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# ACTIVITY

## Use the electrical components provided to construct the

circuit below:

V
ACTIVITY
Connect the unknown component in series with the bulb and
state your:
Observations:
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Inference:
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SEMICONDUCTOR DIODES

Semiconductor diodes
Two modes of a diode
Testing a diode
A.C. to D.C.
Half wave rectification
Full wave rectification

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SEMICONDUCTOR DIODES
Semiconductor diodes are primarily made semiconducting
materials such as silicon. The other elements (such as Boron
and Germanium) added to the silicon makes it suitable to be
used in a diode.
Image:
Semiconductor diodes
function as a one way
electrical valves. They allow
current to flow in one direction Circuit Symbol:
and prevent it from flowing in
the opposite direction.

## • Semiconductor diodes have many applications in the field of

electronics but one of the main uses is to convert alternating
current to direct current. 4
THE TWO MODES OF A DIODE
• FORWARD BIASED MODE • REVERSED BIASED MODE
– Allow current to flow (when – Negligible current flows.
potential difference/voltage
across it is 0.7V or higher)

I/A

V/V
0.7

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I – V Relationship for Semiconductor diode
TESTING A DIODE
What determines if a semiconductor diode is functional or defective?
• The function of a diode is to allow current to flow in
one direction only, therefore it is considered
defective if:
– it allows current to flow in both directions or
– doesn’t allow current to flow in any direction.
How will you test a semiconductor diode ?
• To test whether a diode is defective or not, simply
connect to a direct current in both directions (i.e. in
both forward biased and reverse biased modes)
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CONVERTING A.C. TO D.C.
• The process by which an alternating current is
converted to direct current is called Rectification.

## • The Semiconductor diode is used to rectify an

alternating current and is therefore referred to as
a rectifier.

## • There are two types of rectification:

– Half-wave Rectification
– Full-wave Rectification
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CIRCUIT CONSTRUCTION SIMULATION

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HALF-WAVE RECTIFICATION
Recall:
Alternating current varies in direction and magnitude continuously
with time. SIMULATION
V/V

t/s

V/V

t/s

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HALF-WAVE RECTIFICATION
For A.C: When the voltage is positive, current flows through
the diode and there is a potential difference across the resistor.
When the voltage is negative, current flow is in the opposite
direction. The diode does not allow current to flow through and
hence, there is no potential difference across the resistor.
Half-wave Rectification occurs when only one direction of the
alternating current is rectified.

## a.c. input Half-wave rectification circuit Output across resistor

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Steady Direct Current vs. Half-wave Rectified
(Batteries) Alternating Current

SIMILARITIES:
• They are both direct current (i.e. the flow of current is in one
direction

DIFFERENCES:
• The magnitude of the current is constant for steady direct
current and fluctuating for half-wave Rectified current. 11
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FULL-WAVE RECTIFICATION
Full-wave rectification can be achieve by using a network of four
diodes. This network is referred to as a “Bridge rectifier”

A capacitor is used to
smooth the fluctuating
d.c. so that the value of
the current is
approximately constant

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