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Unit 7, Chapter 24. CPO Science Foundations of Physics. Unit 7: Electricity and Magnetism. Chapter 24 Electricity and Magnetism. 24.1 Semiconductors 24.2 Circuits with Diodes and Transistors 24.3 Digital Electronics. Chapter 24 Objectives.

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unit 7 chapter 24
Unit 7, Chapter 24

CPO Science

Foundations of Physics

unit 7 electricity and magnetism
Unit 7: Electricity and Magnetism

Chapter 24 Electricity and Magnetism

  • 24.1 Semiconductors
  • 24.2 Circuits with Diodes and Transistors
  • 24.3 Digital Electronics
chapter 24 objectives
Chapter 24 Objectives
  • Describe how a diode and transistor work in terms of current and voltage.
  • Explain the difference between a p-type and an n-type semiconductor.
  • Construct a half-wave rectifier circuit with a diode.
  • Construct a transistor switch.
  • Describe the relationship between inputs and outputs of the four basic logic gates.
  • Construct an adding circuit with logic gates.
chapter 24 vocabulary terms
Chapter 24 Vocabulary Terms
  • forward bias
  • reverse bias
  • bias voltage
  • p-type
  • n-type
  • depletion region
  • hole
  • collector
  • emitter
  • base
  • conductivity
  • p-n junction
  • logic gate
  • rectifier
  • diode
  • transistor
  • amplifier
  • gain
  • analog
  • digital
  • AND
  • OR
  • NAND
  • NOR
  • binary
  • CPU
  • program
  • memory
  • bit
  • integrated circuit
24 1 semiconductors
Key Question:

What are some useful properties of semiconductors?

24.1 Semiconductors

*Students read Section 24.1 AFTER Investigation 24.1

24 1 diodes
24.1 Diodes
  • A diode is a one-way valve for electric current.
  • Diodes are a basic building block of all electronics and are used to control the direction of current flowing in circuits.
24 1 diodes7
24.1 Diodes
  • When a diode is connected in a circuit so current flows through it, we say the diode is forward biased.
  • When the diode is reversed so it blocks the flow of current, the diode is reverse biased.
24 1 diodes8
In a forward-biased diode the current stays at zero until the voltage reaches the bias voltage (Vb), which is 0.6 V for common silicon diodes.

You can think of the bias voltage as the amount of energy difference it takes to open the diode.

24.1 Diodes
24 1 transistors
24.1 Transistors
  • A transistor allows you to controlthe current, not just block it in one direction.
  • A good analogy for a transistor is a pipe with an adjustable gate.
24 1 transistors10
A transistor has three terminals.

The main path for current is between the collector and emitter.

The base controls how much current flows, just like the gate controlled the flow of water in the pipe.

24.1 Transistors
24 1 transistors11
The current versus voltage graph for a transistor is more complicated than for a simple resistor because there are three variables.

A transistor is very sensitive; ten-millionths of an amp makes a big difference in the resistance between the collector and emitter.

24.1 Transistors
24 1 conductivity and semiconductors
24.1 Conductivity and semiconductors
  • The relative ease at which electric current flows through a material is known as conductivity.
  • Conductors (like copper) have very high conductivity.
  • Insulators (like rubber) have very low conductivity.
  • The conductivity of a semiconductor depends on its conditions.
  • For example, at low temperatures and low voltages a semiconductor acts like an insulator.
  • When the temperature and/or the voltage is increased, the conductivity increases and the material acts more like a conductor.
24 1 metals as conductors
24.1 Metals as conductors
  • Metals are good conductors because a small percentage of electrons are free to separate from atoms and move independently.
24 1 nonmetals as conductors
24.1 Nonmetals as conductors
  • In an insulator, the electrons are tightly bonded to atoms and cannot move.
  • Since the electrons cannot move, they cannot carry current.
24 1 semiconductors15
24.1 Semiconductors
  • The electrons in a semiconductor are also bound to atoms, but the bonds are relatively weak.
  • The density of free electrons is what determines the conductivity of a semiconductor.
24 1 semiconductors16
24.1 Semiconductors
  • If there are many free electrons to carry current, the semiconductor acts more like a conductor.
  • If there are few electrons, the semiconductor acts like an insulator.
  • Silicon is the most commonly used semiconductor.
  • Atoms of silicon have 14 electrons.
  • Ten of the electrons are bound tightly inside the atom.
  • Four electrons are near the outside of the atom and only loosely bound.
24 1 changing conductivity
24.1 Changing conductivity
  • Anything that changes the number of free electrons has a huge effect on conductivity in a semiconductor.
  • Adding a phosphorus impurity to silicon increases the number of electrons that can carry current.
  • Silicon with a phosphorus impurity makes an n-type semiconductor with current of negative charge.
24 1 changing conductivity18
24.1 Changing conductivity
  • When a small amount of boronis mixed into silicon the opposite effect happens.
  • When an electron is taken by a boron atom, the silicon atom is left with a positive charge and current is carried as electrons move.
  • Silicon with a boron impurity is a p-type semiconductor.
24 1 the p n junction
24.1 The p-n junction
  • A p-n junction forms where p-type and n-type semiconductor materials meet.
  • The depletion region becomes an insulating barrier to the flow of current because electrons and holes have combined to make neutral silicon atoms.
24 1 the physics of diodes
The depletion region of a p-n junction is what gives diodes, transistors, and all other semiconductors their useful properties.24.1 The physics of diodes
24 1 the physics of diodes22
If the opposite voltage is applied, both electrons and holes are repelled towardthe depletion region.

As a result, the depletion region gets smaller.

Once the depletion region is gone, electrons are free to carry current across the junction and the semiconductor becomes a conductor.

24.1 The physics of diodes
24 1 the physics of diodes23
In short, a p-n junction is a diode.

The p-njunction blocksthe flow of current from the n side to the p side.

The p-njunction allowscurrent to flow from the p side to the n side if the voltage difference is more than 0.6 volts.

24.1 The physics of diodes
24 1 the physics of transistors
A transistor is made from two p-n junctions back to back.

An npntransistor has a p-type layer sandwiched between two n-type layers.

A pnptransistor is the inverse.

An n-type semiconductor is between two layers of p-type.

24.1 The physics of transistors
24 2 circuits with diodes and transistors
24.2 Circuits with diodes and transistors
  • A diode can convert alternating current electricity to direct current.
  • When the AC cycle is positive, the voltage passes through the diode because the diode is conducting and has low resistance.
  • A single diode is called a halfwave rectifiersince it converts half the AC cycle to DC.
24 2 circuits with diodes and transistors26
24.2 Circuits with Diodes and Transistors
  • When 4 diodes are arranged in a circuit, the whole AC cycle can be converted to DC and this is called a full-wave rectifier.
24 2 ac into dc
A bridge-rectifier circuit uses the entire AC cycle by inverting the negative portions.

This version of the full-wave rectifier circuit is in nearly every AC adapter you have ever used.

24.2 AC into DC
24 2 a transistor switch
In many electronic circuits a small voltage or current is used to switch a much larger voltage or current.

Transistors work very well for this application because they behave like switches that can be turned on and off electronicallyinstead of using manual or mechanical action.

24.2 A transistor switch
24 2 a transistor switch29
When the current into the base is zero, a transistor has a resistance of 100,000 ohms or more.

When a tiny current flows into the base, the resistance drops to 10 ohms or less.

24.2 A transistor switch
24 2 a transistor switch30
The resistance difference between “on” and “off” for a transistor switch is good enough for many useful circuits such as an indicator light bulb in a mechanical circuit.24.2 A transistor switch
24 2 a transistor amplifier
One of the most important uses of a transistor is to amplify a signal.

In electronics, the word “amplify” means to make the voltage or current of the input signal larger without changing the shape of the signal.

24.2 A transistor amplifier
24 2 a transistor amplifier32
In an amplifier circuit, the transistor is not switched fully “on” like it is in a switching circuit.

Instead, the transistor operates partially on and its resistance varies between a few hundred ohms and about 10,000 ohms, depending on the specific transistor.

24.2 A transistor amplifier
24 2 electronic logic
24.2 Electronic Logic
  • Logic circuits are designed to compare inputs and produce specific output when all the input conditions are met.
  • Logic circuits assign voltages to the two logical conditions of TRUE (T) and FALSE (F).
  • For example, the circuit that starts your car only works when a) the car is in park, b) the brake is on, and c) the key is turned.
24 2 electronic logic34
24.2 Electronic Logic
  • There is one output which starts the car if TRUE and does not start the car if FALSE.
24 2 a transistor logic circuit
The only way for the output to be 3 V is when all three transistors are on, which only happens if all three inputs are TRUE.24.2 A transistor logic circuit
24 2 circuits with diodes and transistors36
Key Question:

What are some useful properties of transistors?

24.2 Circuits with Diodes and Transistors

*Students read Section 24.2 BEFORE Investigation 24.2

24 3 digital electronics
24.3 Digital Electronics
  • A signal is anything that carries information.
  • Today the word signal usually means a voltage, current, or light wave that carries information.
  • A microphone converts the variations in air pressure from the sound wave into variations in voltage in an analog electrical signal.
24 3 digital electronics38
24.3 Digital Electronics
  • A digital signal can only be on or off.
  • A digital signal is very different from an analog signal.
24 3 digital electronics39
24.3 Digital Electronics
  • Digital signals can send billions of ones and zeros per second, carrying more information than analog signals.
24 3 digital electronics40
24.3 Digital Electronics
  • Digital signals are also easier to store, process, and reproduce than analog signals.
24 3 computers
A computer is an electronic device for processing digital information.

All computers have three key systems:


central processing unit, or cpu

input-output system or I/O

24.3 Computers
24 3 computers43
Circuits called logic gates are the basic building blocks of computers and almost all digital systems.

The fundamental logic gates are called AND, OR, NAND,and NOR.

24.3 Computers
24 3 computers44
Logic gates are built from many transistors in integrated circuits, commonly known as “chips.”

As their names imply, these gates compare two input voltages and produce an output voltage based on the inputs.

24.3 Computers
24 3 computers45
This logic circuit compares two four-bit electronic numbers.

The output of this circuit will be four ones (3V on each) only if the number entered by the keyboard exactly matches the number in the computer’s memory.

24.3 Computers
24 3 digital electronics46
Key Question:

How do you construct electronic logic circuits?

24.3 Digital Electronics

*Students read Section 24.3 BEFORE Investigation 24.3