

IG=1 C

IG=0 C VAC C

VBO C
Forward blocking Forward leakage

G A1 Operation.
Reverse conductiing

When positive voltage is applied to A2 with respect to A1, path of current flow in P1N1P2N2. The two junction P1 N1 and P2 N2 are forward biased whereas N1 P2 junction is blocked. The gate can be given either positive or negative voltage to turn ON the TRIAC i) ii) Positive gate: The positive gate forward biases the P 2 N2 junction and breakdown occurs as in normal SCR Negative gate: A negative gate forward biases the P2 N3 junction and current carriers are injected into P2 to turn on the TRIAC

When positive voltage is applied to anode A1, path of current flow is P2 N1 P1 N4. The two junctions P2 N1 and P1 N4 are forward biased whereas junction N1 P1 is blocked. Conduction can be achieved by applying either positive or negative voltage to G. i) ii) Positive gate: The positive gate injects current carriers by forward biasing the P2 N2 junction and thus initializes the conduction Negative gate: A negative gate injects current carriers by forward biasing P2 N3 junction there by triggering conduction, thus there are four TRIAC triggering modes, two for each of the anodes.

V- I characteristics

As seen in SCR, TRIAC exhibits same forward blocking and forward conducting characteristics like SCR but for either polarity of voltage applied to terminal (A1 or A2). TRIAC has latch current in either direction hence the switching ON is effected by raising the applied voltage to breakover voltage. The TRIAC can be made to conduct in either direction. No matter what bias polarity, characteristic of TRIAC are those of forward biased SCR. If the applied voltage of one of the main terminal is increased above zero, a very small current flows through the device, under this condition the TRIAC is OFF, it will be continued until the applied voltage reaches the forward breakover voltage If the anode to cathode voltage exceeds the breakover voltage, the SCR turns ON and anode to cathode voltage decreases quickly to point B, because under this condition the SCR offers very low resistance hence it drops very low voltage across it. At this stage the SCR allows more current to flow through it, the amplitude of the current is depending upon the supply voltage and load resistance connected in the circuit The same procedure is repeated for forward blocking state with the polarity of main terminals interchanged.

Applications TRIAC is a bidirectional device hence it is used in many industrial applications such as i) phase control ii) heater control iii) light dimmer control iv) speed control of motors. It is also used to control ac power to a load by switching ON and OFF during positive and negative half cycle of input ac power.

Power conditioning equipments


All electronic circuits need DC power supply either from battery or power back units. It may not be economical and convenient to depend upon battery power supply. Hence, many electronic equipment contain circuits which convert the AC supply voltage into DC voltage at the required level. The unit containing these circuits is called the Linear Mode Power Supply (LPS). In the absence of AC main supply, the DC supply from battery can be converted into required AC voltage which may be used by computer and other electronic systems for their operation. Also, in certain applications, DC to DC conversion is required. Such a power supply unit that converts DC into AC or DC is called Switched Mode Power Supply (SMPS)

Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS)

The SMPS operating from mains, without using an input transformer at line frequency 50 Hz is called off line switching supply in which the AC mains is directly rectified and filtered and the DC voltage so obtained is then used as an input to a switching type DC to DC converter. In a switching power supply, the active device that provides regulation is always operated in a switched mode, i.e it is operated either in cut off or in saturation. The input DC is chopped at a high frequency using an active device like BJT, power MOSFET or SCR and the converter transformer. The transformed chopped waveform is rectified and filtered. A sample of the output voltage is used a s the feedback signal for the drive circuit for the switching transistor to achieve regulation.
Unregulated input Voltage referen ce + Err AMP Control element Output

Control logic Oscillat or

Samplin g network

The main feature of SMPS is the elimination of physically massive power transformers and other power line magnetic. The net result is a smaller, lighter package and reduced manufacturing cost, resulting primarily from the elimination of the 50Hz components

Pulse Modulation Techniques


In order to transmit a large number of signals simultaneously through a single channel in an efficient manner, pulse modulation techniques are employed. Pulse modulation techniques yield better signal to noise ratio at the receiving end and hence they are highly immune to noise. Here, a train of rectangular pulses is considered to be a carrier signal. In Pulse modulation technique, the continuous waveform of the message signal is sampled at regular intervals. Information regarding the message signal is transmitted only at the sampling times. Hence for proper recovery of the message signal at the receiving end, the sampling rate should be greater than a specified value which is given by the sampling theorem There are totally four types of pulse modulation. They are 1. Pulse Amplitude modulation (PAM) 2. Pulse Time Modulation (PTM) 3. Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) 4. Pulse Position Modulation (PPM) Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) PWM is also called as Pulse Duration Modulation (PDM) or Pulse Length Modulation (PLM). In PWM as shown, the amplitude and starting time of each pulse is fixed, but the width of each pulse is made proportional to the amplitude of signal at that instant. The pulses of PWM are of varying width and therefore of varying power content. Even if synchronization between transmitter and receiver fails, PWM still works whereas PPM does not Modulating wave

Pulse Carrier

PWM Wave