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Lecture 5

PN Junction and MOS Electrostatics(II)


PN JUNCTION IN THERMAL EQUILIBRIUM

Outline
1. 2. 3. 4. Introduction Electrostatics of pn junction in thermal equilibrium The depletion approximation Contact potentials

Reading Assignment: Howe and Sodini, Chapter 3, Sections 3.3-3.6


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1. Introduction
pn junction
p-region and n-region in intimate contact

Why is the p-n junction worth studying?


It is present in virtually every semiconductor device! Example: CMOS cross-section

Understanding the pn junction is essential to understanding transistor operation

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2. Electrostatics of p-n junction in equilibrium


Focus on intrinsic region:

Doping distribution of an abrupt p-n junction

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What is the carrier concentration distribution in thermal equilibrium?


First think of the two sides separately:

Now bring the two sides together. What happens?

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Resulting carrier concentration profile in thermal equilibrium:

Far away from the metallurgical junction: nothing happens


Two quasi-neutral regions

Around the metallurgical junction: diffusion of carriers must counter-balance drift


Space-charge region
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On a linear scale:

Thermal equilibrium: balance between drift and diffusion

J n (x) = J

drift n

(x) + J

diff n

(x) = 0

drift diff J p (x) = J p (x) + J p (x) = 0

We can divide semiconductor into three regions Two quasi-neutral n- and p-regions (QNRs) One space-charge region (SCR) Now, we want to know no(x), po(x), (x), E(x) and (x). We need to solve Poissons equation using a simple but powerful approximation
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3. The Depletion Approximation


Assume the QNRs are perfectly charge neutral Assume the SCR is depleted of carriers
depletion region

Transition between SCR and QNRs sharp at


-xpo and xno (must calculate where to place these)

x < x po ; x po < x < 0; 0 < x < xno ; x > xno ;


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ni2 po (x) = N a , no (x) = Na po (x), no (x) << N a no (x), po (x) << N d ni2 po (x) = Nd
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no (x) = N d ,

Space Charge Density

(x) = 0;
= qN a ; = = 0; qNd ;

x < x po x po < x < 0 0 < x < xno x > x no

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Electric Field
Integrate Poissons equation

E(x2 ) E(x1 ) =

(x) dx s x
1

x2

x < x po ; x po < x < 0;

E(x) = 0 E(x) E( x po ) =

s x po

qN a dx

qN a x qN a = x = x + x po s x s po

0 < x < xno ; x > xno ;


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E(x) =

qN d

(x xno )

E(x) = 0
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Electrostatic Potential
(with =0 @ no=po=ni)
kT no = ln ni q kT po = ln ni q

In QNRs, no and po are known can determine in p-QNR: po=Na


p =
N kT ln a q ni

kT N n = ln d in n-QNR: no=Nd q ni

Built-in potential:

Nd Na kT B = n p = ln q ni2

This expression is always correct in TE! We did not use depletion approximation.
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To obtain (x) in between, integrate E(x)

(x2 ) (x1) = E( x )dx


x1

x2

x < x po ; x po < x < 0;

(x) = p (x) (x po ) =
=
x x po

qNa

(x + xpo )dx

2 qNa x + x po 2 s 2 qN (x) = p + a x + x po 2 s

0 < x < xno ; x > xno ;

(x) = n

qNd 2 x xno ) ( 2 s

(x) = n Almost done .


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Still do not know xno and xpo need two more equations

1. Require overall charge neutrality:

qN a x po = qN d x no

2. Require (x) to be continuous at x=0;


p + qN a 2 qN d 2 x po = n x no 2 s 2 s

Two equations with two unknowns obtain solution:

2 s B N a x no = q(N a + N d )N d

2 s B N d x po = q(N a + N d )N a

Now problem is completely solved!

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Solution Summary
Space Charge Density

Electrostatic Field

Electrostatic Potential

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Other results:
Width of the space charge region:

x do = x po + x no

2 s B (N a + N d ) = qN a N d

Field at the metallurgical junction:

2q B N a N d Eo = s (N a + N d )

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Three Special Cases


Symmetric junction: Na = Nd

x po = x no
Asymmetric junction: Na > Nd

x po < x no
Strongly asymmetric junction
p+n junction: Na >> Nd

2 s B x po << xno x do qNd 2q B Nd

Eo

The lightly-doped side controls the electrostatics of the pn junction

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4. Contact Potential
Potential distribution in thermal equilibrium so far:

Question 1: If I apply a voltmeter across the pn junction diode, do I measure B? yes no it depends

Question 2: If I short terminals of pn junction diode, does current flow on the outside circuit? yes no sometimes

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We are missing contact potential at the metalsemiconductor contacts:

Metal-semiconductor contacts: junction of dissimilar materials built-in potentials at contacts mn and mp. Potential difference across structure must be zero Cannot measure B.

B = mn + mp
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5. PN Junction-Reverse Bias
Assume: No Current Flows

j = B VD
Wp

ID 0 A + xp xn x Wn

;;;; ;;;;
pm + p

ohmic contact to p side

VD (< 0 V)

;;;; ;;;;
n mn + (a) (x) xp n xn + j p (b) Wn

j +

ohmic contact to n side

Wp + VD < 0 V pm +

mn +x

Same Analysis applies: Substitute

2 s (B VD )(N a + Nd ) xdo = x po + xno = qNa Nd


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What did we learn today?


Summary of Key Concepts
Electrostatics of pn junction in equilibrium A space-charge region surrounded by two quasi-neutral regions formed. To first order, carrier concentrations in space-charge region are much smaller than the doping level can use Depletion Approximation From contact to contact, there is no potential buildup across the pn junction diode
Contact potential(s).

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