# Diodes and Diode Circuits Lecture 2

Modelling Diode Characteristics

Diode Circuit Symbol
Current Flow
Anode Cathode

+ -

Forward Biased Reverse Biased

+

A one-way valve

Today’s problem
Given a circuit with a diode in it, calculate q the voltage VD across the diode and
q

the current ID through it

Three stages: q Observe how it behaves q Describe this mathematically q Use the maths to calculate VD and ID

Stage 1
Observe how it behaves Imagine diodes have just been invented and we have the first one to test (In practice, look it up in a book!) Vary VD, see how ID changes

Diode I-V Characteristics – NonLinear (approximate graph)
Forward Biased I Breakdown Voltage V b> -100v V V ~ 0.7v on Threshold Voltage Reverse Biased

Is it linear?
Can we view it as a linear component, e.g. a resistor?

DC Resistance.
DC resistance from ohms law V=RI
0.8

I

0.7

0.6 D io d e C u rre n t (A )

A I 1 R C
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 V o lt a g e a c ro s s d io d e (V )

0.5

I R

0.4

0.3

V B

0.2

0.1

0

V

Is it linear?
Can we view it as a linear component, e.g. a resistor? “Hmm...” (sounds of disbelief) Yes, for any fixed voltage it has an effective resistance That resistance varies with voltage “A fudge”? Yes, but can be made to work and useful sometimes

Two modes of operation
(A) +10v 1K (B) +10v 1K

V ? d

V ? d

0v 0v Which diode is forward biased and which is reverse biased ? What is the approximate voltage across each diode?

+0.2v 1K

V ? d 0v Is this diode forward biased and conducting (turn-on) ?

Stage 2
Describe it mathematically

(Why? At the end of the day we will need numbers, and maths is what gives these)

Device Model - Forward Bias
Simplified Device Equation I
0.8

I D = IS ( e

VD / nVT

− 1)

D
D io d e C u rre n t (A )

0.7

0.6

IS, n and VT are constants

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

1.2

1.4

1.6

1.8

2

V o lta g e a c ro s s d io d e (V )

VD

That equation ...
I D = IS ( e
VD / nVT

− 1)

How do you read this? What does it tell you? q What is the approximate shape of the curve? q Does the -1 matter? (Minor detail? Dominate?) q What is ID when VD = 0? Equations are part of our life If you can sketch one as a curve, you make it visual

Device Model - Forward Bias
Simplified Device Equation I
0.8

I D = IS ( e

VD / nVT

− 1)

D
D io d e C u rre n t (A )

0.7

0.6

Thermal Voltage V = 25 mV T ‘Fudge Factor’ n=2: discrete diodes Reverse Bias Saturation Current -8 -12 I = 10 to 10 A s

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

0

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

1

1.2

1.4

1.6

1.8

2

V o lta g e a c ro s s d io d e (V )

VD

That equation (reprise)
I D = IS ( eVD / nVT − 1)
VT = q / kT (about 25 mV at room temperature) q is charge on electron k is Boltzmann’s constant T is absolute (i.e. Kelvin) temperature A ‘constant’ that depends on temperature so

ID = IS e

(

qVD / nkT

−1

)

Stage 3
Use our mathematical description (i.e. model*) to predict what a circuit will do
*

If it doesn’t have predictive value, it gets the sack!

Analysis of Simple Diode Circuit.
How to analyse circuits containing nonlinear elements.
Consider the circuit: r s + Vs ID Vd RL

VS = I D (rS + RL ) + VD

Can we solve it?
We have 2 unknowns, VD and ID To solve for them, we need 2 equations q The exponential equation gives us one (from several slides ago) q The other comes from adding up the voltages round the circuit (previous slide)

Technique 1: with equations
q

VS = I D (rS + RL ) + VD

1 VS ID = − VD + rs + RL rS + RL

Device Equation.
I D = IS ( eVD / nVT − 1)

Technique 2: with a graph
ID
0.8 0.7

Device Eqn Solution: ‘operating point’ Circuit Eqn ‘Load Line’ V =V D S
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2 V o lta g e a c ro s s d io d e (V )

0.6

D io d e C u rre n t (A )

Vs R +r L s

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

V

D

Is this always necessary?
Sometimes exact solutions are needed q Often an approximate one will suffice q In such cases, a simpler view (=model) of the diode is enough
q

Ideal Diode - Approximation
Fictitious Circuit Element called an

Ideal Diode.
q

Reverse Bias: No current flow through the diode, open circuit.

When VD ≤ 0 then I D = 0
q

Forward Bias: No voltage drop across the diode, short circuit.

When I D > 0 then VD = 0

The ideal diode
Short Circuit r s Vs + ID Vs I = D R +r L s RL Vs + V = Vs D Open Circuit r s RL

Example using the Ideal Diode
Reverse Biased Diode +10v 1K +10v 1K Forward Biased Diode +10v 1K +10v 1K

0v

0v

0v

0v

Voltage across the diode V = 10v D

Voltage across the diode V =0 D

The Ideal Diode in circuit analysis.
Disadvantages q Gross approximation of the I-V characteristics Advantages q Simple to apply. q Yields a quick approximation

Summary
q q

q

q

Diodes have nonlinear I-V characteristics. The slope from any point on the diode I-V curve to the origin defines the DC resistance. The operational point of a simple diode circuit can be obtained graphically by the construction of a load line on the diode I-V. In the Ideal Diode approximation, the diode is modelled as:
– An open circuit for the diode reverse biased. – A short circuit for the diode forward biased.