You are on page 1of 30

Chapter 1:

Semiconductor Diodes
Diodes
Simplest Semiconductor Device

It is a 2-terminal device
2
Basic operation
Ideally it conducts current in only one direction

and acts like an open in the opposite direction
3
Characteristics of an ideal diode:
Conduction Region

Look at the vertical line!


In the conduction region, ideally
• the voltage across the diode is 0V,
• the current is ∞,
• the forward resistance (RF) is defined as RF = VF/IF,
• the diode acts like a short.
4
Characteristics of an ideal diode:
Non-Conduction Region

Look at the horizontal line!


In the non-conduction region, ideally
• all of the voltage is across the diode,
• the current is 0A,
• the reverse resistance (RR) is defined as RR = VR/IR,
• the diode acts like open. 5
Semiconductor Materials

Common materials used in the development of


semiconductor devices:

• Silicon (Si)
• Germanium (Ge)

6
Practical Diode (Silicon vs Germanium)

Silicon Germanium
Higher *PIV (≈ 1000V) Lower PIV (≈ 400V)
Higher current rating Lower current rating
Wider temperature range Narrow temperature
(up to 2000C) range (lower than 1000C)
Higher forward-bias Lower forward-bias
voltage (0.7V) voltage (0.3V)
* PIV = peak inverse voltage

7
Comparison of Si and Ge semiconductor diodes

ID(mA)

Is(Si)=10nA

VD(V)
0.3(Ge) 0.7(Si)

Is(Ge)
(Si) Is=reverse saturation current
(Ge)

8
Operating Conditions

• No Bias

• Forward Bias

• Reverse Bias

9
No Bias Condition
No external voltage is applied: VD = 0V and no current is
flowing ID = 0A.

10
Forward Bias Condition

The Forward bias voltage required for a :

• Silicon diode VT ≅ 0.7V


• Germanium diode VT ≅ 0.3V
11
Reverse Bias Condition

12
Actual Diode Characteristics

Note the regions for No Bias, Reverse Bias, and Forward Bias conditions.
Look closely at the scale for each of these conditions!
13
Zener Diode

• A Zener is a diode operated in


reverse bias at the Peak Inverse
Voltage (PIV) called the Zener Voltage
(VZ).
• Common Zener Voltages: 1.8V to
200V

14
Zener Region

The diode is in the reverse bias condition. 
At some point the reverse bias voltage is so large the diode breaks down. 
The reverse current increases dramatically. 
This maximum voltage is called avalanche breakdown voltage and the current 
is called avalanche current.
15
Resistance Levels

Semiconductors act differently to DC and AC currents.


There are 3 types of resistances.

• DC or Static Resistance
• AC or Dynamic Resistance
• Average AC Resistance

16
• DC or Static Resistance

• The resistance of a diode at a particular operating


point is called the dc or static resistance diode. It
can be determined using equation (1.1):

(1.1)
RD = VD/ID

17
Example : DC or Static Resistance – refer Figure 1.1

Ideal diode Si diode


ID(A) VD(V) RD(Ω ) ID(A) VD(V) RD(Ω )

20m 0 0 20m 0.8 40

2m 0 0 2m 0.5 250

dc resistance of forward-bias region decrease when


higher currents and voltage.

18
Ideal diode Si diode
ID(A) VD(V) RD(Ω ) ID(A) VD(V) RD(Ω )

0 -10 ∞ -2µ -10 5M

• dc resistance of reverse-bias region, its open-circuit


equivalent.

19
Figure 1.1
Id(mA)
Si
20
I
ideal

-10 2 VD(V)
0.5 0.8
-2µ
Si

II

20
• AC or Dynamic Resistance

• Static resistance is using dc input. If the input is


sinusoidal the scenario will be change.
• The varying input will move instantaneous
operating point UP and DOWN of a region.
• Thus the specific changes in current and voltage is
obtained. It can be determined using equation (1.2)

(1.2)
rd = ∆VD/ ∆ID

21
Diode characteristic

∆Ι Qpt Tangent line


d

∆ vD

22
•Average AC Resistance

Vd
r av (point to point)
Id

AC resistance can be determined by picking 2 points on the characteristic curve developed


for a particular circuit.
23
• Example:

Determine the Vf and If for the diode in Figure 1.2


for each of the diode model. Also find the voltage
across the limiting resistor in each case. Asume
rd=10 Ω and determined value of forward current.

Figure 1.2
24
Ideal diode Practical model Complete model
Vf=0V Vf=0.7V If=(10V – 0.7V)/1k+10
=9.3/1010
If =10V/1k If=(10V – 0.7V)/1k = 9.21mA
=10mA =9.3/1k
= 9.3mA Vf=0.7V+Ifrd
VRlimit =(10m)(1k) =0.7 +(9.21m)(10)
=10V VRlimit =(9.3m)(1k) = 792mV
=9.3V
VRlimit =(If)(Rlimit)
=9.21m(1k)
=9.21V

25
Diode Testing

A. Diode Checker
B. Ohmmeter
C. Curve Tracer

26
A. Diode Checker

Many DMM’s have a diode checking function.


A normal diode will exhibit its Forward Bias
voltage (VF).
The diode should be tested out of circuit.

27
B. Ohmmeter
An ohmmeter set on a low ohms scale can be used to test a diode.
A normal diode will have the following readings.
The diode should be tested out of circuit.

28
C. Curve Tracer
A curve tracer is a specialized type of test equipment. It will display the characteristic
curve of the diode in the test circuit. This curve can be compared to the specifications
of the diode from a data sheet.

29
References:
1) Robert Boylestad, “Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory”, Eighth
Edition, 2002
2)Thomas L. Floyd, “ Electronic Devices, Sixth edition”, Prentice Hall, 2002.
3) Puspa Inayat Khalid, Rubita Sudirman, Siti Hawa Ruslan,
“ModulPengajaran Elektronik 1”, UTM, 2002.
4) Copyright Supplementary 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc.
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458

30