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ReviewofBasicSemiconductorPhysics

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics1

CurrentFlowandConductivity
Area = A

Charge in volume Ax=Q

=qnAx=qnAvt
CurrentdensityJ=(Q/t)A-1
=qnv

Metals - gold, platinum, silver, copper, etc.


n = 1023 cm-3 ;

= 107 mhos-cm

Insulators - silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, aluminum oxide


n < 103 cm-3 ;

< 10-10 mhos-cm

Semiconductors - silicon, gallium arsenide, diamond, etc.


108 < n <1019 cm-3 ; 10-10 << 104 mhos-cm
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics2

ThermalIonization
broken bond

Siatomshave
thermalvibrations
aboutequilibrium
point.

ionized
silicon
atom

Smallpercentageof
Siatomshavelarge
enoughvibrational
energytobreak
covalentbondand
liberateanelectron.

+
-

free
electron

covalent bond
neutral silicon atom

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics3

ElectronsandHoles
T3>T2>T1

t = T1

Densityoffreeelectrons
=n:Densityoffree
holes=p
p=n=ni(T)=intrinsic
carrierdensity.

ni2(T)=Cexp(qEg/(kT))
=1020cm6at300K

generation of B

t=T
2

T=tempinK
k=1.4x1023joules/K
Eg=energygap=1.1
eV
insilicon
q=1.6x1019coulombs
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

recombination of B

apparent
movement
of "Hole"

t=T
3

SemiconductorPhysics4

DopedSemiconductors
Extrinsic(doped)semiconductors:p=pon= noni
Carrierdensityestimates:
Lawofmassactionnopo=ni2(T)
ChargeneutralityNa+no=Nd+po
PtypesiliconwithNa>>ni:
poNa,noni2/Na
empty
bond

NtypesiliconwithNd>>ni:
noNd,poni2/Nd
extra valance
electron

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics5

NonequilibriumandRecombination
ThermalEquilibriumCarriergeneration=Carrierrecombination
n=noandp=po
Nonequilibriumn>noandp>po
n=no+nandp=no+n;n=excesscarrierdensity
Excessholesandexcesselectronscreatedinequalnumbersbybreakingofcovalent
bonds
Generationmechanismslight(photoelectriceffect),injection,impactionization
Recombinationremovalofexcessholesandelectrons
Mechanismsfreeelectroncapturedbyemptycovalentbond(hole)ortrappedby
impurityorcrystalimperfection
Rateequation:d(n)/dt=n
Solutionn=n(0)et
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics6

CarrierLifetimes
=excesscarrierlifetime
Usuallyassumedtobeconstant.Changesintwoimportantsituations.
increaseswithtemperatureT
decreasesatlargeexcesscarrierdensities;=o/[1+(n/nb)2]

Controlofcarrierlifetimevalues.
Switchingtimeonstatelosstradeoffmandatesgoodlifetimecontrol.
Controlviauseofimpuritiessuchasgoldlifetimekillers.
Controlviaelectronirradiationmoreuniformandbettercontrol.

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics7

CurrentFlow

Drift

Diffusion
p

+
-

Jn

x
+

Jdrift=qnnE+qppE
n=1500cm2/Vsecforsiliconat
roomtemp.andNd<1015cm3
p=500cm2/Vsecforsiliconat
roomtemp.andNa<1015cm3

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

Jdiff=Jn+Jp=qDndn/dxqDpdp/dx
Dn/n=Dp/p=kT/q;Einsteinrelation
D=diffusionconstant,=carriermobility
TotalcurrentdensityJ=Jdrift+Jdiff

SemiconductorPhysics8

PNJunction
metallurgical junction

N
A

N
A

N
A

ND

NA

Step (abrupt) junction


CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

Linearly graded junction


SemiconductorPhysics9

FormationofSpaceChargeLayer
metallurgical
junction

Diffusingelectronsandholes
leavetheregionnear
metallurgicaljunctiondepleted
offreecarriers(depletion
region).

ionized
acceptors

ionized
donors

+
+

P
-

Exposedionizedimpurities
formspacechargelayer.
Electricfieldduetospace
chargeopposesdiffusion.

Diffusing
electrons

+
+
+
+

N
+

Electric
field
opposing
diffusion
Diffusing
holes

space charge
layer width = W
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics10

QuantitativeDescriptionofSpaceChargeRegion

Assumestepjunction.
d 2

qN
d
-x p

-qN a

xn
c = -

E(x)dx

- xp

qNax p2 + qNdx n2
c = 2
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

xn

SemiconductorPhysics11

Contact(Builtin,Junction)Potential
d

InthermalequilibriumJn=q nn

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics12

ReverseBiasedStepJunction
Starting equations
W(V) = xn(V) + xp(V)


V +

+
+
++

Wo
W(V)

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics13

ForwardBiasedPNJunction
V

++
+

Wo

Forwardbiasfavors
diffusionoverdrift.

W(V)

ni 2
qV
pn(0) =
exp(
)
Nd
kT

ni 2
qV
exp(
) = np(0)
Na
kT

x
pn(x) = pn (0) exp(
)
Lp

n po

Minoritycarrier
diffusionlengths.

no

Qn =

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

Excessminority
carrierinjectioninto
bothpandndrift
regions.

Ln=[Dnn]0.5
Lp=[Dpp]0.5

SemiconductorPhysics14

IdealPNJunctionIVCharacteristics
Excesscarriersindriftregionsrecombinedandthusmoremustbe constantlyinjectedif
thedistributionsnp(x)andpn(x)aretobemaintained.
ConstantinjectionofelectronsandholesresultsinacurrentdensityJgivenby
Qn


J =

v
- J s
v
forward bias
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

reverse
bias

combined
characteristic

v
SemiconductorPhysics15

ReverseSaturationCurrent
Carrierdensitygradient
immediatelyadjacentto
depletionregioncauses
reversesaturationcurrentto
flowviadiffusion.

+
++

Wo

Jsindependentofreverse
voltageVbecausecarrier
densitygradientunaffectedby
appliedvoltage.

W(V)

n po

no

n p(x)

+
p (x)
n

x
Electric field, J
CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

Jsextremelytemperature
sensitivitybecauseof
dependenceonni2(T.)

s
SemiconductorPhysics16

ImpactIonization
EEBD;freeelectroncan
acquiresufficientfromthefield
betweenlatticecollisions(tc
1012sec)tobreakcovalentbond.
Energy=0.5mv2=qEg;v=qEBDtc
SolvingforEBD gives
2 Eg m
EBD=

2
q tc
Numericalevaluation

Si
-

Si
-

Electric field E

Si
-

m=1027grams,Eg=1.1eV,tc=1012sec.
EBD=

(2) (1.1) (1027)


=3x105V/cm
(1.6x1019) (1024)

Experimentalestimatesare23.5x105V/cm

CopyrightbyJohnWiley&Sons2003

SemiconductorPhysics17