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# Diode Circuits

The left hand diagram shows reverse bias, with positive on the
cathode and negative on the anode (via the lamp). No current flows.
The other diagram shows forward bias, with positive on the anode and
negative on the cathode. A current flows.
Practical Aspects of pn Junction
anode
cathode
Forward bias
Reversed bias
-
-
+
+
Polarization of the pn Junction
Forward bias
examples
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
Polarization of the pn Junction
Reversed bias
examples
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
P P N N
P
P
N
N
1. DMM = 0
2. DMM =
Diode Ohms Check
Diode Ohms Check:
Checks preformed on Si diode, by reversing the leads on the
Digital Voltage Mutimeter (DMM).
DMM
+
-
Diode Voltages
A conducting diode has about 0.6 volts across if silicon, 0.3 volts if germanium.
To forward bias a diode,
the anode must be more
positive than the
cathode or LESS
NEGATIVE.
To reverse bias a
diode, the anode must
be less positive than
the cathode or MORE
NEGATIVE.
A Diode Puzzle
Which lamps are alight? Some may not be full brightness.
+
-
+
-
A Diode Puzzle
Which lamps are alight? Some may not be full brightness.
+
-
+
-
Which lamps are alight? Some may not be full brightness.
+
-
+
-
Exercise - a Diode Puzzle
Which lamps are alight? Some may not be full brightness.
+
-
+
-
Exercise - a Diode Puzzle
Diode Characteristic
A diode is a nonlinear device and typical linear circuit
analysis methods do not apply!
circuit
D R
Rp
Ev
V reading
A reading
Diode Characteristic for Small-Signal Diodes
less than 1mA at 300K
When the temperature is increasing the knee voltage V
knee

decreases by about 2mV/K
q
kT
V
nV
v
I i
T
T
d
s D

1
]
1

,
_

1 exp
V
knee
n ~ 1-2
V
T
~ 26 mV
Analysis of Diode Circuits
Nodal analysis
Mesh analysis
Kirchhoffs voltage law
Thevenin & Norton theorems
D D ss
v Ri V +
V
th
/R
Th
V
th
Slope=-1/R
Th
Example 10.1
Analysis of Diode Circuits
D o
v V
Thevenin
equivalent
+
-
+
-
i
o
V
o v
D
i
D
KVL
KCL
D o
i i
Their characteristics
intersect
Analysis of Diode Circuits
Nodal analysis
Mesh analysis
Kirchhoffs voltage law
Thevenin & Norton theorems
D D ss
v Ri V +
V
th
/R
Th
V
th
Slope=-1/R
Th
Example 10.1
Load-Line Analysis
Problem
If the circuit shown below has Vss=2V and R=1k and a diode with ch-tic
shown, find the diode voltage and current at the operating point
D D ss
v Ri V +
Repeat for:
Vss=10V and R=10k
V
DQ
=0.68V and i
DQ
=0.93mA
Zener Diode - Voltage Regulator (reverse biased)
A Zener diode is a type of diode that permits current not only in the forward
direction like a normal diode, but also in the reverse direction if the voltage is
larger than the breakdown voltage known as "Zener knee voltage" or "Zener
voltage".
Zener Diode - Voltage Regulator (reverse biased)
Kirchhoffs voltage law
V
ss
+ Ri
D
+v
D
=0
Problem
Find the output voltage for Vss=15V
and Vss=20V if R=1k and a Zener
diode has the ch-tic shown below.
Load Line analysis
Reverse bias region
Slope of the load is -1/R
Load Line Analysis of Complex Circuits
Thevenin Equivalent
Problem
Consider the Zener diode regulator shown in figure (a). Find the load voltage
v
L
and the source current i
S
if Vss=24V, R=1.2k and RL=6k.
Problem
Consider the Zener diode regulator shown in figure (a). Find the load voltage
v
L
and the source current i
S
if Vss=24V, R=1.2k and RL=6k.
Exercise find Thevenin equivalent
Problem
Consider the Zener diode regulator shown in figure (a). Find the load voltage
v
L
and the source current i
S
if Vss=24V, R=1.2k and RL=6k.
V
T
=V
ss
*(R
L
/(R+R
L
))=20V
R
T
=(RR
L
)/(R+R
L
)=1k
Thevenin equivalent
V
T
+ R
T
i
D
+ V
D
= 0
Load line equation
Finally i
S
=(V
SS
-V
L
)/R=11.67 mA (from circuit a)
Exercise 10.4 & 10.5
i
D
=-10mA
V
L
=-V
D
=10V
Ideal diode Model
Useful for circuits with more than one diode
(1) Assume a state for each diode, either
on or off -2
n
combinations
(2) Assume a short circuit for diode on
and an open circuit for diode off
(3) Check to see if the result is
consistent with the assumed state
for each diode (current must flow in
the forward direction for diode on
and the voltage across the diodes
assumed to be off must be positive
at the cathode reverse bias)
(4) If the results are consistent with
the assumed states, the analysis is
finished. Otherwise return to step (1)
and choose a different combination
of diode states.
Problem
Analyze the circuit shown below using the ideal diode model. Start by
assuming the D1 is off and D2 is on.
7V
Not consistent with
the assumption that
D2 if off
-3V
Exercise 10.6 & 10.7 & 10.8
Problem
Analyze the circuit shown below using the ideal diode model. Start by
assuming the D1 is off and D2 is on.
7V
-3V
Not consistent with
the assumption that
D1 is off
Problem
Analyze the circuit shown below using the ideal diode model. Start by
assuming the D1 is off and D2 is on.
7V
-3V
This is OK
Piecewise Linear Diode Models
More accurate that the ideal diode model and do not relies on nonlinear
equation or graphical techniques.
(1) Diode V-I ch-tic approximated by
straight line segments
(2) We model each section of the diode
I-V ch-tic with R in series with a fixed
voltage source
v = R
a
i + V
a

Problem
Find circuit models for the Zener-diode volt-ampere ch-tic shown in figure
below using the piecewise-linear diode model.
Draw a line
Look for intercept (0.6V)
& the reciprocal of the
slope (1/R)
(1.6V-0.6V)/100mA=10
Repeat for the reverse bias
Open circuit approximation
Exercise 10.7