1 Diodes EE223 Digital & Analogue Electronics Derek Molloy 2012/2013
2 Diodes: A Semiconductor? Conductors Such as copper, aluminium have a cloud of free electrons weak bound valence electrons in the outermost orbit of their atoms. If an electric field is applied, current will flow. Insulators Such as plastics, valence electrons are tightly bound to the nuclei of the atoms and few are able to break free to conduct a current. If an electric field is applied, current will not flow as there are no mobile charge carriers.
3 Diodes: A Semiconductor? Semiconductor (Semi-conductor!) Such as silicon - at low temperatures semiconductors have the properties of an insulator, but at higher temperatures some electrons are free to move and so it takes on the properties of a conductor. It isn t a very good conductor unless we dope the silicon (we will see this later)
4 Diodes: Semiconductor atoms with their four valence shell electrons
5 Diodes: An atom s orbital shell energy levels.
6 Diodes: Covalent bonding Pure Silicon Silicon is a tetravalent (4 valence electrons) material. Outermost electron shell can accommodate 8 electrons and the atom is stable when it is in this form. At low Temperatures: Tight bonding means no electrons free to conduct current. At higher Temperatures: Thermal vibration of the crystal lattice results in some of the bonds being broken, generating free electrons and leaving behind holes.
7 Diodes: Temperature effects on semiconductor materials At room temperature the number of charge carriers present in pure silicon is small and it is a poor conductor we call this intrinsic conduction.
8 Diodes: Pure Silicon Valence band and conduction band actions. Higher Temperatures: Generating an Electron- Hole Pair. Cooling Temperature again: Recombination
11 Diodes: Doping Adding small amounts of impurities to silicon Can hugely affect its properties especially if it can fit within the crystal lattice but has a different number of valence electrons. For example: Phosphorus Its fifth valence electron is very weakly bound Has an excess of free electrons Called n-type semiconductors as they have free negative charge carriers
12 Diodes: An n-type semiconductor material Negative Charge Carriers (n-type) Adding pentavalent impurities to create an n- Type semiconductor material Has greater conductivity than pure silicon Majority charge carrier in n-type material is electrons
13 Diodes: p-type Doping A hole? If we add a trivalent doping such as Boron and it fits in the silicon lattice, then the absence of an electron in the outer shell leaves a hole This hole can move from atom to atom and acts like a positive charge carrier (just like an electron) These are called p-type semiconductors as they have free positive charge carriers
14 A p-type semiconductor Adding trivalent impurities to create a p-type semiconductor material material
15 Diode: Putting it together Figure directly from: Electronics A Systems Approach, 4 th edition, by Neil Storey, Pearson (Prentice Hall) Doped silicon is also electrically neutral (like non-doped silicon) each mobile charge carrier is matched by an equal number of bound charge carriers of the opposite polarity. The dominant charge carriers (electrons in n-type, holes in p-type) are called majority charge carriers.
16 Diode: Putting it together However, when we join p-type and n-type doped silicon to create a pn or np junction: n-type electrons diffuse across the joint and recombine with free holes p-type holes diffuse to the n- type side and combine with free electrons We end up with a depletion layer, where there are few mobile charge carriers We now have a potential barrier that charge carriers must overcome to cross the barrier! Figure directly from: Electronics A Systems Approach, 4 th edition, by Neil Storey, Pearson (Prentice Hall)
17 Diode: With No Applied Voltage Figure directly from: Electronics A Systems Approach, 4 th edition, by Neil Storey, Pearson (Prentice Hall) In Isolation (no applied voltage), some majority charge carriers cross the depletion layer, creating a small diffusion current (moving from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration without an electric field); however there is exactly equivalent movement of minority charge carriers in the opposite direction (a drift current). The drift current cancels out the diffusion current.
18 Diode: Forward Bias Figure directly from: Electronics A Systems Approach, 4 th edition, by Neil Storey, Pearson (Prentice Hall) In Forward Bias - the p-type side is made positive with respect to the n- type side and the depletion layer shrinks. The height of the potential barrier decreases and majority carriers can now cross the barrier. Diffusion current > Drift current and there is a net current flow.
19 Diode: Reverse Bias Figure directly from: Electronics A Systems Approach, 4 th edition, by Neil Storey, Pearson (Prentice Hall) In Reverse Bias - the p-type side is made negative with respect to the n- type side and the depletion layer expands. The height of the potential barrier increases and this reduces the number of majority charge carriers that can cross the junction. Diffusion current < Drift current and the drift current dominates; however, drift current is determined by the rate of thermal generation of minority carriers and at room temperature this is only a few nano-amps (in small devices)
20 Forward Biasing a PN-Junction Passing current through in a forward direction When device conducting (current flow n p), threshold voltage appears as voltage drop across junction e.g. Si junction, voltmeter = 0.7V N.B. V Th for Si = 0.7V V Th for Ger = 0.3V Fig (d) Forward-biased PN junction acts as closed switch with small resistance Switch opens again, when applied voltage drops < V Th needed for n p
21 Reverse Biasing a P-N Junction p-side made more negative with respect to the n-side Reverse-biased PN Junction High resistance No current flow (leakage) => no voltage drop (e.g. voltmeter=10v) Essentially open switch
24 Diode: Worked Examples Solution of (a) I=0mA and V=6V Solution of (b) I=(Vs-Vpn)/R I=6.08mA (i.e. V R = 7.3V, taking Vpn=0.7V)
25 Diode: Simple Ideal-Diode Model The ideal diode acts as a short circuit for forward currents and as an open circuit with reverse voltage applied.
26 Diode: Forward Characteristic (Ideal-Diode) I I V V B including the barrier potential V i i Forward Biased Diode Model i With barrier potential + V B Reverse Biased Diode Model +
27 Diode Voltage/Current Characteristic Summary From: Electrical Engineering: Principles and Applications, 3 rd Ed. Allan R. Hambley, 2005 Pearson Education, Inc.
28 Diode: Voltage/Current characteristic From: Electrical Engineering: Principles and Applications, 3 rd Ed. Allan R. Hambley, 2005 Pearson Education, Inc.
29 Diode Voltage/Current characteristic
30 Diode: Forward/Reverse Current We can approximately model current through a pn junction as: = / 1 This is known as the Shockley Equation, where, I is the current through the junction I s is a constant called the reverse saturation current e is the electronic charge V is the applied voltage Ƞ (eta) is a constant in the range of 1-2 (for example: 1 for germanium and 1.3 for silicon) k is Boltzmann s constant ( J/K) T is the absolute temperature If we assume that Ƞ = 1, then = / 1 In Reverse bias: At room temperatures if V is less than -0.1 then the exponential is very small, so: = 0 1 = In Forward bias: At room temperatures if V is greater than +0.1 then the exponential is large compared to -1, so: = / At room temperatures e/kt = 40V -1 so we can say: = 40 Figure From: Electrical Engineering: Principles and Applications, 3 rd Ed. Allan R. Hambley, 2005 Pearson Education, Inc.
31 Diode Application: Half-Wave Rectifier From: Electrical Engineering: Principles and Applications, 3 rd Ed. Allan R. Hambley, 2005 Pearson Education, Inc.
32 Diode Application: Half-Wave Rectifier (with smoothing) From: Electrical Engineering: Principles and Applications, 3 rd Ed. Allan R. Hambley, 2005 Pearson Education, Inc.
33 Diode Application: Full-Wave Rectifier From: Electrical Engineering: Principles and Applications, 3 rd Ed. Allan R. Hambley, 2005 Pearson Education, Inc.
34 Load Line (Slide 1) V = R. i + SS We know R and V SS. What are i D and v D? D v D
35 V SS = R.i D + v D. Load Line (Slide 2) Need a second equation to solve for both i D and v D. Can use Shockley equation for this, or draw both on a graph.
36 Load Line (Slide 3)
37 Load Line (Slide 4) Example 10.1 V SS = 2V, R = 1kΩ. Find i D and v D. Find intercepts of load line with axes: V SS = R.i D + v D, so v D = 0 i D = V SS /R = 2mA. Similarly i D = 0 v D = 2V.
38 Load Line (Slide 5) So, what are i D and v D? For this diode characteristic: i D = 1.3mA and v D = 0.7V
39 Load Line (Slide 6) Example 10.2 V SS = 10V, R = 10kΩ. Find i D and v D. Find intercepts of load line with axes: V SS = R.i D + v D, so v D = 0, and i D = V SS /R = 1mA. i D = 0 v D = 10V (off the page!) so try v D = 2, which gives i D = 0.8mA.
40 Zener Diodes Diodes that are intended to operate in the breakdown region are called Zener diodes.
41 Zener diode Recall for a regular diode: Reverse biased diode: No Current flow Unless V RB > V breakdown (50V) Reverse breakdown Large reverse current If not limited, diode burnout! Regular Diode Voltage/Current Transfer Characteristic Now: A Zener Diode Same as regular Diode But designed to allow controlled reverse Current flow with reduced breakdown voltage ( Zener Voltage - V ZK ) E.g. V ZK = 10V Reverse conducting mode - V ZK appears across device (remember V Th appearing across forward conducting diode) Exploit constant voltage, e.g. voltage regulation + V ZK
42 Zener Diodes 1
43 Zener Diodes 2 V SS + R.i D + v D = 0 (note that i D is in anode-cathode direction.) If we change V SS, v D remains nearly constant. Acts as voltage regulator.
44 Zener Diodes 3
45 Zener Diodes 4 Example 10.3 R = 1kΩ; find v D for V SS = 15V and for V SS = 20V. Although V SS changes by 5V, v D changes by only 0.5V; this is called regulation.
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