Lecture 5

P-N Junctions Part 1: Concepts, Charges and Fields
The most basic device of microelectronics, the P-N junction

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Vbi has nothing to do with voltages that are applied via external batteries or power supplies Vbi is spontaneous internal voltage developed by the rearrangement of holes & electrons!

Now know the energy / voltage step formed .But have no handle on how wide the "depletion layer" is The NET charge in the depletion layer (between the p and n regions) is now due acceptors & donors alone .

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But from equation 6 using this and equation 6 to solve for xp: .

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voltage .All of the Above: No external voltages applied!! Vbi is an internal. naturally generated.

Applied to P-side Remember that Voltage = Potential Energy per positive charge = opposite of our electron bands So positive voltage pulls DOWN electron energy .NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME: Apply an external voltage (with a battery or DC power supply) end to end: 1) Apply "Reverse Voltage" Reversed in the sense: + Applied to N-side .

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What has changed from previous case with our application of Vreverse? Just have wider regions of exposed Na.and Nd+ So parabolic profiles simply extend longer and steps become higher! .

So with that justification get revisions: .

2) Apply Forward Voltage: Forward in the sense: + Applied to P-side .Applied to N-side .

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Calculate Capacitance of this junction: .

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Jtotal = Jp + Jn.P-N Junction Current / Equation for Diode with Thick Layers Calculate current density. J. must be constant throughout the diode . across the diode as a function of the applied voltage 1) Assume "Steady-State” Vapplied constant in time (or has been at present value a "long" time) Then total current.

This is assumed OUTSIDE the depletion region (W) Inside the depletion layer has been massive change in majority carrier concentrationthey are all gone .

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there are ~ 0 there at any time ~ Nothing for majority carriers to recombine WITH! Majority also likely to make across .Assumption 3) All carriers that start across the junction make it to the other side Electric field pushes minority carriers across Will move so fast have no time to recombine! MAJORITY Carriers: Because minority carriers (above) whip across junction.

NOTATION .

If ~ all carriers make it across => same density of electrons on both sides / same density of holes on both sides .

Restate arguments (for electrons) .

Form of both of these equations: If Vapplied were turned off (=> 0). go back to overall equilibrium But in strict equilibrium. we KNOW what the minority carrier concentrations (left sides) are .

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Plug equations 3 and 4 into equations 1 and 2. respectively Or graphically .

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Remember the "Minority Carrier Continuity Equations" useful work Time to put them to truly .

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"Thick Layer" Case If layers are thick compared to diffusion lengths: One term falls to zero One terms goes to ∞ Makes sense: carriers diffuse deeper and recombine Makes NO sense: minority carriers increasing away from junction Solution is to set coefficient of growing terms equal to zero (B=0 and D=0 above) ."Thick Diode" or more precisely.

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Diode with THIN layers At least one side of a diode is much THINNER than diffusion length of its minority carriers!! Comes from the way real diodes are made: 1) Start with layer (either thick or thin) of one type of semiconductor 2) Implant other dopant short distance into surface: 3) P-dopant penetrates very short distance (1 micron or less) but in high concentration that overwhelms N-type dopant: .

In an integrated circuit. layer below may have been created same way => BOTH layers "thin" How do we deal with this? general minority equations Go back to last lecture at point we had derived .

we know that in the exponent xp + x is << Ln Which means that the net exponent (xp + x)/Ln must be small But this is just a straight line: .Now assume P-layer on left is much thinner than Ln: Then where ever we are in the left layer ( x < xp).

But -xp is the edge of the junction so that we have another relationship in "The Law of the Junction": Would then know the slope if we could figure out value at LEFT face of P-layer (the surface) .

Front surface of crystal = excellent place for minority carriers to recombine (like continuous "traps" Can thus assume excess electron concentration => 0 at surface. thickness is xp_layer: If P-layer where δnp(-xp) is the Constant .

Use this minority carrier profile to calculate the diffusion (gradient driven) current of minority carrier electrons .

plugging in boundary condition Evaluate this equation at x = -xp to get electron current flowing across junction Then need hole current flowing across junction into the N-layer to get total current in diode: if N-layer is thick (as have assumed to this point and already derived .

used smaller of two: thickness Its minority carrier diffusion length OR Its undepleted .For a layer.

and thus loss of current within the junction! .REAL DIODES REAL DIODES: Must also take into account 1) FORWARD BIAS (lowered step => high current in junction) 1a) Recombination of carriers within the depletion region .So expect some recombination.Are so MANY crossing at any moment that there ARE plenty to recombine with .

electrons boiling out of valence band to conduction band Can thus get INCREASE in current as it crosses the depletion region! . that face is a LONG way away from junction Current flowing thorough thick layers => resistive voltage drop Voltage at junction is thus reduced below full applied voltage! 2) REVERSE BIAS (increased step and Wdepletion.6 microns at -20 Volts in example above) There is still heat! Heat => Generation of new carriers . very large electric fields) 2a) Thermal generation in thickened depletion layer Depletion region can become quite thick (1.1b) Resistive loss in thick layers We apply voltage at both ends of the diode But as with right N-layer (thick).

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depends on junction width .which in turn depends on doping .2b) Tunneling "Zener Breakdown" Abrupt increase in reverse current.

multiplies VERY rapidly (as in real avalanche) => Similar abrupt increase in reverse current! .2c) Breakdown due to avalanche multiplication of carriers crossing junction Electrons and holes are "falling" over energy step Where is their lost energy going? Energy => crystal lattice THIS energy can be used to create new pairs of electrons and holes => More electron / hole flow => More dissipated energy => More electrons and holes AVALANCHE! Once it starts.