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BITS Pilani

Dubai Campus

Ch 6:

SEMICONDUCTORS

CONTENTS:
1. INTRODUCTION
2. N- TYPE AND P-TYPE
3. PN- JUNCTION
4. DIODE AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS
5. DIODE CIRCUITS
6. ZENER DIODES

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Development of Electronics
1st Generation: 2nd Generation:

Vacuum diodes

Semiconductor diodes & single transistor


Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

3rd Generation:

4th Generation:

Small and Medium Scale Integrated Circuits (SSI) or chip


(less than 100 , 100-1000 Transistors per Integrated Circuit )

LSI: 1 k -10 k
VLSI: 10 k - 1M

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

5th Generation:

6th Generation:
>1 billion Transistors

?
Can u name it?
Ultra Large Scale Integration: > 1M

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

CONDUCTORS
The flow of charge (current) results from the movement of
electrons.
In case of a metal the atom consists of outer most valence
electrons which are free to move and positively charged
ions which consist of nucleus and tightly bound electrons.
Because of thermal energy, the free electrons continually
move and collide with the stationary positive ion and as a
result of this collision the electron changes its direction of
motion.
The average distance between collisions is called the Mean
free path.

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

When a voltage V is applied


to the metal, E results. E =
V/d
The electrons then go from a
lower potential to higher
potential at a speed u called
the drift speed, given by
u = E,
where
section
is the area
mobility
Consider a metallic conductor with
cross
A andof
L be the len
electrons
the conductor.

N is the number of free electrons

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Suppose these electrons move to the left with a drift


speed u.
The motion of N electrons to the left results in a current i
to the right.
Let T be the time taken by an electron to travel a
distance of L m. Then u = L/T
T = L/u
We define current, i = Nq/T = Nq/(L/u) = Nqu/L
and current density J = i/A = Nqu/LA

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

The volume of the conductor is LA


Then the density of free electrons n is
n = N/LA
Thus J = nqu
where nq is the charge density in C/ m 3

WKT : u = E and J = nqu


Thus J = nqE = E where
= nqu is called conductivity of the metal
with units (-m)-1
Hence is proportional to n which is the density of free
electrons
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

The reciprocal of conductivity is called resistivity


= 1/
Now i = JA ( since J = i/A)
i = EA = EAL/L = Av/L (since EL = v where
v is the voltage across the conductor).

Thus i = Av/L or by Ohms law i =v/R (where


resistance of the conductor is R = L/ A = L/ A

n value for: conductor = 1028 to 1029


insulator = 107
semiconductor = 107 to 1029 at 300K

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

EXAMPLES:

A 10 6 m 2 , n 1.81 10 29 / m 3 , 10 3 m 2 / V s
a ) nq 1.81 10 29 1.6 10 19 10 3
2.9 x107 mhos / m
b) 1 / 1 / 2.9 107 3.45 10 8 m
c) R L / A
R 34.5m

1 / 2.9 107 10 6
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

n: L=1M,d= 10-3 m, r= 0.5x 10-3 m, R = 2.2 x 10-2 , I= 2A ,n =8.43x 1028 m-3

a) Current density J= i/A= I/r2 = 2/3.14x(0.5x10-3 )2 , J =


2.55x106 A/m2
b) Drift speed u = J/nq = 2.55x106 / 8.43x 1028 x 1.6x 10 -19 , u
= 1.89x10-4 m/s
c) WKT v=ir = 2(2.2x10-2 ) = 4.4x 10-2 volts
Thus E = 4.4 x 10-2 / L= 4.4 x 10-2 / 1 = = 4.4 x 10-2 V/m
Therefore Mobility = u/E = 4.3X10-3 m2 /V-s
d) Conductivity = nq = 5.3x 107 mhos/m
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Diffusion current and drift


current
1.Diffusion current results due to flow of charge carriers
from region of high concentration to region of low
concentration i.e. due to a concentration gradient.
2. Diffusion current occurs when there is no electric field
applied to the semiconductor.
3.Drift current arises due to an electric field. The positively
charged holes move with the electric field and negatively
charged electrons move against the electric field.

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Band Theory :

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Intrinsic Semiconductor:
A two dimensional picture
of a semiconductor (Si or
Ge) has the following
crystal structure.
(a) 4 valence electrons
(b) Covalent bonds
(c) Bad conductor at low temp

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

At room temp, thermal


energy can break the
covalent bond by dislodging
a valence electron. This
results in a vacant space
called hole.
The combination of hole
and the resulting free
electron is known as hole
electron pair.
Energy of an electron hole pair is 1.1eV for Si and 0.72 for Ge.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

(a) Electron current


(b) Hole current
(c) No. of electrons (n) = no. of holes (p)
(d) Electron density = hole density = 1.5 x1015 cm-3
(e) in metals the conduction is unipolar
where as in semiconductos, it is bipolar (due to electron
and hole currents)

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

When a voltage is applied across


a piece of Si, electron current
Hole current

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Example 6.2
At 300 K , the intrinsic concentration of silicon is 1.5x 10 16
m-3. . The free electron mobility is 0.13 m 2 / V-s and the
hole mobility is 0.05m2 / V-s. What is the conductivity of
Si?

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

DOPED SEMICONDUCTORS
The conductivity of sc increases with increase in temp
since more electron hole pairs are produced.
To further increase the conductivity , a small amount of
impurity is added to the sc. These are known as doped
sc.
Usually a pentavalent ( arsenic or phosphorus) or
trivalent impurity ( Boron or Gallium) is added to the sc
such as silicon and germanium.
There are two types of doped sc: N-type and P type.

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

N type semiconductor.
Each impurity atom has 5
valence electrons, only four
of which are used for
covalent bonding.
There is one excess free
electron for each impurity
atom.
Since such an impurity
atom donates a free
electron, it is called donor
impurity and is responsible
for conductivity.
The majority carriers
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

P Type semiconductor:
Each impurity atom ( here
Boron) has 3 valence electrons,
hence each impurity atom
produces an excess hole.
This hole will accept a free
electron and is hence called
Acceptor impurity.
In P type sc, the majority
charge carriers are holes
and minority charge carriers
are electrons.

Both P and N type


semicondutors are

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

MASS ACTION LAW:


Under thermal equilibrium of a semiconductor,

np n

2
i

Where n is the free electron concentration, p is the hole


concentration and ni is the intrinsic concentration of the
semiconductor.
Let ND = Donor atom concentration and NA = Acceptor atom
concentration
As the atom is electrically neutral, ND + p = NA + n
For n type semiconductor NA = 0 (since n type is donor )
Thus ND + p = n or ND = n-p
Now for n type n >> p hence ND =n
or p = ni 2/n = ni 2/ ND
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

In summary, for an n type semiconductor


ni2
n ND and p
ND

Similarly for p type semiconductor


ni2
p NA and n
NA

A good approximation for conductivity of an n


type sc is (n>>p) ie = nn q and for p type sc
= pp q
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

The Junction Diode:


A p-n junction is a junction formed
by joining p-type and n- type semiconductor together in very close
contact.
Junction - the region where the p and
n type semiconductors meet i.e.,
the boundary between the two sides
The p doped and the n doped sc are
relatively conducting and the junction is
non-conducting.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

The Junction Diode:


The non-conducting layer is called the depletion
zone. Here the charge carriers in the doped n
type and p type attract each other in a process
called recombination.
By manipulating the non-conducting layer , p-n
junctions are commonly used as diodes.
Diodes allow flow of electricity in one direction
only.

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

A p-n junction and a junction


diode: Zero bias

.P-

type is to the left and contains excess holes and n-type


is to the right containing excess electrons as majority
charge carriers.
Since there is a concentration gradient across the
junction diffusion results electrons diffuse to the left and
holes diffuse to the right .Holes leave behind ve ions and
electrons leave behind +ve ions
The net effect is a diffusion current to the right since
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

When the holes and electrons meet in the vicinity of the of


the junction they combine and are neutralized.
Since the region near the junction is free of charge carriers
it is called the depletion region.
The ions in the depletion region create an E directed from
right to left.
This produces a drift of electrons to the right and drift of
holes to the left and hence a drift current is set up to the
left.
If there are no external connections to the junction the
diffusion and drift current add up to zero.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Forward Bias:
Occurs when p- side (anode) is connected the positive terminal
of the battery and n-type (cathode) is connected to the negative
terminal.
With a battery connected like this, the holes in the p- side and
electrons in the n side are pushed towards the junction.
Hence the width of the depletion region decreases.
The depletion region is narrow enough that electrons can cross
the junction and inject into the p side(left) where they
recombine with holes and similarly holes cross over the junction
and inject into the n side (right).
Net result is hole current and electron current are both to the
right.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Reverse Bias:

The positive terminal of the battery is connected to the


cathode (n side) and the negative terminal is connected
to the anode (p side)
Here the holes in the p type material drift to the left and
are pulled away from the junction.
The electrons in the n- type material drift to the right and
are also pulled away from the junction.
Result is a widened depletion region. Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

A potential of VO + V is developed across the junction


where V is the battery potential and VO is the barrier
potential.
In n type, holes are minority charge carriers and they drift
into the depletion region where they are pushed across by E
to the left.
In p type , electrons are minority charge carriers and their
drift is to the right.
Net effect is a small current IS called Reverse Saturation
current or saturation current through the diode
directed to the left.
If V is very large, the junction breaks down and a large
current results.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

The i-v characteristic curve of


a diode:
V is the voltage across the
diode and i is the current
through it.
v /VT
The relation
between
i is :
iI e
1v and
Eqn 1

Forward bias

Reverse bias

Where IS is the reverse saturation


current
VT = T/11,586 is the volt
equivalent of temp.
= emission constant = 1 for Ge
& 2 for Si.
In the graph in FB as V >> , i >>.
In RB there is a small saturation
current due to minority charge
carriers and as VDr. =
-VZ there
isDubai
a Campus
G. AMARANATH,
BITS Pilani,

If the diode is in FB and V > 0.2 V, then at room temp to a good


approximation, i I e v /VT
S

If the diode is RB and -VZ <V < 0.2 V, then to a good


approx i = -IS
If V = -VZ then diode breaks down in RB and a very large
negative current flows.
When i < -IS then voltage across the diode is
constant then V= VZ

From eqn 1,
So

Eqn valid fori > -IS


Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Diode Behaviour:
I-V characteristics
For a case when diode is FB (i >0,v>0) in Ge and Si

For a given voltage Ge diode has a much larger current


than Si.
For Ge the current at <0.2 volts is very small. Only when
voltage exceeds 0.2 volts the current >>>.
Dr. G. AMARANATH,
ForBITS
SiPilani,
it Dubai
is Campus

This voltage at which the current starts increasing is


called cut-in voltage .
For Ge, V = 0.2 v and for Si, V =0.5 v
The saturation current is depends on temperature.
IS is a function of T in RB.
Relation between IS and T is :
where IS (Ta ) is the saturation current at temperature Ta
and IS (Tb ) is the saturation current at temperature Tb

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Temperature dependance of
diode I-V characteristics:
For a given voltage v, diode
current >> as T >>.
Solid curve is i-v characteristic of
a diode at temp Ta
and dashed curve is at Tb where
Tb > Ta
If v=v2 for Ta then i=i1 and i =i2 for
Tb > Ta
To maintain current I = i1 when
temp >> from Ta to Tb then diode
voltage should be lowered from v2
to v1.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

In mathematical terms:

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

DIODE CIRCUITS:
The relation between i and v in a diode is :
/VT

i I S (e

By KVL: v1 = v+iR

1) where I S , , T are given.


or

i = -1/R (v) +v1 /R


This is the eqn of a straight line whose
slope is 1/R and vertical axis
` intercept is v1 /R.
This straight line is called load line
and can be plotted.

Diode
circuit
Dr. G. AMARANATH,
BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

The load line and the i-v


characteristic curve of the
diode intersect at a point
Q.

Graphical analysis of a diode circuit

Q is called the quiescent


operating point or Qpoint.
IQ and VQ are the current
and voltage
corresponding to the QDr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

DRILL EX: 6.5(tutorial)


A Si diode has a reverse saturation current of 1nA at 300k.Find i
when v is 0.7 volts.
Soln:
a ) i I (e v /VT 1)
S

10 9 (e 0.7 x11,586 / 2 x 300 1) 10 9 (e13.52 1)


741921.4486 x10 9 0.000742
i 0.742mA
b) A Si diode has reverse saturation current of 1nA
at 300 k . Find v when i 0.5nA.
i
v VT ln(
1)
IS

2 x300
0.5 x10 9
v 0.035V
v
ln

1
9
11,586
1x10

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Drill Ex: 6.69(tutorial)


Given that the current through a IN4153 silicon diode is 10mA at
300K, find the voltage across the diode when the temperature
is 290K.
Soln: WKT:

I S Tb 2

Tb Ta

/ 10 I S Ta

I S 290 2 290300 /10 I S 300

1
I S 290 2 10 10 10 10 3 5mA
2

2 290 10 10 3
v VT ln i / is 1
ln
1
3
11,586 5 10

v 0.726volts
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

THE IDEAL DIODE:


Ideal diode is a two terminal
device whose i-v characteristics
are shown below:
(sc)

(oc)

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

For an ideal diode:


When current is in forward direction (forward bias) the voltage
across the diode is zero, which means diode behaves as a short
circuit.
When voltage across an ideal diode is non-positive (for reverse
bias), the current through the diode is zero which means diode
behaves as an open circuit.

Steps to be followed for solving problems:


1. When diode is FB we say its ON.
2. When diode is RB we say its OFF.
3. After assuming diodes are ON or OFF we replace them by short
circuit or open ciruit respectively.
4. We then apply known analysis techniques to the resulting linear
circuits.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

RULES:
1. If current through an ON (FB) diode is calculated to be
non-positive, that means we assumed wrong; it should
have been OFF.
2. Then change assumptions and repeat analysis.
3. Similarly if voltage across an OFF (RB) diode is
calculated to be positive, then our assumption was
incorrect. It should have been assumed ON (FB).
4. Again redo analysis.
5. If all diodes assumed to be ON are found to have
positive currents and if all diodes assumed to be OFF
are found to have non-positive voltages then our
assumptions were right.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Diode as a half wave rectifier:

Consider the case of a +ve input voltage ie v S > 0


v.
Since current goes through a resistor from higher
to lower potential let us assume that diode D is
ON.
Replace D by a short circuit
By Ohms law i= vS /R

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Now consider Vs < 0


Assume D is OFF.
Replace D by open ciruit.
Since I = 0 , by KVL v= v S i R
or v = v S since i R =0

Since v S <= 0 then v <=0.


Our assumption that D is OFF is correct.
If v S > 0 , then v O = v S ----------- ON
If v S <= 0 , then v O = I R = 0------- OFF
Thus the output voltage is

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Diode as a clipper:
Clipper circuit
Assume D is ON (ie D is sc). The
circuit is

There are two voltage sources.


If vS > 0 then vS will forward bias the diode.
The 3 volts source tends to reverse bias the diode D
(since cathode connected to +ve of 3volts source.
We find which voltage source dominates.

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

Thus by Ohms law:

And by KCL

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

When D is ON, then by KVL , we have v0 = 3V


Lets see now what is the output voltage when D is OFF.
Consider the following circuit now with D OFF (ie oc)
By voltage division rule we
have:
Now we know D is OFF
when v<= 0.
Since v =v0 3 ( by
KVL)then diode is OFF when
Which is what we obtained earlier.
Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus

The output voltage v0 is:

uppose if the input voltage was a sinusoid wave with an amplitude of 6volts then
e output voltage v0 when plotted will be clipped as shown:

Dr. G. AMARANATH, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus