Forward And Reverse Bias Characteristics Of P-n Junction Diode Pdf

forward and reverse bias characteristics of p-n junction diode pdf

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A p—n junction is a boundary or interface between two types of semiconductor materials , p-type and n-type , inside a single crystal of semiconductor. The "p" positive side contains an excess of holes , while the "n" negative side contains an excess of electrons in the outer shells of the electrically neutral atoms there.

A p-n junction consists of two semiconductor regions with opposite doping type as shown in Figure 4. The region on the left is p -type with an acceptor density N a , while the region on the right is n -type with a donor density N d. The dopants are assumed to be shallow, so that the electron hole density in the n -type p -type region is approximately equal to the donor acceptor density. We will assume, unless stated otherwise, that the doped regions are uniformly doped and that the transition between the two regions is abrupt.

Characteristics and Working of PN Junction Diode

This understanding will lay a better foundation for exploring further into different aspects of semiconductor electronics. PN junction is a significant building block and it is one among the indispensable structures offered by the semiconductor technology in electronics. The exciting property of semiconductor diode is facilitating the electrons to flow exclusively in one direction across it; as a result it acts as a rectifier of Alternating Current. The indispensable operation in semiconductor diode is the basis for understanding of all the semiconductor diodes. The diode can be observed as a straightforward bipolar semiconductor device. The characteristics of diode look to be a graph of current that a diode produces when the voltage applied to it.

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At thermal equilibrium there are no external inputs such as light or applied voltage. The currents balance each other out so there is no net current within the device. Under steady state there are external inputs such as light or applied voltage, but the conditions do not change with time. Devices typically operate in steady state and are either in forward or reverse bias. If the applied voltage changes rapidly, there will be a short delay before the solar cell responds. As solar cells are not used for high speed operation there are few extra transient effects that need to be taken into account. Forward bias refers to the application of voltage across the device such that the electric field at the junction is reduced.

During forward bias, the diode conducts current with increase in voltage. During reverse bias, the diode does not conduct with increase in voltage (break down usually results in damage of diode).


The V-I characteristics or voltage-current characteristics of the p-n junction diode is shown in the below figure. The horizontal line in the below figure represents the amount of voltage applied across the p-n junction diode whereas the vertical line represents the amount of current flows in the p-n junction diode. If the positive terminal of the battery is connected to the p-type semiconductor and the negative terminal of the battery is connected to the n-type semiconductor , the diode is said to be in forward bias.

Diode is a two terminal PN junction that can be used in various applications. One of such applications is an electrical switch. The PN junction, when forward biased acts as close circuited and when reverse biased acts as open circuited. Hence the change of forward and reverse biased states makes the diode work as a switch, the forward being ON and the reverse being OFF state.

PN Junction diode.

Working of Diode as a Switch

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Characteristics and Working of PN Junction Diode

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Junction Diode Symbol and Static I-V Characteristics​​ On the voltage axis above, “Reverse Bias” refers to an external voltage potential which increases the potential barrier. An external voltage which decreases the potential barrier is said to act in the “Forward Bias” direction.