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Prof. Jan M. Rabaey (jan@eecs)

Lecture 5: Diode Operation

Overview

Last lecture

– Capacitance – pn Junction

This lecture

– pn Junction (cntd) – Diode operation and models

2

1

Administrativia

Labs starting tomorrow!

3

**PN Junction – Summary so far
**

p-type NA

p0 = N a p0 ( x)

n-type ND

J diff E0

p0 =

ni2 Nd

− x p0 ni2 Na

xn 0 J diff

n0 = N d

n0 =

E0

– –++ Transition Region

The most important device is a junction between a p-type region and an n-type region When the junction is first formed, due to the concentration gradient, mobile charges transfer near junction Electrons leave n-type region and holes leave p-type region These mobile carriers become minority carriers in new region (can’t penetrate far due to recombination) Due to charge transfer, a voltage difference occurs between regions This creates a field at the junction that causes drift currents to oppose the diffusion current In thermal equilibrium, drift current and diffusion must balance

Question: width of depletion region

4

2

Depletion Approximation

Let’s assume that the transition region is completely depleted of free carriers (only immobile dopants exist) Then the charge density is given by

⎧− qN a − x po < x < 0 ⎩ + qN d 0 < x < xn 0 The solution for electric field is now easy

ρ 0 ( x) ≅ ⎨

E0 ( x ) = ∫

x

− xp0

ρ 0 ( x' ) qN dx' = − a ( x + x po ) εs εs

E0 ( x) = −

qN d

εs

( x n 0 − x)

5

**Plot of Fields In Depletion Region
**

p-type NA ––––– ––––– ––––– –––––

+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++

n-type ND

Depletion Region

E0 ( x ) = − qN a ( x + x po )

εs

E0 ( x ) = −

qN d

εs

( xn 0 − x )

E-Field zero outside of depletion region Note the asymmetrical depletion widths Which region has higher doping? Slope of E-Field larger in n-region. Why? Peak E-Field at junction. Why continuous?

6

3

**Continuity of E-Field Across Junction
**

Recall that E-field diverges on charge. For a sheet charge at the interface, the E-field could be discontinuous In our case, the depletion region is only populated by a background density of fixed charges so the E-Field is continuous What does this imply?

E 0n ( x = 0) = − qN a

εs

x po = −

qN d

εs

xno = E 0p ( x = 0)

qN a x po = qN d xno

Total fixed charge in n-region equals fixed charge in pregion! Somewhat obvious result.

7

**Potential Across Junction
**

From our earlier calculation we know that the potential in the n-region is higher than p-region The potential has to smoothly transition form high to low in crossing the junction Physically, the potential difference is due to the charge transfer that occurs due to the concentration gradient Let’s integrate the field to get the potential:

φ ( x) = φ ( − x po ) + ∫

x

qN a

−xp0

εs

( x '+ x po )dx'

x

⎞ qN ⎛ x'2 φ ( x) = φ p + a ⎜ + x' x po ⎟ ⎜ 2 ⎟ εs ⎝ ⎠ −xp0

8

4

**Potential Across Junction
**

We arrive at potential on p-side (parabolic)

φop ( x) = φ p +

qN a ( x + x p0 )2 2ε s

**Do integral on n-side
**

φn ( x ) = φn −

qN d ( x − xn 0 ) 2 2ε s

**Potential must be continuous at interface (field finite at interface)
**

φ n (0 ) = φ n −

qN d 2 qN a 2 xn 0 = φ p + x p 0 = φ p (0 ) 2ε s 2ε s

9

**Solve for Depletion Lengths
**

We have two equations and two unknowns. We are finally in a position to solve for the depletion depths

φn −

qN d 2 qN a 2 xn 0 = φ p + xp0 2ε s 2ε s qN a x po = qN d xno

2ε sφbi qN d ⎛ Na ⎜ ⎜N +N d ⎝ a ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠ 2ε sφbi qN a

(1)

(2)

xno =

x po =

⎛ Nd ⎞ ⎜ ⎜N +N ⎟ ⎟ a ⎠ ⎝ d

φbi ≡ φn − φ p > 0

10

5

Sanity Check

Does the above equation make sense? Let’s say we dope one side very highly. Then physically we expect the depletion region width for the heavily doped side to approach zero:

xn 0 = lim x p 0 = lim

N d →∞

**2ε sφbi Nd =0 qN d N d + N a 2ε sφbi qN a
**

⎛ Nd ⎞ ⎜ ⎜N +N ⎟= ⎟ a ⎠ ⎝ d

N d →∞

2ε sφbi qN a

**Entire depletion width dropped across p-region
**

11

**Total Depletion Width
**

The sum of the depletion widths is the “space charge region”

X d 0 = x p 0 + xn 0 = ⎛ 1 1 ⎞ ⎜ ⎜N +N ⎟ ⎟ d ⎠ ⎝ a

2ε sφbi q

This region is essentially depleted of all mobile charge Due to high electric field, carriers move across region at velocity saturated speed

X d0 = 2ε sφbi ⎛ 1 ⎞ ⎜ ⎟ ≈ 1μ q ⎝ 1015 ⎠

E pn ≈

1V V = 10 4 1μ cm

12

6

**Have we invented a battery?
**

Can we harness the PN junction and turn it into a battery?

φbi ≡ φn − φ p = Vth ⎜ ln ⎜

⎝ ⎛

ND N ⎞ N N + ln A ⎟ = Vth ln D 2 A ⎟ ni ni ⎠ ni

?

Numerical example:

φbi = 26mV ln

10151015 NDNA = 60mV × log = 600mV 10 20 ni2

13

Contact Potential

The contact between a PN junction creates a potential difference Likewise, the contact between two dissimilar metals creates a potential difference (proportional to the difference between the work functions) When a metal semiconductor junction is formed, a contact potential forms as well If we short a PN junction, the sum of the voltages around the loop must be zero: 0 = φ +φ +φ

φbi

− +

φmn

bi

pm

mn

φ pm

n p

φbi = −(φ pm + φmn )

14

7

**PN Junction Capacitor
**

Under thermal equilibrium, the PN junction does not draw any (much) current But notice that a PN junction stores charge in the space charge region (transition region) Since the device is storing charge, it’s acting like a capacitor Positive charge is stored in the n-region, and negative charge is in the p-region:

qN a x po = qN d xno

15

**Reverse Biased PN Junction
**

What happens if we “reverse-bias” the PN junction?

− φbi + VD

− +

VD

VD < 0

Since no current is flowing, the entire reverse biased potential is dropped across the transition region To accommodate the extra potential, the charge in these regions must increase If no current is flowing, the only way for the charge to increase is to grow (shrink) the depletion regions

16

8

**Voltage Dependence of Depletion Width
**

Can redo the math but in the end we realize that the equations are the same except we replace the built-in potential with the effective reverse bias:

xn (VD ) = x p (VD ) = 2ε s (φbi − VD ) ⎛ N a ⎜ ⎜N +N qN d d ⎝ a 2ε s (φbi − VD ) ⎛ N d ⎜ ⎜N +N qN a d ⎝ a

⎞ V ⎟ = xn 0 1 − D ⎟ φbi ⎠ ⎞ V ⎟ = x p0 1 − D ⎟ φbi ⎠ ⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠

17

X d (VD ) = x p (VD ) + xn (VD ) =

2ε s (φbi − VD ) ⎛ 1 1 ⎜ + ⎜N q ⎝ a Nd V X d (VD ) = X d 0 1 − D

φbi

**Charge Versus Bias
**

As we increase the reverse bias, the depletion region grows to accommodate more charge

QJ (VD ) = −qN a x p (VD ) = −qN a 1 − VD

φbi

Charge is not a linear function of voltage This is a non-linear capacitor We can define a small signal capacitance for small signals by breaking up the charge into two terms

QJ (VD + vD ) = QJ (VD ) + q (vD )

18

9

**Derivation of Small Signal Capacitance
**

From last lecture we found

QJ (VD + vD ) = QJ (VD ) + dQD dV vD + L

VD

C j = C j (VD ) =

dQ j dV

V =VD

=

d dV

⎛ ⎞⎤ ⎜ − qN a x p 0 1 − V ⎟⎥ ⎜ φbi ⎟⎥ ⎝ ⎠⎦V =VR = C j0 1− VD

Cj =

qN a x p 0 2φbi 1 − VD

φbi

φbi

⎞ ⎟= ⎟ ⎠ qε s N a N d 2φbi N a + N d

19

Notice that

C j0 =

qN a x p 0 2φbi

=

qN a 2φbi

⎛ 2ε sφbi ⎞⎛ N d ⎜ ⎟⎜ ⎜ qN ⎟⎜ N + N a ⎠⎝ a d ⎝

**Physical Interpretation of Depletion Cap
**

C j0 = qε s N a N d 2φbi N a + N d

Notice that the expression on the right-hand-side is just the depletion width in thermal equilibrium

C j0 = ε s ⎛ 1 1 ⎞ ⎜ ⎟ + 2ε sφbi ⎜ N a N d ⎟ ⎝ ⎠ q

−1

=

εs

X d0

**This looks like a parallel plate capacitor!
**

C j (VD ) =

εs

X d (VD )

20

10

**A Variable Capacitor (Varactor)
**

Capacitance varies versus bias:

Cj C j0

Application: Radio Tuner

21

“Diffusion” Resistor

N-type Diffusion Region Oxide

P-type Si Substrate

**Resistor is capacitively isolation from substrate
**

– Must Reverse Bias PN Junction!

22

11

**Diode under Thermal Equilibrium
**

Minority Carrier Close to Junction Thermal + Generation p-type − - + + - + + − - + + J p ,drift - - + + + J n ,drift - - + + ND - + + + Recombination

qφbi

J n ,diff J p ,diff

−

n-type

NA

E0

− Carrier with energy below barrier height

Diffusion small since few carriers have enough energy to penetrate barrier Drift current is small since minority carriers are few and far between: Only minority carriers generated within a diffusion length can contribute current Important Point: Minority drift current independent of barrier! Diffusion current strong (exponential) function of barrier

23

Reverse Bias

Reverse Bias causes an increased barrier to diffusion Diffusion current is reduced exponentially

p-type + + + + + + +

n-type

ND

NA

q (φbi + VR )

+ −

Drift current does not change Net result: Small reverse current

24

12

Forward Bias

Forward bias causes an exponential increase in the number of carriers with sufficient energy to penetrate barrier Diffusion current increases exponentially

p-type + + + + + + +

n-type

ND

NA

q (φbi + VR )

+ −

Drift current does not change Net result: Large forward current

25

Diode I-V Curve

Id Is

I d (Vd → −∞) = − I S

⎛ qVd ⎞ I d = I S ⎜ e kT − 1⎟ ⎝ ⎠

−1

qVd kT

Diode IV relation is an exponential function This exponential is due to the Boltzmann distribution of carriers versus energy For reverse bias the current saturations to the drift current due to 26 minority carriers

13

**Minority Carriers at Junction Edges
**

Minority carrier concentration at boundaries of depletion region increase as barrier lowers … the function is

(minority) hole conc. on n-side of barrier p n ( x = xn ) = p p ( x = − x p ) (majority) hole conc. on p-side of barrier

= e −( Barrier Energy ) / kT

pn ( x = xn ) = e −q (φ B −VD ) / kT NA

(Boltzmann’s Law)

27

**“Law of the Junction”
**

Minority carrier concentrations at the edges of the depletion region are given by:

pn ( x = xn ) = N Ae −q (φ B −VD ) / kT

n p ( x = − x p ) = N D e −q (φ B −VD ) / kT

Note 1: NA and ND are the majority carrier concentrations on the other side of the junction Note 2: we can reduce these equations further by substituting VD = 0 V (thermal equilibrium) Note 3: assumption that pn << ND and np << NA

28

14

**Minority Carrier Concentration
**

qVA

pn 0 e kT

p side

qV A

n side

n p 0 e kT

⎛ qVA ⎞ −L pn ( x) = pn 0 + pn 0 ⎜ e kT − 1⎟ e p ⎝ ⎠

x

Minority Carrier

np 0

-Wp -xp xn Wn

pn 0 Diffusion Length

The minority carrier concentration in the bulk region for forward bias is a decaying exponential due to recombination

29

**Steady-State Concentrations
**

Assume that none of the diffusing holes and electrons recombine get straight lines …

qVA

pn 0 e kT

p side

qV A

n side

n p 0 e kT

np0

-Wp -xp xn Wn

pn 0

This also happens if the minority carrier diffusion Ln , p >> Wn , p lengths are much larger than Wn,p

30

15

**Diode Current Densities
**

qVA

pn 0 e kT

p side

qV A

n side

dn p dx

pn 0

n p 0 e kT

( x) ≈

n p 0e kT − n p 0 − x p − (−Wp )

qVA

np0

-Wp -xp xn Wn

np0 =

ni2 Na

diff J n = qDn

diff Jp

⎛ qVA ⎞ Dn n p 0 ⎜ e kT − 1⎟ dx x =− x Wp ⎝ ⎠ p qVA Dp ⎛ ⎞ dp pn 0 ⎜ 1 − e kT ⎟ = − qD p n ≈ −q dx x = xn Wn ⎝ ⎠ dn p ≈q

⎛ Dp Dn J diff = qni2 ⎜ + ⎜N W NW a p ⎝ d n

⎞ ⎛ qVA ⎞ ⎟ ⎜ e kT − 1⎟ ⎟ ⎠ ⎠⎝

31

Fabrication of IC Diodes

cathode p+ p annode n+ n-well p-type p-type

Start with p-type substrate Create n-well to house diode p and n+ diffusion regions are the cathode and annode N-well must be reverse biased from substrate Parasitic resistance due to well resistance

32

16

**Diode Small Signal Model
**

The I-V relation of a diode can be linearized

qVd qvd ⎛ q (Vd + vd ) ⎞ I D + iD = I S ⎜ e kT − 1⎟ ≈ I S e kT e kT ⎝ ⎠

ex = 1 + x +

x 2 x3 + +L 2! 3!

⎛ q(Vd + vd ) ⎞ I D + iD ≈ I D ⎜ 1 + + L⎟ kT ⎝ ⎠

iD ≈

qvd = g d vd kT

33

Diode Capacitance

We have already seen that a reverse biased diode acts like a capacitor since the depletion region grows and shrinks in response to the applied field. the capacitance in forward bias is given by

Cj = A

εS

X dep

≈ 1.4C j 0

But another charge storage mechanism comes into play in forward bias Minority carriers injected into p and n regions “stay” in each region for a while On average additional charge is stored in diode

34

17

Charge Storage

pn 0 e

p side

q (Vd + vd ) kT

n p0e

q (Vd + vd ) kT

n side

np0

-Wp -xp xn Wn

pn 0

Increasing forward bias increases minority charge density By charge neutrality, the source voltage must supply equal and opposite charge 1 qI d A detailed analysis yields: τ Cd = 2 kT

Time to cross junction (or minority carrier lifetime)

35

Diode Circuits

Rectifier (AC to DC conversion) Average value circuit Peak detector (AM demodulator) DC restorer Voltage doubler / quadrupler /…

36

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