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Semiconductor Device Physics. Lecture 7 PN Junction Diodes: I-V Characteristics Dr. Gaurav Trivedi , EEE Department, IIT Guwahati. M ajority carriers. M ajority carriers. Qualitative Derivation. Current Flow in a pn Junction Diode.

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Semiconductor Device Physics


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    1. Semiconductor Device Physics Lecture 7 PN Junction Diodes: I-V Characteristics Dr. GauravTrivedi, EEE Department, IIT Guwahati

    2. Majority carriers Majority carriers Qualitative Derivation

    3. Current Flow in a pn Junction Diode • When a forward bias (VA > 0) is applied, the potential barrier to diffusion across the junction is reduced. • Minority carriers are “injected” into the quasi-neutral regions Δnp > 0, Δpn > 0. • Minority carriers diffuse in the quasi-neutral regions, recombining with majority carriers.

    4. Ideal Diode: Assumptions • Steady-state conditions. • Non-degenerately doped step junction. • One-dimensional diode. • Low-level injection conditions prevail in the quasi-neutral regions. • No processes other than drift, diffusion, and thermal R–G take place inside the diode.

    5. Current Flow in a pn Junction Diode • Current density J = JN(x) + JP(x) • JN(x) and JP(x) may vary with position, but J is constant throughout the diode. • Yet an additional assumption is now made, that thermal recombination-generation is negligible throughout the depletion region  JN and JP are therefore determined to be constants independent of position inside the depletion region.

    6. Carrier Concentrations at –xp, +xn • Consider the equilibrium carrier concentrations at VA = 0: p-side n-side • If low-level injection conditions prevail in the quasi-neutral regions when VA 0, then:

    7. “Law of the Junction” • The voltage VA applied to a pn junction falls mostly across the depletion region (assuming that low-level injection conditions prevail in the quasi-neutral regions). • Two quasi-Fermi levels is drawn in the depletion region:

    8. Excess Carrier Concentrations at –xp, xn p-side n-side

    9. Excess Carrier Distribution • From the minority carrier diffusion equation, • For simplicity, we develop a new coordinate system: • We have the following boundary conditions: • Then, the solution is given by: • LP : hole minority carrier diffusion length

    10. Excess Carrier Distribution • New boundary conditions • From the x’ → ∞, • From the x’ → 0, • Therefore • Similarly,

    11. pn Diode I–V Characteristic n-side p-side

    12. pn Diode I–V Characteristic • Shockley Equation,for ideal diode • I0 can be viewed as the drift current due to minority carriers generated within the diffusion lengths of the depletion region

    13. Diode Saturation Current I0 • I0 can vary by orders of magnitude, depending on the semiconductor material, due to ni2 factor. • In an asymmetrically doped pn junction, the term associated with the more heavily doped side is negligible. • If the p side is much more heavily doped, • If the n side is much more heavily doped,

    14. Diode Carrier Currents • Total current density is constant inside the diode • Negligible thermal R-G throughout depletion region  dJN/dx = dJP/dx = 0

    15. Excess minority carriers Excess minority carriers Carrier Concentration: Forward Bias • Law of the Junction • Low level injection conditions

    16. Carrier Concentration: Reverse Bias • Deficit of minority carriers near the depletion region. • Depletion region acts like a “sink”, draining carriers from the adjacent quasineutral regions

    17. Deviations from the Ideal I-V Behavior