Você está na página 1de 143




Everyone today is exposed to electronic devices in one way or another. True or False? The computer and digital revolutions are good examples. Everyone can benefit from additional knowledge of electronics. The study of Electronics-I start with a background in electricity, magnetism and Basic Electronics. These include Ohm's Law and other basic principles of Applied Electricity. 1.1.2 WHAT IS ELECTRONICS?

Electronics is a branch of Physics that deals with scientific studies of the Emission of Electrons, Effects of electrons and the Use of electronic Devices. As usual, Physics is the scientific study of the interactions between physical systems. In other words, Electronics is the scientific study of the conduction of electricity in a vacuum, in gases and in semiconductors and the design and applications of devices or apparatus that control the movement of electrons. One reason for this is that all electrical phenomena involve the interaction between positive and negative charges (i.e., actions and reactions of electrons). The concept of electronics is built in the use of electronic components, integrated circuits and electronic systems. The field of electronics refers to the study and use of systems that operate by controlling the flow of electrons (or other charge carriers) in devices such as thermion valves and semiconductors. The design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems is an integral technique in the field of electronics engineering and is 1

equally important in hardware design for computer engineering. All applications of electronics involve the transmission of either information or power. 1.1.3 WHY ELECTRONICS Prior to the invention of semiconductor diode devices, vacuum tubes were the available choice of device for the rectification of alternating current. These days, and even as at today, new digital life is built on the development of miniaturized electronic circuits (microchips), broadband telephones and data transmission through optical fiber and wireless networks. The computer has been a common tool both at work and at home. By continued miniaturization of digital electronic components and circuits, the PC and other advanced electronics have been commercially available for people in general. The capacity of the computers almost doubles every year. This expansion is achievable because of tighter packaging of the components onto the microchip. But as we get closer to the atomic limit where each component on the microchip is just a few atomic lengths, we need innovative developments for the future. Modern cars have been exposed by a tremendous development where the main parts of the functions have been controlled by the electronics. The cars are equipped with electronics like airbag systems, ABS brakes, anti spinning system and burglar alarm. Within transportation, we have obtained advanced electronic navigation systems, instrument landing system for airplanes and anti collision systems for ships and cars. Automatic toll rings around the largest cities provides money for new roads and attempts for environmentally friendly traffic. Furthermore, modern electronics have revolutionized medical diagnosis by introducing new techniques like Computer Tomography (CT), Magnetic Resonance (MR) and Ultrasonic Imaging Systems (UIS). Common for the realization of these new technical developments, besides digital circuits, are the sensors that can feel sound, light, pressure, temperature, acceleration, shadow, etc., and actuators that can act, i.e. carry out specific operation like switch on a knob, or transmit sound- or light signals. The study of electronics ensures that students get a general knowledge so that they can contribute to the electronics of the future. 1.1.4 The Origin and Historical Development of Electronics

Why Historical Background? Students studying Engineering are urged to study, first of all, the History of Science, Mathematics and Engineering. It is observed that, Engineering Students possessing senses of History of technological evolutions, developments or advancements acquire and develop a deeper and faster understanding of new concepts and are more creative problem solvers. Pre-Electronics. About 100 years ago, to keep people entertained at home there were only Music boxes, phonographs (Edison 1886) and gramophones (pianoforte), books, chat, in front of a fireplace, etc. To write, we could use a quill, a fountain pen or a typewriter (1829) forerunner of the modern laptop. To communicate upon long distance, we had to use the telegraph (1833) using keys and wires. The results were printed on a strip of paper. To communicate voice at long distance, we used a telephone (1876). As the voltage applied to the grid of a vacuum tube was varied from negative to positive, the amount of electrons flowing from the filament to the plate would vary accordingly. Thus the grid was said to electrostatically "control" the plate current. The resulting three-electrode device was therefore an excellent and very sensitive amplifier of voltages. DeForest called his invention the "Audion". In 1907, De Forest filed U.S. Patent 879532 for a three-electrode version of the Audion for use in radio communications. The device is now known as the Triode Valve.



What Is A Device? Technically, a device is anything made or adapted for a purpose. Therefore, Electronic Devices are electrical units/systems operated by the movement of electrons in electric circuits and apparatus consisting of vacuum, gas or semiconductor materials. There are two types of electronic devices. These are: - Vacuum Devices and Semiconductor Devices. 1.2.1 Vacuum Devices

What Are Vacuum Devices Vacuum is a space where all air or other gases has been removed. Thus, vacuum devices are sealed tubes, made of glasses or metals, containing arrangements of electrodes extended out for external electrical connections. The air inside the tube is removed by air evacuators. 1.2.2 The Vacuum Tube

Vacuum tube also called electron tube is a sealed glass or metal-ceramic enclosure used in electronic circuitry to control the flow of electrons between the metal electrodes, sealed inside the tubes. Differently put, Vacuum tubes, or thermionic valves, are arrangements of electrodes in a vacuum within an insulating, temperature-resistant envelope. Although the envelope was classically glass, power tubes often use materials like ceramic and metal. It is an electronic device in which the flow of electron is through a vacuum. Electronically, the vacuum tube is a voltage-controlled device, which means that the relationship between the input and output circuits is determined by a trans-conductance function. In electronics, a vacuum tube is a device generally used to amplify, or otherwise modify, a signal by controlling the movement of electrons in an evacuated space. The electrodes are attached to leads which pass through the envelope via an air tight seal. On most tubes, the leads are designed to plug into a tube socket for easy replacement. There are several ways of classifying vacuum tubes according to the number of electrodes. Vacuum tube is classified as follows: - Vacuum Diode - Vacuum Triode - Vacuum Tetrode Vacuum Pentode, etc. The simplest vacuum tubes resemble incandescent light bulbs in that they have a filament sealed in a glass envelope which has been evacuated of all air. When hot, the filament releases electrons into the vacuum: a process called thermionic emission. The resulting negatively-charged cloud of electrons is called a space charge. These electrons will be drawn to a metal "plate" inside the envelope if the plate (also called the anode) is positively charged relative to the filament (or cathode). The result is a current of electrons flowing from filament to plate. This cannot work in the reverse direction because the plate is not heated and cannot emit electrons. This very simple example described can thus be seen to operate as a diode: a device that conducts current only in one direction. It is very important that the vacuum inside the envelope be as perfect, or "hard", as possible. Any gas atoms remaining will be ionized at operating voltages, and will conduct electricity between the elements in an uncontrolled manner. This can lead to erratic operation or even catastrophic destruction of the tube and associated circuitry. Unabsorbed free air sometimes ionizes and becomes visible as a pink-purple glow discharge between the tube elements. To prevent any remaining gases from remaining in a free state in the tube, modern tubes are constructed with "getters", which are usually small, circular troughs filled with metals that oxidize quickly, with barium being the most common. While the tube envelope is being 3

evacuated, the internal parts except the getter are heated by RF induction heating to extract any remaining gases from the metal. The tube is then sealed and the getter is heated to a high temperature, again by Radio frequency induction heating causing the material to evaporate, absorbing/reacting with any residual gases and usually leaving a silver-colored metallic deposit on the inside of the envelope of the tube. The getter continues to absorb any gas molecules that leak into the tube if a tube develops a crack in the envelope, this deposit turns a white color when it reacts with atmospheric oxygen. Large transmitting and specialized tubes often use more exotic getters. Early gathered tubes used phosphorous based getters and these tubes are easily identifiable as the phosphorous leaves a characteristic orange deposit on the glass. The use of Phosphorous was short lived and was quickly replaced by the superior barium getters. Unlike the barium getters, the phosphorous did not absorb any further gasses once it had fired working life. 1.2.3 Vacuum Tube Applications

For most purposes, the vacuum tube has been replaced by the much smaller and less expensive transistor, either as a discrete device or in an integrated circuit. However, tubes are still used in several specialized applications such as audio systems and high power RF transmitters, as the display device in cathode ray tube television sets, and to generate microwaves in microwave ovens. Generally, vacuum tubes are used for: - Amplification of a weak current; Rectification of an alternating current to direct current (AC to DC), Generation of oscillating radio-frequency (RF) power for radio and radar, etc. Tubes were ubiquitous (everywhere in the electronic mark) in the early generations of electronic devices, such as radios, televisions, and early computers such as the Colossus which used 2000 tubes, the ENIAC which used nearly 18,000 tubes, and the IBM 700 series. Vacuum tubes inherently have higher resistance to the electromagnetic pulse effect of nuclear explosions. This property kept them in use for certain military applications long after transistors had replaced them elsewhere. Vacuum tubes are still used for very high-powered applications such as microwave ovens, industrial radio-frequency heating, and power amplification for broadcasting. Tubes are also considered by many people in the audiophile, professional audio, and musician communities to have superior audio characteristics over transistor electronics, due to their warmer, more natural tone. There are many companies which still make specialized audio hardware featuring tube technology. 1.2.4 The Vacuum Diode

In 1904 John Ambrose Fleming developed the "oscillation valve" or Kenoton when he was hired by Edison as a Scientific Adviser to the Marconi Company. Fleming later renamed the Kenotron as the Vacuum Diode. Lemings Vacuum Diode allowed electric current to flow in only one direction. This principle made rectification or conversion of Alternating Current to a Direct Current a reality. 1.2.5 So What's a Thermionic Diode? The name diode comes from the Greek word for two (2). Diode has two elements, an anode and a cathode. The simplest diodes, possibly, the earliest ones, had cathodes which consisted of filaments that could be heated to red hot or even orange hot, by passing an electric current through them. The anode is a flat metal plate, often called the plate. Circuit Symbols of Thermionic Diodes


The Elements of a Vacuum Diode

As shown below, the Vacuum Diode consists of Two Electrodes: the Anode or the Plate, and the Cathode. The electrode called Filament/Heater (normally not numerated) gets red hot when connected to an a.c. source, to heat the cathode before it (cathode) can emit wanted electrons. 2) Cathode put on the centre of diode b) Simplified structure and surrounded by plate and heater schematic diagram of a inserted inside cathode. When cathode Diode heated by heater element, electrons will move from cathode to plate and produce plate current.

In vacuum tube no matter how careful air is evacuated, gas molecules will still always be present, which may be in the form of ion by impact with electrons. Under the influence of electric field these Positive ions will strike the cathode and if the high voltage is being used, the cathode is subject to considerable bombardment and can be damaged. 1.2.7 What Does a Diode Do?

The hot cathode emits electrons in droves (moving cloud of electrons). Many more than are needed. They build up in the volume around the cathode and form a large pool of electrons just waiting for something positive to happen. This pool of electrons is called the space charge. When the plate (anode) is made positive some of the electrons are attracted to it. They impact on it, and are absorbed into the metal and electrons flow out of the plate connection into the battery or what ever provided the positive voltage. Heater current does not flow through the cathode, but through the heater element that is known as filament. The heat energy from filament conduct into cathode through insulator placed between cathode and heater. Material used for cathode must have the following properties : a. Low work function, so that the electron emission could occur using only small amount of energy b. High melting point, as the thermionic emission occurs at high temperature so the substance used as cathode must have high melting point. c. High mechanical strength, Substances used as cathode must have strong mechanical strength to withstand the bombardment of positive ions. The other end of 5

the voltage source must be connected back to the cathode in some way. If the polarity is reversed which makes the plate negative with respect to the cathode the electrons in the space charge are repelled away from the plate and no conduction takes place. The plate is cold and is made of a metal that is a very poor emitter of electrons. This makes the diode conduct current in only one direction.


How the Vacuum Diode Functions

To get a clear idea about how diode works let us observe 3 situations as follows: a. Diode supplied by zero voltage b. Diode supplied by negative voltage c. Diode supplied by positive voltage 1.2.9 Diode Supplied By Zero Voltage When there is no voltage difference between plate and cathode, heated electrons from cathode could never have enough energy to reach plate. These electrons will start to accumulate near the cathode by cathode forming-electron cloud. This is known as space charge. In this case, there will be no plate current flowing.

1.2.10 Diode Supplied with Negative Voltage If plate is made negative with respect to cathode, the negative charge from plate will push back the electron to cathode so the heated electron can not reach plate and still no current indication appear at the amperemeter.

1.2.11 Diode Supplied with Positive Voltage If plate is made positive with respect to cathode, the positive charge from plate will attract heated electron from cathode to reach plate and generate plate current. As the plate voltage increases, the plate current will also increase, but in only one direction due to the property of

diodes. This is the reason why diodes are applicable for current rectifier application.


Diode Plate Characteristic

The most important diode characteristic is the plate characteristic. It shows the correlation between plate voltage and plate current. Test circuit to achieve plate characteristic and the example of plate characteristic is shown below. The heater voltage is supplied to the filament in order to heat cathode until it reaches a certain temperature (T1). At the same time, the anode voltage (Eb) increases from 0 until it reaches maximum permissible anode voltage. The anode current (Ib) increases as the plate voltage is increased. When plate voltage reaches a certain value, anode current remains constant. However, the plate voltage can still be increased. This situation is known as the saturation point. If diode temperature is increased from T1 to T2, anode voltage will increase and a corresponding increase in anode current will occur. This situation tells us that, a change in diode temperature has direct effect on the flow of anode flow current. Increasing the diode temperature from T1, T2, T3, ..Tn, and varying the anode Voltage Eb will create a family of I-V characteristics. This is known as the Anode or Plate Characteristics of a Diode. Voltage Current Temperature Characteristics of a Diode

1.2.13 Diode Resistance We have seen that plate current flowing through a vacuum diode varies as the plate voltage is changed. Therefore diode may be considered as having internal resistance that limits the amount of plate current flow. This internal resistance offered by diode is known as its plate or anode resistance. The resistance is not the same for direct current as for the alternating current. Accordingly like any vacuum tube, diode has two types resistances, namely, dc plate 7

resistance and ac plate resistance. As the plate characteristic is not a straight line, therefore DC plate resistance is not constant but depends upon operating point. Thus, in real diode applications, DC plate resistance must be determined at the actual operating point. AC plate resistance offered by diode to alternating current and defined as the ratio of a small change in plate voltage across a diode to the resulting change in plate current. Figure 12.B shows us the way to measure AC plate resistance. According to the definition of AC plate resistance, the ac plate resistance rb is given by rb = BC/YZ. As tubes are generally used with AC voltage than DC voltage so the ac plate resistance is more important than DC plate resistance.

1.2.14 RECTIFICATION & RECTIFIERS What Is Rctification? Rectification is an electronics process whereby alternating current (AC) is converted into direct current (DC). Rectification is commonly performed by Vacuum Tubes & Semiconductor Diodes. Before the development of solid state rectifiers, vacuum tube diodes and copper oxide or selenium rectifier stacks were used. Early radios, called crystal sets, used a "cat's whisker" of fine wire pressing on a crystal of galena (lead sulfide) to serve as a point contact rectifier / diode or "crystal detector. In gas heating systems "flame rectification" can be used to detect a flame. 1.2.15 THE RECTIFIER What Is A Rectifier? A rectifier is an electronic device, comprising one or more semiconductor devices (such as diodes) or vacuum tubes arranged for converting alternating current to direct current. When just one diode is used to rectify AC (by blocking the negative or positive portions of the waveform) the difference between the term diode and the term rectifier is merely one of usage, e.g., the term rectifier describes a diode that is being used to convert AC to DC. Almost all rectifiers comprise a number of diodes in a specific arrangement for more efficiently converting AC to DC than is possible with just a single diode. 1.2.16 Types Of Rectifier There are Two Main types of Rectifier. They are: Half Wave Rectifier and Full Wave Rectifier 1.2.17 The Vacuum diode As A Rectifier 8

The fig. below shows a basic experimental vacuum diode rectifier circuit. A transformer has its secondary side connected to common. The other side is connected to the plate of a vacuum diode. The primary is not shown as connected to anything but it is assumed that it is connected to a source of AC. The filament of the tube is powered by a battery. The side of the filament which connects to the batterys positive also connects to a resistor. The other end of the resistor goes to common (ground).

Animatronics of a Rectifier in action. There are two voltmeters in the circuit. One is connected from the plate of the diode to common and the other is connected across the load resistor. Both meters have zero marked at the center with positive voltage to the right and negative voltage to the left. These unreal meters can follow individual cycles of the input AC. As the animation runs, the pointer of the meter on the plate of the tube moves slowly to the right and returns to zero continuing on to the negative extreme and returning to zero again. This keeps repeating. The meter across the load resistor indicates the same voltage as on the plate when that meter is positive only. When the meter on the plate goes negative, the one across the load resistor remains at zero. In the tube small dots represent electrons. When both meters are positive the electrons come out of the filament and are absorbed by the plate. When the plate meter is negative the electrons come out of the filament go about half way to the plate then turn around and go back to the filament where they are reabsorbed. 1.2.18 Vacuum Diode Half-Wave Rectification The fig. below shows a fundamental Half-Wave Vacuum Diode Rectifier circuit. It has a power transformer with two secondary windings. The top winding has many more turns than the other one. This top winding is the high voltage winding of the transformer. The bottom of the high voltage winding goes to ground. The top of this winding goes to the plate of an indirectly heated cathode type diode. Above the lead from the transformer to the tube is a wave indicating a normal sine wave on this lead. Each side of the filament connects to its own side of the other winding on the transformer. One side of this heater winding is grounded. The separate cathode connects to a resistor. The other end of the resistor connects to the bottom of the high voltage winding and ground. A wave form indicates that the voltage across the resistor consists of only the positive halves of the sine wave in which the diode conducts. When the sine wave at the plate of the tube is negative, the output wave stays at zero due to the property of a diode.

Full-wave This schematic is, by far, the most used as it uses both the half-waves to produce DC. Filtering is much easier. We use two diodes or a bi-plate diode to acheive a full rectification.

Voltage Doubler This schematic diagram uses two diodes with their outputs serially connected to obtain a DC that is the double of its original AC voltage.

Filters for Rectification To "fill the gaps" of the DC coming from the diodes, we must filter it through various cells (capacitors). All the following formulae correspond to a full-wave rectifier. Filtering is much easier and effective in such configuration.

A Capacitor Only With No Load - Filter In such a configuration, the voltage will reach progressively (but quickly!) the Vmax value. That's the reason why we should always use capacitors with a nominal voltage higher than the Vmax.


A capacitor only with a load - Filter That's the simplest way to produce DC current. Pay attention to the value of the capacitor: if too large, it will destroy the diode by a high current appeal when powering ON and some diodes (gas diodes) do not accept a capacitor at all, we should use a choke as first element!

In this configuration the voltage never reaches Umax but varies between a minimum and a maximum. The difference between these two voltages is the ripple, we can calculate it with the following formula: Vrip0 = 1 / 2 FsC1 [Volts], Where Vrip is the ripple voltage Fs is the mains supply frequency = 50 Hz (Europe); 60 Hz (USA). C1 is the reserviour capacitor. We can also easily understand why a bi-plate diode is advantageous: the half sine waves are twice which results in a much lower ripple (2 times less: that's the "2" in the formula)! A Pi filter (self/capacitors) It's a common type and used very often. It could be considered as a capacitor filter plus a self/capacitor filter. The ripple will go down furthermore by a factor a1. W corresponds to the pulsation.

Cascade Pi filters Each cell will reduce the ripple by its own factor (a1, a2, ...). 11

Cascade Resistors Filters Each cell will reduce the ripple by its own factor (a1, a2, ...). Mixed filters Of course we can mix self-capacitors, resistors and cells, each cell having its own ripple reducing factor. Low Voltage Capacitors It's sometimes difficult to find capacitors with high voltage specifications. We can put 2 or more capacitors serially, their final capacitance will decrease: 1 1 1 ----- = ----- + ----Ctot C1 C2 For example: two 50uF/200V caps will result in a block of 25uF, but their voltage acceptance will increase to 400V. A good thing is to put resistors (high values) in parallel with each capacitor to equilibrate the voltage that each capacitor will face, as shown below.

Stored Energy In the previous examples, only ripple was considered. Another aspect should be considered: the amount of energy stored in the last supply stage. This stage will furnish the instantaneous current to the power tubes. As music is mainly composed by transients, it shouldn't be neglected. The energy stored by a capacitor is calculated by: J = [CV2] Where J = energy in Joules C = capacity in Farads V = voltage in Volts 1 Joule corresponds to the energy spent by a power of 1 Watt during 1 second. To maintain a power of 10 Watts during 10 seconds, we need 100 Joules which means, for a 500V supply, a capacity of 800uF. But remember, this energy is given by such a cap fully discharged, thus with a final voltage (the one supplying the power tubes !) down to 0 ...The previous supply stages charge continuously these caps but nonetheless if we don't want the supply to collapse, the final capacity should be much higher. It's rarely the case in commercial 12

products, mainly for costs reasons, and increasing the size of the final caps is nearly always advisable. Some comments about huge power supplies: A discharging circuit should be used to avoid maintaining a high voltage on the tubes that do not conduct any more, which would reduce their life unnecessarily. This circuit will also prevent injuries to the audiophile ... A two-step charging procedure (through a power resistor, bypassed once the caps are charged enough) is advisable to avoid to blow the rectifying diode. Silicium diodes are more resistant but it's usually the fuse that will blow. Increasing the value of the fuse is dangerous as it could not blow any more when a real problem occurs. The Vacuum Triode Valve In 1906 Dr Lee De Forest (1873-1961), an American scientist placed the third electrode between cathode and plate of a vacuum diode. The resulting devices, as shown below, were called a Triode Valve.

What Is a Triode Valve? The original three-element device was invented in 1906 by Lee De Forest who called it an Audion. The Audion did incorporate, in an imperfect form, the key principle of allowing amplification. As its name implies, the Triode Valve has three electrodes. These are cathode, grid and Anode. As shown above, the Cathode stands on the centre surrounded by grid which is in the form of wire mesh. There are spaces between that wire mesh, plate cover both cathode and grid. Heated electrons from cathode move to plate through the gap between those wire meshes. In the real application of triode, grid controls the electron flow inside triode. A triode valve is a type of vacuum tube with three elements: the filament or cathode, the grid, and the plate or anode. The triode vacuum tube was the first electrical amplification device. The name triode appeared later, probably when it became necessary to distinguish it from other generic kinds of vacuum tubes with more elements [Tetrodes (4), Pentodes (5) etc]. The original Audion tubes were not vacuum tubes however, as they deliberately contained some gas at low pressure. The name triode is only applied to vacuum tubes. Why Vacuum Triode Valve As stated above, the Triode Vacuum Tube was the first electrical amplification device. Triodes are said to be largely obsolete today, having been replaced by the transistor, However, Triodes can still be found in applications where power consumption and overall size are not concerns, but low component count and high power capacity are. They are also still valued by musicians and audiophiles for amplification purposes, as some claim that triodes are still more linear at audio-frequency ranges and have less musical distortion characteristics. 13

How the Vacuum Triode Valve Operates The principle of its operation is that, like in a vacuum tube based diode, the heated filament causes flow of electrons that hit the plate and create an electric charge to it. The control grid is then charged negatively to repel some of the electrons back towards the filament: the larger the charge on the grid, the smaller the charge created on the plate. The Elements of a Vacuum Triode Basically, The Vacuum Triode consists of Three Electrodes (Triode is a Greek word Meaning 3 electrodes). These are: Anode (positive potential), Grid (negative potential) and Cathode (negative electrode). Again there is a Filament/Heater which ensures that the cathode is thermally heated enough to release electrons.

To get a clear idea about how the control grid works, let us see the graphicals below. When grid stands on negative voltage fig. a, or less than zero, the negative charge of grid will push back heated electron from cathode to emit and reach plate, so under this condition there is no electron emit from cathode and reach plate. Regarding to this situation there is a certain grid voltage that is to totally unabled heated electrons from cathode to emit and this grid voltage known as rid cutt-off voltage. When grid stands on zero volt fig.b, the heated electron from cathode start to emit and reach the plate. This is because, zero voltage is still positive compared to negative charge of electron. Zero voltage is enough to attract heated electron to emit from cathode. When grid stand on positive voltage fig.C, positive charge from grid will attract strongly heated electron from cathode to emit through gap between wire mesh and reach plate. As grid positive voltage increases up, the amount of emitted electron will also increase up.

Triode Characteristics There are two important characteristics of triode, Plate Characteristic and Mutual Characteristics. Test circuit for obtaining anode characteristics shown below. There are two different variable voltage supplies for grid and plate. Grid voltage, Plate voltage and plate current are measured by different meters. By this way both plate and mutual characteristic will be achieved. 14


Anode / Plate Characteristics

Anode / Plate Characteristics show the correlation between plate voltage and the resulting plate current at the same grid voltage. b) `Mutual Characteristics.

Mutual Characteristics show correlation between grid voltage and the resulting plate current at the same plate voltage. On real applications both Mutual and Plate characteristic are widely used to design tube electronic circuits.

Valve Parameters While a transistor is a current controlled current amplifier, an amplifying valve behaves more like a voltage controlled resistance. Yet, as in the case of the transistor, the valve is employed in circuits in which it is the change in current produced by a change in voltage that is of interest. The change takes place around an operating point on the curve, so that for a change of i the corresponding change in e will be found along the slope of the curve. As the grid goes negative it repels the electrons from the cathode, reducing the anode current. Cut-off occurs when the grid negative potential is large enough to prevent the flow of any electrons to the anode. For small positive grid potential, electrons are speeded up towards the anode and Ia increases. For these small positive bias voltages, the transfer characteristics remain linear. However, higher positive bias will attract the electrons to the grid itself causing grid current to flow, a situation that usually must be avoided (but there are special exceptions). For this reason the control grid's DC potential is nearly always maintained negative with respect to the cathode, and this is called negative bias. Characteristics of Valve Amplifiers Valves are high voltage/low current devices in comparison with transistors (and especially MOSFETs) and their transfer characteristics show very flat anode current vs. anode voltage indicating high output impedances. The high working voltage makes them well suited for radio transmitters, for example, and valves remain in use today for very high power radio transmitters, where there is still no other technology available. However, for most applications requiring an appreciable output current, a matching transformer is required. The transformer is a critical component and heavily influences the performance (and cost) of the amplifier. Many power valves have good open-loop linearity, but only modest gain or transconductance. As a result, valve amplifiers usually need only modest levels of feedback. Signal amplifiers using tubes are capable of very high frequency response ranges - up to radio frequency. Indeed, many of the Directly Heated Single Ended Triode (DH-SET) audio amplifiers are in fact radio transmitting tubes designed to operate in the megahertz range. In practice, however, tube amplifier designs typically "couple" stages either capacitively, limiting bandwidth at the low end, or inductively with transformers, limiting the bandwidth at high end. Circuit Advantages of Valves Good for high power systems. Electrically very robust, they can tolerate overloads for minutes which would destroy bipolar transistor systems in milliseconds. Disadvantages of Valves 15

Heater supplies are required for the cathodes. Dangerously high voltages are required for the anodes. Valve audio equipment is normally heavy because of the weight of transformers. Valves often have a shorter working life than solid state parts because the heaters tend to fail. Valves are fragile and break if hit, since they are usually made of glass. Solid state components don't have this problem. Applications of the Vacuum Triode Valve A valve amplifier (UK and Aus.) or tube amplifier (U.S.), is a device for electrically amplifying the power of an electrical signal, typically (but not exclusively) sound or radio frequency signals. Low to medium power valve amplifiers for frequencies below the microwaves were largely replaced by solid state amplifiers during the 1960s and 1970s, and replacement valves are no longer produced in the same large quantities as they were in the past. Specially constructed valves are still in use at high power levels, especially at microwave frequencies; see the Microwave amplifiers section. The Cathode Follower An amplifier with the anode as the common terminal is called a cathode follower. The name is logical because the cathode potential varies with and is almost equal to the input voltage. The circuit and its equivalent are shown below, the bias resistances are replaced by their parallel equivalent Rg. Neglecting the valve capacitances, the mesh equations are: Eg = Es IpRk; mEg = 1p (rp + Rk). The circuit is used as an impedance-matching device, to couple a high impedance source to a lower impedance circuit, analogous to the function of the emitter-follower with the transistor.

The Disadvantages of Triode Valve When the first time triode was developed by Dr. Lee De Forest it gave much idea for further development that had never been imagined before, but triode still have two disadvantages: a) Low Amplification Factor (mu). The mu of triodes is still considered as not high enough (max. 1000) for many electronic applications. b) Inter-electrode capacitance between the triode electrodes make it become insufficient for high frequency application. c) Bulkiness. d) Occupies large space. The inter-electrode capacitance are: Cgk (between grid cathode), Cgp (between grid and plate), and Cpk (between plate and cathode). Generally value of the inter-electrode capacitance is in the range of 2 12 picrofarad. Cgp especially acts as Miller Feedback capacitance that limits the high frequency performance of the Triode Tube.




What Is Electron Emission Electron emission is actually the basics of tube working principal; it is defined as liberation of free electron from a surface of a substance caused by the external energy transferred to the electrons. Electron emission tends to occur on metal, because metal is a substance with much free electron in between its molecule. Nucleus attracting force is not strong enough to put the electron standstill. Every time the free electrons move around from one molecule to another but it can't leave out from metal surface.

In order to emit from the metal surface these free electrons require additional external energy. The amount of outside energy required by electron to emit from the metal surface is known as work function. The work function is usually defined in electron volt (eV) unit. The additional external energy required by the electron to emit from the metal surface could come from few source such as heat energy, energy stored in the electron field, light energy or kinetic energy. Types of Electron Emission There are Four Main types of Electron Emission. These are: - Thermal / Thermionic Emission - Photo Emission - Secondary Emission - Field Emission What Is Thermal Emission? Thermal / Thermionic Emission is the flow of electrons from a metal or metal oxide surface, caused by thermal vibrated-energy overcoming the electrostatic forces holding electrons to the surface. The effect increases dramatically with increasing temperature of about (10003000 K). The science dealing with this phenomenon is thermionics. The charged particles are called thermions. In this method the additional energy come to the electron in the form of heat energy, by the electrons the energy trasnferred into kinetic energy. As the kinetic energy of electron increase its movement becomes uncertain and then finally there will be electrons that leave out from the metal surface. The substance where the electrons emit from is known as emitter or cathode. In case of vacuum tube it is preferably to call as cathode. And the substance that receive electron is known as anode or plate. With regard to thermionic emission there are two types of cathode 17

a) Direct Heated Cathode ( in short DHC) b) Indirect Heated Cathode ( is short IHC). In this type of cathode, both heater current and also emitted electrons come from it. PHOTO EMISSION In this type of emission the additional energy comes to the cathode by photons. When a beam of light strikes the surface of the cathode, the energy from photons will be transferred to free electrons within the cathode. If the energy from photons is greater than the metal work function the free electron will knock out from the cathode surface. The emitted electron is called as photo electron. The amount of photo electron depends of the light intensity.

SECONDARY EMISSION Electron emission from a metallic surface by the bombardment of high speed electrons or other particles is known as secondary emission. When high speed electrons suddenly strike a metallic surface, they may give some or all of their kinetic energy to the free electrons in the metal. If the energy of the striking Electrons is sufficient enough, the free electrons will escape from the metal surface. This phenomenon is called Secondary Emission.

The principle of secondary emission is described below. A glass envelope consists of electron source, cathode and plat. When electrons from electron source strike cathode they will knock out secondary electron from cathode which are attracted to plate by positive voltage from 18

plate. The effect of secondary emission is very undesirable in many electron devices for example in Tetrode Valve where secondary emission is responsible for negative resistance. Field Emission This type of emission of additional energy comes in the form of electric field. When a conductor put in a place very close to high voltage conductor, the electric field from the conductor will exert attractive force on the free electron in the metal. If the positive field is big enough the free electron will succeed in overcoming restraining of the metal surface and it will emit from the metal surface.

Very intense electric field is required to produce Field emission. Usually a voltage of the order of a million volts per centimetre distance between the emitting surface and the positive conductor is necessary to cause field emission. Field emission can be obtained at temperature much lower than required for thermionic emission and therefore it is also sometimes called as cold cathode emission or Auto electronic emission.




The Constitution of Matter What Is Matter? Matter is anything that has Mass, Volume & can occupy Space. Matter is made up of very Tiny Particles called Molecules. A Molecule is the smallest (indivisible) particle of a substance or compound that can exist on its own, take part in chemical reactions and can maintain the physical and chemical properties of that substance / compound. A Molecule is made up of two or more Atoms. Matter is constituted by: Elements, Compounds and Molecules. There are approximately 110 basic substances known to man and these are simply called elements or chemical elements and they are fundamental to nature, and cannot be reduced further by chemical process. The chemical elements are made up of a number of smaller particles known as atoms. Compounds are two or more different elements combined to form a chemical compound. 19

Matter Can Exist In Three Different Forms: 1. Solids 2. Liquids 3. Gases.

For this course, we will study only solid state materials which will finally lead us to the study of semiconductor devices. Solids materials have Fixed Definite Sizes and Shapes. Examples are: Stone, A Piece of Chalk, Iron, Etc. What is A Molecule The smallest particle of a compound is a molecule. Each molecule has the atoms contained in the compound. Thus the word molecule also describes the combined atoms of the same element e.g. Ozone (O3) which is triatomic, i.e. it contains three atoms of oxygen. Certain elements are very reactive and react readily with other substances e.g. sodium (Na). The reason being that, hey are either short of electrons, or have too many for an ideal atomic design. E.g. inert gases, such as helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), Krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), and radon (Rn). They do not combine with other elements under normal conditions, not even atoms of their kind. ATOMIC STRUCTURE OF MATTER According to Modern Theory of Atomic Structure of different materials, every Element of any Material is composed of Molecules. Molecules are the smallest divisible particles of any element. A Molecule is made up of Atoms. The smallest unit of all matter is the Atom. An Atom consists of Two Parts: Nucleus & Electrons. The First Part of an Atom is made up of The NUCLEUS. The Nucleus is the central part of an Atom. The Nucleus consists of a number of PROTONS and NEUTRONS. The Protons are POSITIVELY Charged Particles. The Neutron does not have any ELECTRICAL Charge (Neutral). The presence of the Protons around the Nucleus makes the Nucleus POSITIVELY Charged. The Nucleus constitutes almost the entire weight of an Atom. This weight is called the ATOMIC WEIGHT of an ATOM The second part of an Atom is made up of ELECTRONS. Electrons are NEGATIVELY Charged Particles. A number of Electrons revolve around the Nucleus of an Atom. The Circular-territorial revolving or movements of Electrons around the Nucleus are called ELECTRON ORBITS. Multiples of Electron Orbits are called ELECTRON SHELLS. The Distribution of Electrons in different Orbits is determined by the formula: No. of Electrons = 2 x n2 Where n is the Number or order of Orbits counted from the Nucleus. The Maximum No. of Electrons that different Electrons can contain are given below: = 2 First Orbit: 2 x 12 2 Second Orbit: 2 x 2 = 8 = 18 Third Orbit: 2 x 32 Fourth Orbit: 2 x 42 = 32 The nth Orbit: 2 x n2 = .



IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER Neutrons & Protons, the heaviest Particles, make up the Nucleus (the core) of the Atom. Neutrons have no Electrical Charges. Protons are Positively Charge. Electrons which are negatively charged have a weight of about 1/1800 that of a Neutron or Proton, very light weight. An Atom contains an Equal Number of Electrons & Protons. IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE! 1. The composition of Nucleus, The of No. of Electrons & The shape of Orbits are all Different for different Elements. 2. The Positive Charge in the Nucleus equals the total Negative Charge in the Electrons, so that the Atom as a whole is Electrically NEUTRAL. 3. The Electrons carry Large Charges as compared to their mass, i.e., Charge / Mass equals to 1.77 X 10-11 Coulombs/kg (very small mass). 4. This makes electron very mobile. 5. The Nucleus being many times heavier than an Electron is quite immobile. THE BOHR ATOM The Most Fundamental Unit of all Matter is the Atom. We shall consider materials leading to semiconductors by studying the single isolated atom. Investigation of the properties of Solid Materials containing many combined Atoms shall then flow. The Atom consists of THREE DISTINCT types of PARTICLES. These are: NEUTRONS, PROTONS AND ELECTRONS. As a theory, the Bohr Model can be derived as a first-order approximation of the hydrogen atom in the broader and much more accurate quantum mechanics, and thus may be considered to be an obsolete scientific theory. However, because of its simplicity, the Bohr model is still commonly taught to introduce students to quantum mechanics. In 1913, Niels Bohr incorporated this idea into Bohr model of the atom, in which the electrons could only orbit the nucleus in particular circular orbits with fixed angular momentum and energy, their distances from the nucleus being proportional to their respective energies. They were not allowed to spiral into the nucleus, because they could not loose energy in a continuous manner; they could only make quantum leaps between fixed energy levels.


The borh atom The Bohr model of the hydrogen atom is as shown above. The atomic nucleus is shown in green, the electron in blue and the emitted photon in red. The electronic orbital are shown as dashed black circles; their radii grow like n2, where n is the principal quantum number. A hydrogen atom is an atom of the chemical element hydrogen. It is composed of a single negatively-charged electron circling a single positively-charged proton which is the nucleus of the hydrogen atom. The electron is bound to the proton by the Coulomb force. The hydrogen atom has special significance in quantum mechanics and quantum field theory as a simple two-body problem physical system which has yielded many simple analytical solutions in closed-form. In 1913, Niels Bohr obtained the spectral frequencies of the hydrogen atom after making a number of simplifying assumptions. These assumptions were not fully correct, but did yield the correct energy answers (see The Bohr Model).

The Bohr model Of The Hydrogen Atom In atomic physics, the Bohr model depicts the atom as a small, positively charged nucleus surrounded by electrons that travel in circular orbits around the nucleus similar in structure to the solar system, but with electrostatic forces providing attraction, rather than gravity. The Bohr model of the hydrogen atom, where negatively charged electrons confined to atomic shells encircle a small positively charged atomic nucleus, and that an electron jump between orbits must be accompanied by an emitted or absorbed amount of electromagnetic energy h. The orbits that the electrons travel in are shown as grey circles; their radii increase n2, where n is the principal quantum number. The 32 transition depicted here produces the first line of the Balmer series, and for hydrogen (Z = 1) results in a photon of wavelength 656 nm (red).


2.2 ENERGY-BAND IN SEMICONDUCTORS Electron Energies in Solids Energy Bands The energy levels available to the single electron of the Hydrogen Atom are numbered n=1,2; in increasing order of energy. There are an infinite number of energies between the various levels. However the hydrogen electron can exist only at one of the permissible levels. The higher the energy level, the further the electrons orbit is away from the nucleus. The atom is made up of a heavy nucleus around which one or more electrons revolve in orbits. For each isolated atom, however, there are only a certain number of orbits available. Theses available orbits represent energy levels for the electrons. Each orbit corresponds to a certain value of total electron energy. No more than two electrons may exist in any one level or orbit. The energy unit which we will employ in all our work on atomic theory and semiconductor will be the electron volt. It is defined as that amount of energy gained or lost when an electron moves with or against a potential difference of one volt. In terms of joules, a common unit of energy, an electron volt (abbreviated eV is equivalent to: 1.6 X 10-19 joules. Why Energy-bands Occur The electrons of a single free-standing atom occupy atomic orbital, which form a discrete set of energy levels. If several atoms are brought together into a molecule, their atomic orbital split due to the Pauli Exclusion Principle. This produces a number of molecular orbital proportional to the number of atoms. When a large number of atoms (of order 1020 or more) are brought together to form a solid, the number of orbits becomes exceedingly large, and the difference in energy between them becomes very small. However, some intervals of energy contain no orbits, no matter how many atoms are aggregated. These energy levels are so numerous as to be indistinct. First, the separation between energy levels in a solid is comparable with the energy that electrons constantly exchange with phonons (atomic vibrations). Second, it is comparable with the energy uncertainty due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, for reasonably long intervals of time. However the Hydrogen Electron can exist only at One of the Permissible Levels. The Higher the Energy Level, the further is the Nucleus away from the Electrons Orbit.


Any solid has a large number of bands. In theory, it can be said to have infinitely many bands (just as an atom has infinitely many energy levels). However, all but a few lie at energies so high that any electron that reaches those energies escapes from the solid. These bands are usually disregarded. Bands have different widths, based upon the properties of the atomic orbital from which they arise. Also, allowed bands may overlap, producing (for practical purposes) a single large band. Metals contain a band that is partly empty and partly filled regardless of temperature. Therefore they have very high conductivity. The uppermost occupied band in an insulator or semiconductor is called the valence band by analogy to the valence electrons of individual atoms. The lowermost unoccupied band is called the conduction band because only when electrons are excited to the conduction band can current flow in these materials. Energy Band Theory of Solids A useful way to visualize the difference between conductors, insulators and semiconductors is to plot the available energies for electrons in the materials. Instead of having discrete energies as in the case of free atoms, the available energy states form bands. Crucial to the conduction process is whether or not there are electrons in the conduction band. In insulators the electrons in the valence band are separated by a large gap from the conduction band, in conductors like metals the valence band overlaps the conduction band, and in semiconductors there is a small enough gap between the valence and conduction bands that thermal or other excitations can bridge the gap. With such a small gap, the presence of a small percentage of a doping material can increase conductivity dramatically. An important parameter in the band theory is the Fermi level, the top of the available electron energy levels at low temperatures. The position of the Fermi level with the relation to the conduction band is a crucial factor in determining electrical properties.


Insulator Energy Bands Most solid substances are insulators, and in terms of the band theory of solids this implies that there is a large forbidden gap between the energies of the valence electrons and the energy at which the electrons can move freely through the material (the conduction band). E.g., Glass is an insulating material which may be transparent to visible light for reasons closely correlated with its nature as an electrical insulator. While the doping of insulators can dramatically change their optical properties, it is not enough to overcome the large band gap to make them good conductors of electricity. However, the doping of semiconductors has a much more dramatic effect on their electrical conductivity and is the basis for solid electronics. Index


Semiconductor Energy Bands For intrinsic semiconductors like silicon and germanium, the Fermi level is essentially halfway between the valence and conduction bands. Although no conduction occurs at 0 K, at higher temperatures a finite number of electrons can reach the conduction band and provide some current. In doped semiconductors, extra energy levels are added. The increase in conductivity with temperature can be modelled in terms of the Fermi function, which allows one to calculate the population of the conduction band.

Conductor Energy Bands In terms of the band theory of solids, metals are unique as good conductors of electricity. This can be seen to be a result of their valence electrons being essentially free. In the band theory, this is depicted as an overlap of the valence band and the conduction band so that at least a fraction of the valence electrons can move through the material.

Silicon Energy Bands At finite temperatures, the number of electrons which reach the conduction band and contribute to current can be modelled by the Fermi function. That current is small compared to that in doped semiconductors under the same conditions. Germanium Energy Bands At finite temperatures, the number of electrons which reach the conduction band and contribute to current can be modelled by the Fermi function. That current is small compared to that in doped semiconductors under the same conditions. 26

The difference between insulators and semiconductors is only that the forbidden band gap between the valence band and conduction band is larger in an insulator, so that fewer electrons are found there and the electrical conductivity is less. Because one of the main mechanisms for electrons to be excited to the conduction band is due to thermal energy, the conductivity of semiconductors is strongly dependent on the temperature of the material. This band gap is one of the most useful aspects of the band structure, as it strongly influences the electrical and optical properties of the material. Electrons can transfer from one band to the other by means of carrier generation and recombination processes. The band gap and defect states created in the band gap by doping can be used to create semiconductor devices such as solar cells, diodes, transistors, laser diodes, etc. The difference between insulators and semiconductors is only that the forbidden band gap between the valence band and conduction band is larger in an insulator, so that fewer electrons are found there and the electrical conductivity is less. Because one of the main mechanisms for electrons to be excited to the conduction band is due to thermal energy, the conductivity of semiconductors is strongly dependent on the temperature of the material. This band gap is one of the most useful aspects of the band structure, as it strongly influences the electrical and optical properties of the material. Electrons can transfer from one band to the other by means of carrier generation and recombination processes. The band gap and defect states created in the band gap by doping can be used to create semiconductor devices such as solar cells, diodes, transistors, laser diodes, etc. In a solid, the atoms are so close to each other that certain important changes occur in the state of the energy levels. When atoms are brought into close proximity, as in a solid, the energy levels which existed for single isolated atoms, split up to form bands of energy levels. Within each band there are still discrete permissible energy levels rather than a continuum. There are many bands below the level of the valence band shown in this figure, however, only the two upper bands are of interest in considering electrical properties. The upper most energy band is the conduction band. Separating these two hands is a forbidden energy band, which may not be occupied by any electron in the silicon crystal. The valence band is the band of electron energies which contains all the energy levels available to the valence electrons in the structure. These valence electrons are more or less attached to the individual atoms and are not free to move about as are the electrons in the conduction band. Every valence electron has energy in the valence band. In solid state physics, the electronic band structure (or simply band structure) of a solid describes ranges of energy that an electron is "forbidden" or "allowed" to have. The band structure determines a material's electronic properties, optical properties, and a variety of other properties. 27

Valence Band In solids, the valence band is the highest range of electron energies where electrons are normally present at absolute zero. In semiconductors and insulators, there is a band gap above the valence band, followed by a conduction band above that. In metals, the conduction band has no energy gap separating it from the valence band. The rest of this article refers to the valence band in semiconductors and insulators.


The Conduction Band: It is a band of energies in which the level of energy of the electrons is high enough so that electrons in these levels are not attached or bound to any atom but rather is mobile and capable of being influenced by an external force. The electrons that move to the conduction band are those electrons from the valence band that gains sufficient energy through some form of excitation to be elevated to the conduction band. For example, in silicon, an electron existing at an energy level near the top of the valence band needs to gain 0.7ev of energy in order to jump the gap and reach the bottom of the conduction band. It is this energy difference across the forbidden energy band that determines whether a solid behaves as a conductor, insulator or semiconductor. The valence band is the band of electron energies which contains all the energy levels available to the valence electrons in the structure. These valence electrons are more or less attached to the. Individual atoms and are not free to move about as are the electrons in the conduction band.


ELECTRIC CURRENT: Electric Current is defined as The Movement of Charges. Since electrons are negatively charged particles, then it is logical to conclude that the ability of a material to conduct electricity depends upon the availability of free valence-band electrons, or conduction-band electrons within the material. A conductor is a solid material containing many electrons in the conduction band at room temperatures. There is no forbidden region between the valence and conduction bands on a good conductors energy-band diagram. The two energies overlap. An insulator material has an energy band diagram with a very wide forbidden energy band. It is so wide that, practically no electrons can be given sufficient energy to jump the gap from the valence band to the conduction band. SEMICONDUCTOR Is a solid material which has a forbidden energy-band which is very narrow. Its forbidden energy-band is much smaller than that of an insulator, but larger than that of a conductor. Resistivity: It is a measure of the degree to which a material opposes or resists the flow of electric current. is the symbol (the Greek letter rho) Conductivity: This is the degree to which a material allows current to flow through it. The Greek letter sigma is the symbol ofr conductivity. Different materials have different values of resistivity: the resistivity of rubber, which is an insulator, is far greater than that of copper, which is a conductor. The resistivity of silicon, which is a semiconductor, is between that of rubber and copper. Different materials have different values of resistivity: The resistivity of rubber, which is an insulator, is far greater than that of copper, which is a conductor. The resistivity of silicon, which is a semiconductor, is between that of rubber and copper. The resistivity of a material is determined by a number of factors: a) The atomic structure of the material. b) Its temperature c) The density of free charge carriers available to move under an external force such as electric potential or light energy. Different materials have different values of resistivity: The resistivity of rubber, which is an insulator, is far greater than that of copper, which is a conductor. The resistivity of silicon, which is a semiconductor, is between that of rubber and copper. Resistivity is a measurable quantity and is independent of the geometrical shape of the material. It is an intrinsic property in the same sense that colour is, for example resistivity has the units of ohm-metre or ohm-centimetre (ohm-c). Ohms are the familiar units of electrical resistance which is also a measure of opposition to current but depends on both the resistivity of a material and on its geometry (length and cross- sectional area). i.e., R = ( x l ) / a Where: - Is The Resistivity Of The Material L - Is the Length of the Material A - Is The Cross-Sectional Area Of The Material. Conductivity is the exact opposite of resistivity and mathematically, it is equal to the reciprocal of resistivity; i.e., = 1/. The units for are: 1/ohm-cm or mho/cm. Since a mho is the reciprocal of an ohm (1/r). SEMICONDUCTOR PRINCIPLES


Solid materials are classified according to their energy-band structures as conductors, semiconductors or insulators. What determines whether a material has the electrical characteristics of a good, fair or poor conductor? Obviously the number of free charge carriers available within a material is a major factor. This number is determined by the complexity of atom, the number of valence electrons and the type of bonding between atoms. Atoms with few valence electrons tend to give them up more readily than atoms with many valence electrons. Atom possessing few valence electrons has them more loosely bound to the nucleus than atoms with many valence electrons. Low-valence atoms have narrow forbidden energy bands between conduction-bands and are thus good conductors. A simple high valence atoms have wide forbidden energy bands, making them poor conductors. GERMANIUM AND SILICON SEMICONDUCTOR MATERIALS Germanium has an atomic number (the number of electrons) of 32 and silicon has an atomic number of 14. Both have the same number of valence electrons. Since germanium is more complex, we can expect it to be a better conductor than silicon. Germanium forbidden band gap is: 0.5 eV or 0.7eV. Silicon forbidden band gap is: 0.7 eV or 1.1eV. COVALENT BONDING IN SEMICONDUCTORS In semiconductor materials, the bonding between atoms is covalent. Taking germanium as an example, the covalent bonding process is illustrated in the figure below. Germanium has a valence of four and shares its 4 valence atoms with four adjacent atoms of germanium. Each germanium atom thus appears to have a valence of 8. A covalent bond is made up of one electron from each of two atoms strongly bonded together. Silicon and germanium are elements which are semiconductors. There are other semiconductor materials made up of compounds such as gallium arsenide. Generally, materials made up of 3, 4 or 5 valence atoms in a covalent bond are semiconductors. INTRINSIC SEMICONDUCTORS When external energy is applied, such as Heat, to an intrinsic semiconductor it Increases the energy of each atom in the crystal. This increase in energy may be imported to some of the valence electrons; Particularly one at an energy level near the top of valence band, may acquire Sufficient additional energy to break away from its atom and become a free Electron. In so doing, it must break it covalent bond and acquire enough energy to jump the forbidden gap. Then it will exit at an energy level in the conduction band as a free conduction electron. Liberation of this valence electron has left a vacancy in the valence structure. This vacancy is called a hole. A hole, by virtue of its positive charge, has a great attraction for an electron, if one should wander by.

Basic Information 31

Name: Germanium Symbol: Ge Atomic Number: 32 Atomic Mass: 72.61 amu Melting Point: 937.4 C (1210.55 K, 1719.3201 F) Boiling Point: 2830.0 C (3103.15 K, 5126.0 F) Number of Protons/Electrons: 32 Number of Neutrons: 41 Classification: Metalloid Crystal Structure: Cubic Density @ 293 K: 5.323 g/cm3 Colour: grayish Atomic Structure Number of Energy Levels: 4 First Energy Level: 2 Second Energy Level: 8 Third Energy Level: 18 Fourth Energy Level: 4 Facts Date of Discovery: 1823 Discoverer: Jons Berzelius Name Origin: From the Latin word silex (flint) Uses: glass, semiconductors Obtained From: Second most abundant element. Found in clay, granite, quartz, sand

A Brief Explanation of Atomic Structure And Electrical Conduction Electrical conduction is caused by electrons breaking free of their atoms and moving around. Atoms of some elements let go of their outer electrons pretty easily, which makes these elements good conductors. In other elements, the atoms hold on to their electrons, so these elements don't conduct electricity as well. Copper and silicon are used here as examples. The same general ideas apply to other elements. In these sketches, positive charge is shown in red, negative in black, and neutral in green. 32

The atomic number of copper is 29, which means it has 29 protons in the middle and 29 electrons moving around the outside. (The 29 negative charges of the electrons and the 29 positive charges of the protons balance out, so the atom is neutral when all of its electrons are in place.). Copper has two electrons in the innermost shell, eight in the next shell, eighteen in the third shell, and one in the fourth shell. This means that the first three shells each have as many electrons as they can hold, and the fourth shell has one lonely electron. (The fourth shell can hold up to 32 electrons.) Because this one lonely electron is all by itself in the outer shell, it can easily separate from the rest of the atom and go roaming around, which makes copper a very good conductor.

The atomic number of silicon is 14, which means it has 14 protons in the middle and 14 electrons moving around the outside. Silicon has two electrons in the innermost shell, eight in the next shell, and four in the third shell. This means that the first two shells are completely full, and the third shell has four electrons, out of the 18 that can fit in the third shell of an atom. Something about having four electrons in that outer shell makes the shell more stable than copper's outer shell with its one lonely electron, so the electrons in the silicon atom don't wander off as easily. Since the silicon atom has a fairly firm grip on its electrons, silicon is not as good a conductor as copper is. Most house wiring is made of copper, because copper is a very good conductor of electricity and is not as expensive as other good conductors, such as gold and platinum. Silicon can conduct electricity, but not nearly as well as copper does. The conductivity of silicon depends a great deal on what is mixed with it, because this affects how tightly it holds on to its outer electrons. Silicon is the main ingredient in glass, which does not conduct electricity. Silicon is also used to make semi-conductors, which do conduct electricity, but still not as well as copper does. (That's why they're called semi-conductors instead of conductors.) 2.3 ELECTRONS AND HOLES (ELECTRON-HOLE PAIRS)

The excitation of a valence electron into a conduction band is always accompanied by the appearance of a hole. The freed electron and the hole it left behind are called an electron-hole pair. When heat is the form of energy, the generated electron hole pair are said to be thermally generated and they depend on temperature. What happens to all thermally generated holes? The answer to this is that, they also become current carriers though not in the same way as the electrons. It appears that the holes move from one atom to another. This means that, current flow in a semiconductor is composed of: - Electron movements and - hole generations.


Basic Information Name: Silicon Symbol: Si Atomic Number: 14 Atomic Mass: 28.0855 amu Melting Point: 1410.0 C (1683.15 K, 2570.0 F) Boiling Point: 2355.0 C (2628.15 K, 4271.0 F) Number of Protons/Electrons: 14 Number of Neutrons: 14 Classification: Metalloid Crystal Structure: Cubic 34

Density @ 293 K: 2.329 g/cm3 Colour: grey Atomic Structure Number of Energy Levels: 3 First Energy Level: 2 Second Energy Level: 8 Third Energy Level: 4 Isotopes IsotopeHalf LifeSi-28StableSi-29StableSi-30StableSi-312.62 hoursSi-32100.0 years Facts Date of Discovery: 1823 Discoverer: Jons Berzelius Name Origin: From the Latin word silex (flint) Uses: glass, semiconductors Obtained From: Second most abundant element. Found in clay, granite, quartz, sand


RECOMBINATION (Refer to diagram above) It may not be apparent just what happens to the holes as they reach the edge of the semiconductor material. What actually takes place is called the process of recombination in which some of the electrons flow from the negative terminal of the battery and fill the holes as they enter the conductor. Therefore recombination is the filling of holes by free electrons wandering through the crystal, and may encounter holes and recombine with them, thus annihilating (wipe out) electron-hole pairs. What, then, keeps all the electron-hole pairs from disappearing? The result is that, electron-hole pairs are continuously being generated thermally. These thermally generated electron-hole pairs compensate for the recombination losses so that at a given temperature the number of electron-hole pairs in a semiconductor crystal is essentially constant. The electrons that cause hole current are valence electrons which jumps from hole to hole and do not have enough energy to become free electrons. Free electrons move freely through the crystal without being bound to any atom. The resistivity and resistance of an intrinsic semiconductor decrease as its temperature increases because more valence electrons are able to break away from their covalent bonds and become free electrons in intrinsic semiconductor. The total number of free electrons equals the total number of holes. EXTRINSIC SEMICONDUCTOR Pure silicon (or germanium) is of little use as a semiconductor, except maybe as a heat or light-sensitive resistance device. The process of adding impurities to the semiconductor material is called doping. This is performed after the semiconductor material has been refined to a high degree of purity. The impurity material added to the semiconductor is termed as dopant. The concentration of the added impurity, (the dopant), is typically very minute, in the order of one part of impunity per ten million parts of pure semiconductor. The doped semiconductor is referred to as an extrinsic semiconductor. N-TYPE & P-TYPE IMPURITIES The effect of the impurities is to produce a predominance of either free electrons or holes. Doping impurities which add free electrons to the semiconductor material are called n -type impurities. , since they add negative carriers. Hole- producing impurities are called p-type Impurities since they add positive carries tithe semiconductor crystal.



N-TYPE IMPURITIES The element arsenic is an example of this type of impurity. It has an atomic number of 33 and falls in the valence v column. The arsenic atoms, since they have five valence electrons, do not fit in exactly with the silicon crystal structure. Only 4 of the valence electrons are required in the crystal structure. The 5th valence electron does not enter a covalent bound and is thus only loosely bound to its parent arsenic atom. For each arsenic atom present in the crystal, one virtually free electron is donated to the semiconductor material. For this reason, arsenic and all impurities with a valence greater than 4 are called donor impurities. At absolute zero temperature, the fifth Valence electron of each arsenic atom is bound to its parent atom even though it is not part of a covalent bond. At a room temperature all these electrons have absorbed small amount of energy needed to become conduction electrons. With the addition of a donor impurity, a new energy level, the donor level is introduced. 38

These free electrons leave no holes behind since they have broken no covalent bonds. Thus, there are more free electrons in the conduction band than there are holes in the valence band. For this reason, in an n-type semiconductor, one doped with n-type donor impurities, electrons are the majority current carries and holes are the minority carriers. Donor impurities: phosphorous, antimony, arsenic. It is important to note that donor atoms become positive ion when they donate their electrons. The positive ions are locked in the crystal structure and cannot move to conduct current. The element indium is a common p-type impurity. It has an atomic number of 49 and a valence of three.



SEMICONDUCTORS: CHEMICAL STRUCTURE Starting with a silicon substrate: Silicon has 4 valence electrons, and therefore a lattice structure: Each atom bonds with 4 neighbors. No free electrons (poor conductor) unless you heat it up (semi conductor).

Si Si Si

Si Si Si

Si Si Si



Other Group IV elements can be used for substrate, but they are harder to come by (carbon lattice for instance.)


Make silicon a better conductor by adding Group III or Group V elements: process called doping Add Group III el ements like gallium or indi um to get p-type material Note that the G a atom has only 3 val ence el ectrons with which to bond; missing bond is called a hole
Si Si Si Si Si





Si Si



Si Si

Add Group V el ements like arsenic or phosphorus to get n-type material





Note that the As atom has 5 valence electrons; it has an unbonded electron




Materials are electrically neutral! Equal number of proton s and electrons!




Put p-type and n-type material together: h h h h h h h h h

aluminum p-type extra holes

e e e

e e e

e e e

n-type extra e-

This is a diode.

Essential Property: Make current flow (or not flow) by applying electric field (voltage) to metal ends. Voltage Controlled Switch


CASE: Open Circuit

Free electrons from n-type are chemically attracted to holes in p-type. Free electrons move across junction to fill holes: process called diffusion Unbalanced protons are left in n-type, unbalanced electrons now in p-type. hhh hhh hhh

e e e e e e e e e

hh hh hh p-type

+ e e + e e + e e

Area near p-n junction now has no charge carriers (free electrons or holes): called depletion region The charged atoms in the depletion region create an electric field, and thus a difference in electric potential. When the potential drop becomes steep, the free electrons no longer cross: drift takes over

depletion region
V dist from junction



CASE: Short Circuit Is there a current when I short a diode? h h h h h h + + + e e e Is KVL violated? NO. e e e



At metal-semiconductor junction, potential changes to balance device. Electrons in metal can redistribute easily to do this. V
metal contact dist from junction metal contact


CASE 2: Reverse Bias
p-type n-type

h h h

+ + +

+ + +

e e e

depletion region (no free e, h)

A diode is in reverse bias mode when the + (p-type) terminal is at a (moderately) lower potential than the (n-type) terminal. Electrons bunch up by positive metal contact, but few cross through wire because of potential drop between contacts. A tiny leakage current flows due to these few stray electrons, but basically zero current flow.

+ V VS
metal contact

VS > 0
metal contact dist from junction



CASE: Reverse Breakdown
p-type n-type

h h h

e e

+ + +

+ + +

e e e

When the diode + terminal is at a much lower potential than the - terminal, reverse breakdown occurs. Reverse breakdown begins when the potential rise across the junction becomes so great that electrons from the p-type material travel across the rise. The difference in potential has to be great enough to overcome the chemical bonds in the p-type lattice.

depletion region (no free e, h)

+ V VS
metal contact

metal contact dist from junction

Voltage necessary for breakdown: VZK Zener knee

There are diodes called Zener diodes that are designed to operate in reverse breakdown. The voltage across the diode in the reverse breakdown mode is about constant, as once the voltage gets past VZK, the depletion layer does not really increasethe current increases dramatically (also known as avalanche current). As the reverse voltage is increased, there will be a limit to the current flow: reverse saturation current A Zener diode is used to regulate voltage within a circuit, since it provides about the same voltage (VZK) for a whole range of reverse current conditions. Zener diodes can be obtained for a variety of VZK values, anywhere from 0.5 V to 200 V.


CASE: Forward Bias
p-type n-type

h h

+ + +

e e

The difference in potential created by the voltage source makes the drop across the junction less steep. If VS is large enough, greater than the diode forward voltage VF, electron diffusion (movement to fill holes) overcomes electron drift (movement due to electric field).

VS > VF +
metal contact


metal contact Electrons flow across junction and dist from combine with holes. junction

The need to redistribute charge at metal ends ensures continuous supply of electrons and holes.

Current flows from + terminal to terminal

CASE: Forward Bias 44

When the voltage across the forward-biased diode is increased past VF, the current increases dramatically. As the forward voltage is increased, there will be a limit to the current flow: saturation current When operating in forward-bias mode in a circuit, diode voltage is nearly constant (equal to VF). A voltage around VF occurs for a whole range of forward current conditions. Many diodes have a VF of 0.6 to 0.7 V, but light emitting diodes (LEDs) often have higher VF values. An LED emits light when it is forward biased. Doping The property of semiconductors that makes them most useful for constructing electronic devices is that their conductivity may easily be modified by introducing impurities into their crystal lattice. The process of adding controlled impurities to a semiconductor is known as doping. The amount of impurity, or dopant, added to an intrinsic (pure) semiconductor varies its level of conductivity. Doped semiconductors are often referred to as extrinsic. A dopant, also called doping agent and dope, is an impurity element added to a semiconductor lattice in low concentrations in order to alter the optical/electrical properties of the semiconductor. The process of introducing dopants into a semiconductor is called doping. The addition of a dopant to a semiconductor has the effect of shifting the Fermi level within the material. This results in a material with predominantly negative (n type) or positive (p type) charge carriers depending on the dopant species. Pure semiconductors altered by the presence of dopants are known as extrinsic semiconductors (cf. intrinsic semiconductor). Dopants are introduced into semiconductors in a variety of ways including ion implantation and surface diffusion. Examples: Boron, arsenic, phosphorus, antimony, among other substances, are commonly used dopants in the semiconductor industry. The medical field has some use for Erbium in as a dopant for lasers used in surgery. Europium is used to dope plastics in lasers. (Source: Strategic Rare Earth Metals Inc.) . Artificially produced gemstones (such as rubies) sometimes contain a dopant to identify them as such. Dopants The materials chosen as suitable dopants depend on the atomic properties of both the dopant and the material to be doped. In general, dopants that produce the desired controlled changes are classified as either electron acceptors or donors. A donor atom that activates (that is, becomes incorporated into the crystal lattice) donates weakly-bound valence electrons to the material, creating excess negative charge carriers. These weakly-bound electrons can move about in the crystal lattice relatively freely and can facilitate conduction in the presence of an electric field. Conversely, an activated acceptor produces a hole. Semiconductors doped with donor impurities are called n-type, while those doped with acceptor impurities are known as p-type. The n and p type designations indicate which charge carrier acts as the material's majority carrier. The opposite carrier is called the minority carrier, which exists due to thermal excitation at a much lower concentration compared to the majority carrier. For example, the pure semiconductor silicon has four valence electrons. In silicon, the most common dopants are IUPAC group 13 (commonly known as column III) and group 15 (commonly known as column V) elements. Group 13 elements all contain three valence electrons, causing them to function as acceptors when used to dope silicon. Group 15 elements have five valence electrons, which allow them to act as a donor. Therefore, a silicon crystal doped with boron creates a p-type semiconductor whereas one doped with phosphorus results in an n-type material.

N-type Semiconductor 45

An N-type semiconductor is obtained by carrying out a process of doping, that is, by adding an impurity of valence-five elements to a valence-four semiconductor in order to increase the number of free (in this case negative) charge carriers. When the doping material is added, it gives away (donates) weakly-bound outer electrons to the semiconductor atoms. This type of doping agent is also known as donor material since it gives away some of its electrons. The purpose of n-type doping is to produce an abundance of mobile or "carrier" electrons in the material. To help understand how n-type doping is accomplished, consider the case of silicon (Si). Si atoms have four valence electrons, each of which is covalently bonded with one of four adjacent Si atoms. N-type Semiconductor An N-type semiconductor is obtained by carrying out a process of doping, that is, by adding an impurity of valence-five elements to a valence-four semiconductor in order to increase the number of free (in this case negative) charge carriers. When the doping material is added, it gives away (donates) weakly-bound outer electrons to the semiconductor atoms. This type of doping agent is also known as donor material since it gives away some of its electrons. The purpose of n-type doping is to produce an abundance of mobile or "carrier" electrons in the material. To help understand how n-type doping is accomplished, consider the case of silicon (Si). Si atoms have four valence electrons, each of which is covalently bonded with one of four adjacent Si atoms. P-type semiconductor A P-type semiconductor is obtained by carrying out a process of doping, that is, adding a certain type of atoms to the semiconductor in order to increase the number of free (in this case positive) charge carriers. When the doping material is added, it takes away (accepts) weaklybound outer electrons from the semiconductor atoms. This type of doping agent is also known as acceptor material and the semiconductor atoms that have lost an electron are known as holes. The purpose of P-type doping is to create an abundance of holes. In the case of silicon, a trivalent atom (typically from group IIIA of the periodic table, such as boron or aluminium) is substituted into the crystal lattice. The result is that one electron is missing from one of the four covalent bonds normal for the silicon lattice. Thus the dopant atom can accept an electron from a neighboring atoms' covalent bond to complete the fourth bond. Such dopants are called acceptors. The dopant atom accepts an electron, causing the loss of half of one bond from the neighboring atom and resulting in the formation of a "hole". Each hole is associated with a nearby negative-charged dopant ion, and the semiconductor remains electrically neutral as a whole. However, once each whole has wandered away into the lattice, one proton in the atom at the hole's location will be "exposed" and no longer cancelled by an electron. For this reason a hole behaves as a quantity of positive charge. When a sufficiently large number of acceptor atoms are added, the holes greatly outnumber the thermally-excited electrons. Thus, the holes are the majority carriers, while electrons are the minority carriers in P-type materials. Blue diamonds (Type IIb), which contain boron (B) impurities, are an example of a naturally occurring P-type semiconductor. However, once each hole has wandered away into the lattice, one proton in the atom at the hole's location will be "exposed" and no longer cancelled by an electron. For this reason a hole behaves as a quantity of positive charge. When a sufficiently large number of acceptor atoms are added, the holes greatly outnumber the thermally-excited electrons.

Thus, the holes are the majority carriers, while electrons are the minority carriers in P-type materials. Blue diamonds (Type IIb), which contain boron (B) impurities, are an example of a 46

naturally occurring P-type semiconductor. First we have to look a little bit at the diffusion process however. Imagine that we have a series of bins, each with a different number of electrons in them. In a given time, we could imagine that all of the electrons would flow out of their bins into the neighboring ones. Since there is no reason to expect the electrons to favour one side over the other, we will assume that exactly half leave by each side. This is all shown in the figure below. We will keep things simple and only look at three bins. Imagine I have 4, 6, and 8 electrons respectively in each of the bins. After the required "emptying time," we will have a net flux of exactly one electron across each boundary as shown.



Intrinsic semiconductor An intrinsic semiconductor, also called an undoped semiconductor or i-type semiconductor, is a pure semiconductor without any significant dopant species present. The presence and type of charge carriers is therefore determined by the material itself instead of the impurities; the amount of electrons and holes is roughly equal. Intrinsic semiconductors conductivity can be due to crystal defects or to thermal excitation. In an intrinsic semiconductor the number of electrons in the conduction band is equal to the number of holes in the valence band. 2.5 P AND N DOPPING

The Doping of Semiconductors The addition of a small percentage of foreign atoms in the regular crystal lattice of silicon or germanium produces dramatic changes in their electrical properties, producing n-type and ptype semiconductors. Pentavalent Impurities Impurity atoms with 5 valence electrons produce n-type semiconductors by contributing extra electrons. Trivalent Impurities Impurity atoms with 3 valence electrons produce p-type semiconductors by producing a "hole" or electron deficiency.


P- And N- Type Semiconductors N-Type Semiconductor The addition of pentavalent impurities such as antimony, arsenic or phosphorous contributes free electrons, greatly increasing the conductivity of the intrinsic semiconductor. Phosphorous may be added by diffusion of phosphate gas (PH3).

N-Type Band Structure The addition of donor impurities contributes electron energy levels high in the semiconductor band gap so that electrons can be easily excited into the conduction band. This shifts the effective Fermi level to a point about halfway between the donor levels and the conduction band. Electrons can be elevated to the conduction band with the energy provided by an applied voltage and move through the material. The electrons are said to be the "majority carriers" for current flow in an n-type semiconductor.

Fermi Level 48

"Fermi level" is the term used to describe the top of the collection of electron energy levels at absolute zero temperature. This concept comes from Fermi-Dirac statistics. Electrons are fermions and by the Pauli Exclusion Principle cannot exist in identical energy states. So at absolute zero they pack into the lowest available energy states and build up a "Fermi sea" of electron energy states. The Fermi level is the surface of that sea at absolute zero temperature where no electrons will have enough energy to rise above the surface.

P-Type Band Structure The addition of acceptor impurities contributes hole levels low in the semiconductor band gap so that electrons can be easily excited from the valence band into these levels, leaving mobile holes in the valence band. This shifts the effective Fermi level to a point about halfway between the acceptor levels and the valence band. Electrons can be elevated from the valence band to the holes in the band gap with the energy provided by an applied voltage. Since electrons can be exchanged between the holes, the holes are said to be mobile. The holes are said to be the "majority carriers" for current flow in a p-type semiconductor.



What is An Impurity? Impurity is substance inside a confined amount of liquid, gas, or solid, which differ from the chemical composition of the material or compound. Impurities are either naturally occurring or added during synthesis of a chemical or commercial product. During production, impurities may be purposely, accidentally, inevitably, or incidentally added into the substance. The level of impurities in a material is generally defined in relative terms. Standards have been established by various organizations that attempt to define the permitted levels of various impurities in a manufactured product. A material's level of purity can only be stated as being more or less pure than some other material. Impurity Level is the degree of impurityconcentration or amount of impurity material added to an intrinsic semiconductor material during doping process . 49

Type of Impurity Levels There are two main types of Impurity level: 1. Shadow Impurity Level 2. Deep Impurity Level. Shadow Impurity Level A shallow donor refers to a specific energy level present in semi-conductors indicating a lower level of impurities. Introducing impurities in a semiconductor which are used to set free additional electrons in its conduction band is called Doping with Donors. In a group IV semiconductor like Silicium these are most often of Group V elements like Arsenic or Antimony. However these impurities introduce new energy levels in the band gap affecting the band structure which may alter the electronic properties of the semiconductor to a great extent. Having a shallow donor level means that, these additional energy levels, are not more than 0.075 eV at room temperature, away from the lower conduction band edge. This allows to treat the original semiconductor as unaffected in its electronic properties having the impurity atoms only increasing the electron concentration. A limit to donor concentration in order to allow treatment as shallow donors is approximately 1019cm 3. Deep Impurity Level If there are energy levels due to impurities deeper in the band gap they are called deep levels

3. THE P-N JUNCTION AS A CIRCUIT ELEMENT A p-n junction is formed by combining N-type and P-type semiconductors together in very close contact. The term junction refers to the region where the two types of semiconductor meet. It can be thought of as the border region between the P-type and N-type blocks as shown in the following diagram. The p-n junction possesses some interesting properties which have useful applications in modern electronics. P-doped semiconductor is relatively conductive. The same is true of N-doped semiconductor, but the junction between them is a nonconductor. This nonconducting layer, called the depletion zone, occurs because the electrical charge carriers in doped n-type and p-type silicon (electrons and holes, respectively) attract and eliminate each other in a process called recombination. By manipulating this nonconductive layer, p-n junctions are commonly used as diodes: electrical switches that allow a flow of electricity in one direction but not in the other (opposite) direction. This property is explained in terms of the forward-bias and reverse-bias effects, where the term bias refers to an application of electric voltage to he p-n junction.



Junctions formed by arranging two pieces of semiconductor materials (e.g., 1 P-Type and 1 N-Type or 2 N-Type and 1 P-Type) without any biasing arrangements, as shown below, are called Open-Circuited P-N Junction.


DIODE CURENTS There are 2 types of Diode Current. These are: Forward Current, resulting from Forward Biasing the P-N Junction and Reverse Current, resulting from Reverse Biasing the P-N Junction. Ref. to the Diode I-V characteristics. Forward Biased P-N Junction Forward-bias is the method of connecting the P-type block to the positive terminal of a battery source and the N-type block connected to the negative terminal, as shown. With this set-up, the 'holes' in the P-type region and the electrons in the N-type region are pushed towards the junction. This reduces the width of the depletion zone. The positive charge applied to the Ptype block repels the holes, while the negative charge applied to the N-type block repels the electrons. As electrons and holes are pushed towards the junction, the distance between them decreases. This lowers the barrier in potential. With increasing bias voltage, eventually the nonconducting depletion zone becomes so thin that the charge carriers can tunnel across the barrier, and the electrical resistance falls to a low value. The electrons which pass the junction barrier enter the P-type region (moving leftwards from one hole to the next, with reference to the above diagram). This makes an electric current possible. An electron starts flowing around from the negative terminal to the positive terminal of the battery. It starts at the negative terminal, moving towards the N-type block. Having reached the N-type region it enters the block and makes its way towards the p-n junction. This lowers the barrier in potential. With increasing bias voltage, eventually the nonconducting depletion zone becomes so thin that the charge carriers can tunnel across the barrier, and the electrical resistance falls to a low value. The electrons which pass the junction barrier enter the P-type region (moving leftwards from one hole to the next, with reference to the above diagram).This makes an electric current possible. An electron starts flowing around from the negative terminal to the positive terminal of the battery. It starts at the negative terminal, moving towards the N-type block. Having reached the N-type region it enters the block and makes its way towards the p-n junction. This lowers the barrier in potential. With increasing bias voltage, eventually the nonconducting depletion zone becomes so thin that the charge carriers can tunnel across the barrier, and the electrical resistance falls to a low value. The electrons which pass the junction barrier enter the P-type region (moving leftwards from one hole to the next, with reference to the above diagram). This makes an electric current possible. An electron starts flowing around from the negative terminal to the positive terminal of the battery. It starts at the negative terminal, moving towards the N-type block. Having reached the N-type region it enters the block and makes its way towards the p-n junction.

Reverse Biased P-N Junction

Depletion Layer / Space Charge Region Diagram

Connecting the P-type region to the negative terminal of the battery and the N-type region to the positive terminal, produces the reverse-bias effect. See diagram. 51

A silicon p-n junction in Reverse-Bias. Because the P-type region is now connected to the negative terminal of the power supply, the 'holes' in the P-type region are pulled away from the junction, causing the width of the nonconducting depletion zone to increase. Similarly, because the N-type region is connected to the positive terminal, the electrons will also be pulled away from the junction, again, increasing the width of the charged space.

This effectively increases the potential barrier and greatly increases the electrical resistance against the flow of charge carriers. For this reason there will be no (or minimal) electric current across the junction. At the middle of the junction of the p-n material, a depletion region is created to stand-off the reverse voltage. The width of the depletion region grows larger with higher voltage and the electric field enlarges as the reverse voltage increases. When the electric field increases beyond a critical level, the junction breaks down and current begins to flow by avalanche breakdown. This current flow is known as Reverse current flow. 2.5 ELECTRON TRANSPORT PHENOMENA IN SEMICONDUCTORS

In physics, chemistry and engineering, transport phenomenon is any of the various mechanisms by which particles or quantities move from one place to another. Three common examples of transport phenomena are diffusion, convection, and radiation. In electronics, the transport phenomena employed is the diffusion type, known as the Electron Diffusion.The term Electron Diffusion is the movement of electrons from an N-type Semiconductor substrate into a P-type semiconductor substrate and the vice versa. An important principle in the study of transport phenomena is analogy between phenomena. For example, mass, energy, and momentum can all be transported by diffusion: The spreading and dissipation of odors in air is an example of mass diffusion. The conduction of heat in a solid material is an example of heat diffusion. The drag experienced by a rain drop as it falls in the atmosphere is an example of momentum diffusion (the rain drop loses momentum to the surrounding air through viscous stresses and decelerates). The transport of mass, energy, and momentum can also be affected by the presence of external sources.

2.5.1 Current flow in Semiconductors

An electric current can flow through a semiconductor as a result of the movement of holes and/or free electrons. There are two important processes that account for current flow in semiconductors. These processes are called drift and diffusion.



Applying an electric field across a semiconductor will cause holes and free electrons to drift through the crystal. The total current is equal to the sum of hole current and electron current. 52



A drop of ink in a glass of water diffuses through the water until it is evenly distributed. The same process, called diffusion, occurs with semiconductors. For example, if some extra free electrons are introduced into a p-type semiconductor, the free electrons will redistribute themselves so that the concentration is more uniform. In the example shown in Figure 6, the free electrons will tend to move to the right. This net motion of charge carriers constitutes diffusion current. (In Figure 6 the holes and acceptor ions are omitted for clarity.)

In this example, the free electrons move away from the region of highest concentration. The higher the localized concentration, the greater will be the rate at which electrons move away. The same process applies to holes in an n-type semiconductor. Note that when a few minority carriers (such as the electrons in Figure 6) are diffusing through a sample, they will encounter a large number of majority carriers. Some recombination will occur. A number of both types of carrier will be lost.


The p-n Junction

Imagine that a p-type block of silicon can be placed in perfect contact with an n-type block. Free electrons from the n-type region will diffuse across the junction to the p-type side where they will recombine with some of the many holes in the p-type material. Similarly, holes will diffuse across the junction in the opposite direction and recombine. The recombination of free electrons and holes in the vicinity of the junction leaves a narrow region on either side of the junction that contains no mobile charge. This narrow region which has been depleted of mobile charge is called the depletion layer. It extends into both the ptype and n-type regions as shown in Figure 8(a). Note that the diffusion of holes from the ptype side of the depletion layer leaves behind some uncovered fixed negative charges (the acceptor ions). Similarly, fixed positive charges (donor ions) are uncovered on the n-type side of the depletion layer. There is then a separation of charges: negative fixed charges on the ptype side of the depletion layer and positive fixed charges on the n-type side. This separation of charges causes an electric field to extend across the depletion layer. A potential difference must therefore exist across the depletion layer. The uncovered charges give rise to a built-in potential of V_i_ volts. For a typical silicon p-n junction, V_i_ ≈ 0.6 to 0.7 volts. It varies with doping levels and temperature. The significance of this built-in potential is that it opposes the flow of holes and electrons across the junction. For this reason, the built-in potential is called a potential barrier or potential hill. In practice, a p-n junction is formed within a single crystal rather than simply joining two pieces together. Electrical contacts on either side of the crystal enable connection to an external circuit. The resulting device is called a junction diode.


Junction Diode Behaviour

The most important property of a junction diode is its ability to pass an electric current in one direction only. If the diode is connected to a simple circuit consisting of a battery and a resistor, the battery can be connected in either of two ways as shown in Figures 9(a) and 9(b). When the p-type region of the p-n junction is connected to the positive terminal of the battery, current will flow. The diode is said to be under forward bias. However, when the battery terminals are reversed, the p-n junction almost completely blocks the current flow. This is 53

called reverse bias. If the diode is not connected at all, it is said to be open-circuited and of course no current can flow through the diode.


Forward Bias

The application of a forward bias voltage V to a junction diode reduces the built-in potential. The reduction in the built-in potential is due to the applied voltage forcing more electrons into the n-type region and more holes into the p-type region, thus covering some of the fixed charges and narrowing the depletion layer. Since the total uncovered charge is reduced, the built-in potential must be lower. Remembering that the built-in potential opposes the flow of majority carriers across the junction, a reduction in that potential makes it easier for holes in the p-type region to cross the junction and for electrons in the n-type region to cross the junction in the opposite direction. As the forward bias voltage is increased, the current through the junction becomes greater. When the applied voltage V approaches Vin, the potential hill is almost removed. There is then little opposition to the flow of carriers across the junction and a large current can flow through the diode. Graphical Analysis of Diode Circuit A diode I-V curve is clearly non-linear and this makes it difficult for diodes to be modelled in circuits. Let us consider the circuit below: The diode is clearly forward biased and, assuming that the supply voltage is greater than the threshold voltage of the diode, a current, I, flows through the circuit. By Kirchhoffs laws, we can evaluate for the current flowing in the circuit as follows: I = (VS VD) / R1

The problem with this equation is that it has 2 unknowns, I and Vd. However, since the current flowing through the diode is the same as the current throughout the entire circuit, we can lay down another equation relating I and Vd, and this is the diode I-V characteristic: When I >> IS, the formula can be simplified to: Where IS is the saturation current of the diode (typically 10-12 A), q is the elementary charge value, 1.6x10-19 C, n is known as the fiddle factor (for silicon diodes, n = 2), k is the Boltzmann constant, 1.38x10-23 and T is the temperature in Kelvins. If we were to go about solving this equation, we would substitute I from the second equation into the first equation, and then try and rearrange the resulting equation to get Vd. However, it turns out that this is impossible to do and the equations cannot be solved algebraically. The other method is to plot the two curves on a graph and the point of intersection will give the value of the current flowing through the circuit and the voltage across the diode. SEMICONDUCTOR DIODES What Is A Diode? The Diode is the simplest type of semiconductor device. There are, in fact, lots of different kinds of diodes. Here we will just consider the most common type. 54

A diode is an electronic component that restricts the direction of movement of charge carriers, and allows an electric current to flow in one direction, but blocks current in the opposite direction. Thus, the diode can be thought of as an electronic version of a check valve. Circuits that require current flow in only one direction will typically include one or more diodes in the circuit design.

Early diodes included "cat's whisker" crystals and vacuum tube devices (called thermionic valves). Today the most common diodes are made from semiconductor materials such as silicon or germanium. This is called a PN-Junction, made by joining together two bits of semiconducting material one P-Type, the other N-Type as illustrated in figure 6.3a. When we bring the materials together two things happen. The -ve acceptor atoms in the Ptype material repel the mobile electrons on the N-type side of the join (Junction). The +ve donors in the N-type material also repel the holes on the P-type side of the junction. The donor & acceptor atoms (shown as small squares) are fixed, but the mobile electrons & holes (shown as circles) can move & hence they are driven away from the region near the junction. As a result a depletion zone forms around the junction. Any charges which can move have moved away from this zone, leaving it empty. The free electrons inside the N-type material need some extra energy to overcome the repulsion of the P-type's acceptor atoms. If they don't have enough energy, they can't cross the depletion zone & reach the P-type material. If they do manage to get past this energy barrier some of their kinetic energy will have been converted into potential energy, but once well clear of the depletion zone they can move around OK unless they fall into a hole. This action is usually described using a conventional energy level diagram. The electrons can roll around the flat parts of the energy diagram, but need extra energy to roll up the step and move from N-type to P-type across the junction. Coming the other way they'd drop down and zip into the N-type material with extra kinetic energy. The size of this energy barrier can be defined in terms of a junction voltage, this means the amount of energy converted from kinetic to potential form (or vice versa) when an electron crosses the depletion zone is:

, where e is the charge on a single electron.

A similar argument applies to the free holes in the P-type material. However, this is more complicated to understand because holes have the strange property that their energy increases as they go down the energy level diagram. Their behaviour is similar in some ways to a bubble underwater or a hydrogen balloon in air. This is because a hole is the absence of an electron. (To create a hole at a lower level we have to lift an electron up to the conduction band from further down this takes more energy.) As a result, the moveable holes in the P-type material find it difficult to roll down the barrier and get into the N-type material. They keep trying to bob up to the top of the band. The electrical properties of the diode can now be understood as consequences of the formation of this energy barrier & 55

depletion zone around the PN Junction. The first thing to note is that the depletion zone is free of charge carriers & the electrons/holes find it difficult to cross this zone. As a result, we can expect very little current to flow when we connect an external voltage supply & apply a small potential difference between the two pieces of semiconducting material. (Here, small mean small compared with ., which an electron requires to get over the potential barrier.) Most modern diodes are based on semiconductor p-n junctions. In a p-n diode, conventional current can flow from the p-type side (the anode) to the n-type side (the cathode), but not in the opposite direction. Another type of semiconductor diode, the Schottky diode, is formed from the contact between a metal and a semiconductor rather than by a p-n junction. A semiconductor diode's current-voltage, or I-V, characteristic curve is ascribed to the behavior of the so-called depletion layer or depletion zone which exists at the p-n junction between the differing semiconductors. When a p-n junction is first created, conduction band (mobile) electrons from the N-doped region diffuse into the P-doped region where there is a large population of holes (places for electrons in which no electron is present) with which the electrons "recombine". When a mobile electron recombines with a hole, the hole vanishes and the electron is no longer mobile. Thus, two charge carriers have vanished. The region around the p-n junction becomes depleted of charge carriers and thus behaves as an insulator. However, the depletion width cannot grow without limit. For each electron-hole pair that recombines, a positively-charged dopant ion is left behind in the N-doped region, and a negatively charged dopant ion is left behind in the P-doped region. As recombination proceeds and more ions are created, an increasing electric field develops through the depletion zone which acts to slow and then finally stop recombination. Here, there is a 'built-in' potential across the depletion zone. If an external voltage is placed across the diode with the same polarity as the built-in potential, the depletion zone continues to act as an insulator preventing a significant electric current. This is the reverse bias phenomenon. However, if the polarity of the external voltage opposes the built-in potential, recombination can once again proceed resulting in substantial electric current through the p-n junction. For silicon diodes, the built-in potential is approximately 0.6 V. Thus, if an external current is passed through the diode, about 0.6 V will be developed across the diode such that the Pdoped region is positive with respect to the N-doped region and the diode is said to be 'turned on' as it has a forward bias. Types of Semiconductor Diodes There are several types of semiconductor junction diodes: Normal (p-n) diodes which operate as described above. It is usually made of doped silicon or, more rarely, germanium. Before the development of modern silicon power rectifier diodes, cuprous oxide and later selenium was used; its low efficiency gave it a much higher forward voltage drop (typically 1.4 - 1.7 V per "cell," with multiple cells stacked to increase the peak inverse voltage rating in high voltage rectifiers), and required a large heat sink (often an extension of the diode's metal substrate), much larger than a silicon diode of the same current ratings would require. 'Gold doped' diodes as a dopant, gold (or platinum) acts as recombination centers, which help a fast recombination of minority carriers. This allows the diode to operate at signal frequencies, at the expense of a higher forward voltage drop. The Zener diodes (Pronounced /zinr/) Diodes that can be made to conduct backwards. his effect, called Zener breakdown, occurs at a precisely defined voltage, allowing the diode to be used as a precision voltage reference. In practical voltage reference circuits Zener and switching diodes are connected in series and opposite directions to balance the temperature coefficient to near zero. Some devices labeled as high-voltage Zener diodes are actually avalanche diodes (see below). 56

Two (equivalent) Zeners in series and in reverse order, in the same package, constitute a transient absorber (or Transorb, a registered trademark). They are named for Dr. Clarence Melvin Zener of Southern Illinois University, inventor of the device.

Avalanche Diodes Diodes that conduct in the reverse direction when the reverse bias voltage exceeds the breakdown voltage. These are electrically very similar to Zener diodes, and are often mistakenly called Zener diodes, but break down by a different mechanism, the avalanche effect. This occurs when the reverse electric field across the p-n junction causes a wave of ionization, reminiscent of an avalanche, leading to a large current. Avalanche diodes are designed to break down at a well-defined reverse voltage without being destroyed. The difference between the avalanche diode (which has a reverse breakdown above about 6.2 V) and the Zener is that the channel length of the former exceeds the 'mean free path' of the electrons, so there are collisions between them on the way out. The only practical difference is that the two types have temperature coefficients of opposite polarities. Transient Voltage Suppression (TVS) Diodes These are avalanche diodes designed specifically to protect other semiconductor devices from high-voltage transients. Their p-n junctions have a much larger cross-sectional area than those of a normal diode, allowing them to conduct large currents to ground without sustaining damage Photodiodes Semiconductors are subject to optical charge carrier generation and therefore most are packaged in light blocking material. If they are packaged in materials that allow light to pass, their photosensitivity can be utilized. Photodiodes can be used as solar cells, and in Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) In a diode formed from a direct band-gap semiconductor, such as gallium arsenide, carriers that cross the junction emit photons when they recombine with the majority carrier on the other side. Depending on the material, wavelengths (or colors) from the infrared to the near ultraviolet may be produced. The forward potential of these diodes depends on the wavelength of the emitted photons: 1.2 V corresponds to red, 2.4 to violet. The first LEDs were red and yellow, and higher-frequency diodes have been developed over time. All LEDs are monochromatic; 'white' LEDs are actually combinations of three LEDs of a different color, or a blue LED with a yellow scintillator coating. LEDs can also be used as lowefficiency photodiodes in signal applications. An LED may be paired with a photodiode or phototransistor in the same package, to form an opto-isolator.

Laser Diodes When an LED-like structure is contained in a resonant cavity formed by polishing the parallel end faces, a laser can be formed. Laser diodes are commonly used in optical storage devices and for high speed optical communication.

Gunn Diodes 57

These are similar to tunnel diodes in that they are made of materials such as GaAs or InP that exhibit a region of negative differential resistance. With appropriate biasing, dipole domains form and travel across the diode, allowing high frequency microwave oscillators to be built. Point-contact Diodes These work the same as the junction semiconductor diodes described above, but its construction is simpler. A block of n-type semiconductor is built, and a conducting sharppoint contact made with some group-3 metal is placed in contact with the semiconductor. Some metal migrates into the semiconductor to make a small region of p-type semiconductor near the contact. The long-popular 1N34 germanium version is still used in radio receivers as a detector and occasionally in specialized analog electronics. The Point-Contact Diode POINT-CONTACT DIODES, commonly called CRYSTALS, are the oldest microwave semiconductor devices. They were developed during World War II for use in microwave receivers and are still in widespread use as receiver mixers and detectors. Unlike the pnjunction diode, the point-contact diode depends on the pressure of contact between a point and a semiconductor crystal for its operation. Figure 2-51A and B, illustrate a point-contact diode. One section of the diode consists of a small rectangular crystal of n-type silicon. A fine berylium-copper, bronze-phosphor, or tungsten wire called the CATWHISKER presses against the crystal and forms the other part of the diode. During the manufacture of the point contact diode, a relatively large current is passed from the catwhisker to the silicon crystal. The result of this large current is the formation of a small region of p-type material around the crystal in the vicinity of the point contact. Thus, a pn-junction is formed which behaves in the same way as a normal pn-junction. Cat's Whisker or Crystal Diodes These are a type of point contact diode. The cat's whisker diode consists of a thin or sharpened metal wire pressed against a semiconducting crystal, typically galena or a lump of coal. The wire forms the anode and the crystal forms the cathode. Cat's whisker diodes were also called crystal diodes and found application in crystal radio receivers. Whisker The metal cat's whisker forms the metal side of the junction, which is merely a springy piece of thin metal wire (phosphor bronze was common), mounted in a suitable holder so that the entire exposed surface of the crystal can be probed from many directions to try and find the most sensitive working junction. This requires some skill and a great deal of patience; even then a good contact can easily be lost by the slightest vibration. Schottky Diodes Schottky diodes are constructed from a metal to semiconductor contact. They have a lower forward voltage drop than a standard PN junction diode. Their forward voltage drop at forward currents of about 1 mA is in the range 0.15 V to 0.45 V, which makes them useful in voltage clamping applications and prevention of transistor saturation. They can also be used as low loss rectifiers although their reverse leakage current is generally much higher than non Schottky rectifiers. Schottky diodes are majority carrier devices and so do not suffer from minority carrier storage problems that slow down most normal diodes. They also tend to have much lower junction capacitance than PN diodes and this contributes towards their high switching speed and their suitability in high speed circuits and RF devices such as mixers and detectors. Snap-off or Step Recovery' Diodes 58

The term 'step recovery' relates to the form of the reverse recovery characteristic of these devices. After a forward current has been passing in an SRD and the current is interrupted or reversed, the reverse conduction will cease very abruptly (as in a step waveform). SRDs can therefore provide very fast voltage transitions by the very sudden disappearance of the charge carriers. Esaki or Tunnel Diodes These have a region of operation showing negative resistance caused by quantum tunneling, thus allowing amplification of signals and very simple bistable circuits. These diodes are also the type most resistant to nuclear radiation. Varicap or Varactor Diodes These are used as voltage-controlled capacitors. These were important in PLL (phase-locked loop) and FLL (frequency-locked loop) circuits, allowing tuning circuits, such as those in television receivers, to lock quickly, replacing older designs that took a long time to warm up and lock. A PLL is faster than a FLL, but prone to integer harmonic locking (if one attempts to lock to a broadband signal). They also enabled tunable oscillators in early discrete tuning of radios, where a cheap and stable, but fixed-frequency, crystal oscillator provided the reference frequency for a voltage-controlled oscillator. PIN Diodes A PIN diode has a central un-doped, or intrinsic, layer, forming a p-type / intrinsic / n-type structure. They are used as radio frequency switches, similar to varactor diodes but with a more sudden change in capacitance. They are also used as large volume ionizing radiation detectors and as photodetectors. PIN diodes are also used in power electronics, as their central layer can withstand high voltages. Furthermore, the PIN structure can be found in many power semiconductor devices, such as IGBTs, power MOSFETs, and thyristors. Current-Limiting Field-Effect Diodes These are actually JFETs with the gate shorted to the source, and function like a two-terminal current-limiting analogue to the Zener diode. They allow currents through them to rise to a certain value, and then level off at a specific value. They are also called Constant-Current Diodes (CLDs) or Voltage-Regulating diodes (VRD). Other uses for semiconductor diodes include sensing temperature, and computing analogue logarithms. Types of Diode Component closeup, showing silicon crystal and other types of diode.

The PIN Diode PIN diode (p-type, intrinsic, n-type diode) is a diode with a wide, undoped intrinsic semiconductor region between p-type semiconductor and n-type semiconductor regions. PIN diodes act as near perfect resistors at RF and microwave frequencies. The resistivity is dependent on the DC current applied to the diode. A PIN diode exhibits an increase in its 59

electrical conductivity as a function of the intensity, wavelength, and modulation rate of the incident radiation. The benefit of a PIN diode is that the depletion region exists almost completely within the intrinsic region, which is a constant width (or almost constant) regardless of the reverse bias applied to the diode. This intrinsic region can be made large, increasing the area where electron-hole pairs can be generated. For these reasons many photodetector devices include at least one PIN diode in their construction, for example PIN photodiodes and phototransistors (in which the base-collector junction is a PIN diode).They are not limited in speed by the capacitance between n and p region anymore, but by the time the electrons need to drift across the undoped region.


A diode's I-V characteristic can be approximated by two regions of operation. Below a certain difference in potential between the two leads, the depletion layer has significant width, and the diode can be thought of as an open (non-conductive) circuit. As the potential difference is increased, at some stage the diode will become conductive and allow charges to flow, at which point it can be thought of as a connection with zero (or at least very low) resistance. More precisely, the transfer function is logarithmic, but so sharp that it looks like a corner on a zoomed-out graph (see also signal processing). In a normal silicon diode at rated currents, the voltage drop across a conducting diode is approximately 0.6 to 0.7 volts. The value is different for other diode types - Schottky diodes can be as low as 0.2 V and lightemitting diodes (LEDs) can be 1.4 V or more (Blue LEDs can be up to 4.0 V). Referring to the I-V characteristics image, in the reverse bias region for a normal P-N rectifier diode, the current through the device is very low (in the A range) for all reverse voltages up to a point called the peak-inverse-voltage (PIV). Beyond this point a process called reverse breakdown occurs which causes the device to be damaged along with a large increase in current. For special purpose diodes like the avalanche or Zener diodes, the concept of PIV is not applicable since they have a deliberate breakdown beyond a known reverse current such that the reverse voltage is "clamped" to a known value (called the Zener voltage or breakdown voltage). These devices however have a maximum limit to the current and power in the Zener or avalanche region.


Perfect Diode and Ideal Diode In line with previous definitions, a 'perfect' diode is one whose forward voltage drop is zero volts (or essentially so), and its current in the reverse direction, when the device has an impressed positive voltage from cathode to anode is essentially zero. It has no reverse breakdown voltage, no junction capacitance, storage time effects nor other parasitics. Its resistance in the conducting region is essentially zero. An 'ideal' diode, on the other, hand, has a non-zero forward voltage drop where conduction begins when it is forward biased at greater than this level, as well as a breakdown voltage level where conduction occurs in the 'reverse' direction when it is reverse biased. In both cases, once the conduction level is reached, essentially no additional incremental voltage drop (due to resistance or other effects) occurs. Again, no junction capacitance, storage time effects nor other parasitics are present, but these effects could be added using additional external circuit elements. 3.4 THE IDEAL DIODE

Shockley diode equation Or The Diode Law The Shockley ideal diode equation (named after William Bradford Shockley) is the I-V characteristic of an ideal diode in either forward or reverse bias (or no bias). It is derived with the assumption that the only processes giving rise to current in the diode are drift (due to electrical field), diffusion, and thermal recombination-generation. It also assumes that the recombination-generation (R-G) current in the depletion region is insignificant. This means that the Shockley equation doesn't account for the processes involved in reverse breakdown and photon-assisted R-G. Additionally, it doesn't describe the "leveling off" of the I-V curve at high forward bias due to internal resistance, nor does it explain the practical deviation from the ideal at very low forward bias due to R-G current in the depletion region. Where I is the diode current, IS is a scale factor called the saturation current, VD is the voltage across the diode VT is the thermal voltage and n is the emission coefficient.


The emission coefficient n varies from about 1 to 2 depending on the fabrication process and semiconductor material and in many cases is assumed to be approximately equal to 1 (thus omitted). The thermal voltage VT is approximately 25.2 mV at room temperature (approximately 25oC or 298K) and is a known constant. It is defined by: Where: e is the magnitude of charge on an electron (the elementary charge), k is Boltzmann's constant, T is the absolute temperature of the p-n junction. 3.5 DIODE RESISTANCE

The diode's electrical behaviour can be seen in the real diode graph illustrated below. The polarity of applied voltage which produces virtually no current is called Reverse bias. On the basis of the explanation given above we might expect no current to flow when the diode is reverse biased. In reality, the energies of the electrons & holes in the diode aren't all the same. A small number will have enough energy to overcome the barrier. As a result, there will be a tiny current through the diode when we apply reverse bias. However, this current is usually so small we can forget about it.

The Tunnel Diode In 1958, Leo Esaki, a Japanese scientist, discovered that if a semiconductor junction diode is heavily doped with impurities, it will have a region of negative resistance. The normal junction diode uses semiconductor materials that are lightly doped with one impurity atom for ten-million semiconductor atoms. This low doping level results in a relatively wide depletion region. Conduction occurs in the normal junction diode only if the voltage applied to it is large enough to overcome the potential barrier of the junction. In the TUNNEL DIODE, the semiconductor materials used in forming a junction are doped to the extent of one-thousand impurity atoms for ten-million semiconductor atoms. This heavy doping produces an extremely narrow depletion zone similar to that in the Zener diode. Also because of the heavy doping, a tunnel diode exhibits an unusual current-voltage characteristic curve as compared with that of an ordinary junction diode. The characteristic curve for a tunnel diode is illustrated below. Characteristic curve of a tunnel diode compared to that of a standard PN junction.


The three most important aspects of this characteristic curve are: (1) The forward current increase to a peak (IP) with a small applied forward bias, (2) The decreasing forward current with an increasing forward bias to a minimum valley Current (IV); (3) The normal increasing forward current with further increases in the bias voltage. The portion of the characteristic curve between IP and IV is the region of negative resistance. An explanation of why a tunnel diode has a region of negative resistance is best understood by using energy levels as in the previous explanation of the Zener effect. Simply stated the theory known as quantum-mechanical tunnelling is an electron crossing a PN-junction without having sufficient energy to do so otherwise. Because of the heavy doping the width of the depletion region is only one-millionth of an inch. You might think of the process simply as an arc-over between the N- and the P-side across the depletion region. Figure 3-6 shows the equilibrium energy level diagram of a tunnel diode with no bias applied. Note in view A that the valence band of the P-material overlaps the conduction band of the N-material. The majority electrons and holes are at the same energy level in the equilibrium state. If there is any movement of current carriers across the depletion region due to thermal energy, the net current flow will be zero because equal numbers of current carriers flow in opposite directions. The zero net current flow is marked by a "0" on the current-voltage curve illustrated in view B. The polarity which produces a significant current is called Forward bias. When we raise the forward bias voltage we reduce the diode's energy barrier. This essentially reduces the diode's resistance. We might therefore expect its effective resistance to vary approximately. I.e. we can say that the diode's effective resistance at a given forward voltage will obey an equation like where is the actual diode's resistance when we apply a forward voltage equal to. From the definition of resistance we can say that. Combining this with equation 3 we can expect that the resulting current will be the interesting result of the above argument is that it predicts that the current in a forward biased diode varies with the square of the voltage. Diodes don't necessarily obey Ohm's Law! A more accurate analysis of the physics of a diode shows that the IV curve isn't a square-law but an exponential relationship of the general form where the values of depend upon the diode. This is the sort of formula you'll see quoted in most textbooks (especially physics ones rather than engineering books). In fact, the actual IV relationship of a real diode will depend on the 63

details of how it was made. It's rarely exactly either a square-law or an exponential, but for many practical purposes assuming square-law behaviour quite OK. This square law approximation simplifies things in many situations. For some purposes we can simplify the diode's behaviour even more & pretend it's IV behaviour is like the ideal diode curve shown in figure 6.5. Here we assume that no current flows unless we attempt to apply a voltage. The diode then conducts as much current as we like without a higher voltage drop across the diode. Most modern diodes are made of silicon. Hence, to a first approximation we can say a diode only conducts when the forward voltage is half a volt. From the viewpoint of a solid-state physicist, this model of the diode is hopelessly over-simplified. We should really remember that a forward biased diode always passes some current, but this current is small unless the applied voltage is around half a volt. Despite that, it's good enough to explain how lots of the circuits which use diodes work! Diode Applications Radio Demodulation: The first use for the diode was the demodulation of amplitude modulated (AM) radio broadcasts. In summary, an AM signal consists of alternating positive and negative peaks of voltage, whose amplitude or 'envelope' is proportional to the original audio signal, but whose average value is zero. The diode (originally a crystal diode) rectifies the AM signal, leaving a signal whose average amplitude is the desired audio signal. The average value is extracted using a simple filter and fed into an audio transducer, which generates sound.

Power conversion: Rectifiers are constructed from diodes, where they are used to convert alternating current (AC) electricity into direct current (DC). Similarly, diodes are also used in Cockcroft-Walton voltage multipliers to convert AC into very high DC voltages. Semiconductor detectors for high energy particles are used in large numbers. Because of energy loss fluctuations, accurate measurement of the energy deposited is of less use. Temperature Measuring: A diode can be used as a temperature measuring device, since the forward voltage drop across the diode depends on temperature. This temperature dependence follows from the Shockley ideal diode equation given above and is typically around 2.2mV per degree C. Charge coupled devices: Digital cameras and similar units use arrays of photo diodes, integrated with readout circuitry. Additionally, Diodes may also be referred to as controlled rectifiers, abbreviated CR on printed wiring boards. Ionizing Radiation Detectors: In addition to light, mentioned above, semiconductor diodes are sensitive to more energetic radiation. In electronics, cosmic rays and other sources of ionizing radiation cause noise pulses and single and multiple bit errors. This effect is sometimes exploited by particle detectors to detect radiation. A single particle of radiation, with thousands or millions of electron volts of energy, generates many charge carrier pairs, as its energy is deposited in the semiconductor material. If the depletion layer is large enough to catch the whole shower or to stop a heavy particle, a fairly accurate measurement of the particle's energy can be made, simply by measuring the charge conducted and without the complexity of a magnetic spectrometer or etc. These semiconductor radiation detectors need efficient and uniform 64

charge collection and low leakage current. They are often cooled by liquid nitrogen. For longer range (about a centimetre) particles they need a very large depletion depth and large area. For short range particles, they need any contact or un-depleted semiconductor on at least one surface to be very thin. The back-bias voltages are near breakdown (around a thousand volts per centimetre). Germanium and silicon are common semiconductor materials used to produce detectors and other electronics devices. Some of these detectors sense position as well as energy. They have a finite life, especially when detecting heavy particles, because of radiation damage. Silicon and germanium are quite different in their ability to convert gamma rays to electron showers. 3.6 PIECEWISE LINEAR MODEL

What is Piece Wise Linear Model in Electronics? A piecewise or piecewise-continuous function comprising different quadratic functions on either side of x0. In mathematics, a piecewise-defined function f(x) of a real variable x is a function whose definition is given differently on disjoint subsets of its domain. A common example is the absolute value function. Other examples are the illustrated function, discontinuous at x0, and the Heaviside step function, a piecewise linear function which is discontinuous at 0. The word piecewise is also used to describe any property of a piecewisedefined function that holds for each piece but may not hold for the whole domain of the function. A function is piecewise differentiable or piecewise continuously differentiable if each piece is differentiable throughout its domain. 3.7 BREAKDOWN DIODES

Zener and Avalanche Breakdown/Diodes "'Zener diode' and 'avalanche diode' are terms often used interchangeably, with the former much more common. Both refer to breakdown of a diode under reverse bias. Specifically, when a diode is reverse biased, very little current flows, and the diode is to a first order approximation an open circuit. As the reverse voltage is increased, though, a point is reached where there is a dramatic increase in current.

Equivalently, there is a dramatic reduction in the dynamic resistance (slope of the V-I curve) that can be as low as 1- 2 W in this region. This voltage is called the reverse breakdown voltage and it is fairly independent of the reverse current flowing. This property makes it ideal as a voltage reference. "Avalanche breakdown is caused by impact ionization of electron-hole pairs. While very little current flows under reverse bias conditions, some current does flow. 65

The electric field in the depletion region of a diode can be very high. Electron/holes that enter the depletion region undergo a tremendous acceleration. As these accelerated carriers collide with the atoms they can knock electrons from their bonds, creating additional electron/hole pairs and thus additional current. As these secondary carriers are swept into the depletion region, they too are accelerated and the process repeats itself. This is akin to an avalanche where a small disturbance causes a whole mountainside of snow to come crashing down. The efficiency of the avalanche effect is characterized by a so-called multiplication factor M that depends on the reverse voltage (Equation 1). (Equation 1).M = 1/1-(V/Vbr)n Multiplication Factor. "Here n is in the range 2 - 6, V is the applied (reverse) voltage, and Vbr is the breakdown voltage. This is an empirical relationship, as are many of the relationships used to describe both Zener and avalanche breakdown. "Avalanche breakdown occurs in lightly-doped pn-junctions where the depletion region is comparatively long. The doping density controls the breakdown voltage. The temperature coefficient of the avalanche mechanism is positive. That is, as the temperature increases, so does the reverse breakdown voltage. The magnitude of the temperature coefficient also increases with increasing breakdown voltage. For example, the temperature coefficient of an 8.2 V diode is in the range 3 - 6 mV/K while the temperature coefficient of an 18 V diode is in the range of 12 - 18 mV/K. Zener breakdown occurs in heavily doped pn-junctions. The heavy doping makes the depletion layer extremely thin. So thin, in fact, carriers cannot accelerate enough to cause impact ionization. With the depletion layer so thin, however, quantum mechanical tunnelling through the layer occurs causing current to flow. The temperature coefficient of the Zener mechanism is negative the breakdown voltage for a particular diode decreases with increasing temperature. However, the temperature coefficient is essentially independent of the rated breakdown voltage, and on the order of -3 mV/K. "In a 'Zener' diode either or both breakdown mechanisms may be present. At low doping levels and higher voltages the avalanche mechanism dominates while at heavy doping levels and lower voltages the Zener mechanism dominates. At a certain doping level and around 6 V for Si, both mechanisms are present with temperature coefficients that just cancel. It is possible to make Zener diodes with quite small temperature coefficients "neither Zener nor avalanche breakdown is inherently destructive in that the crystal lattice is damaged. However, the heat generated by the large current flowing can cause damage, so either the current must be limited and/or adequate heat sinking must be supplied."



things, to the tunnel diode. Then they took the process even further, to the point where they skipped the silicon completely, and produced what is called a "III-V" device, named after the fact that P-type dopants are from column III of the Periodic Table (aluminium, gallium, indium) and N-type dopants are from column V (phosphorus, arsenic).

The P-I-N Diode The p-i-n diode doesn't actually have a junction at all. Rather, the middle part of the silicon crystal is left undoped. Hence the name for this device: p-intrinsic-n, or p-i-n. Because this device has an intrinsic middle section, it has a wide forbidden zone when unbiased. However, when a forward bias is applied, current carriers from the p- and n-type ends become available and conduct current even through the intrinsic centre region. The end regions are heavily doped to provide more current carriers. The p-i-n diode is highly useful as a switch for very high frequencies; they are commonly used as microwave switches and limiters.

Tunnel Diode As we mentioned in our discussion of semiconductor physics, the addition of either P-type or N-type impurities causes the Fermi level in the silicon crystal to shift towards the valence band (P-type impurities) or the conduction band (N-type impurities).. The higher the doping level, the greater the shift. In the tunnel diode, the doping levels are so high that the Fermi levels in both halves of the crystal have been pushed completely out of the forbidden zone and into the valence and conduction bands.. As a result, at very low forward voltages, electrons don't have to gain energy to get over the Fermi level or into the conduction band; they can simply "tunnel through" the junction and appear at the other side. Furthermore, as the forward bias increases, the applied voltage shifts the levels apart, and gradually back to the more usual diode energy pattern. Over this applied forward voltage range, diode current actually decreases as applied voltage increases. Thus, over part of its operating range, the tunnel diode exhibits a negative resistance effect. This makes it useful in very high frequency oscillators and related circuitry. Varactor Diode

One characteristic of any PN junction is an inherent capacitance. When the junction is reverse biased, increasing the applied voltage will cause the depletion region to widen, thus increasing the effective distance between the two "plates" of the capacitor and decreasing the effective capacitance. By adjusting the doping gradient and junction width, we can control the capacitance range and the way capacitance changes with applied reverse voltage. A fourto-one capacitance range is no problem; a typical varactor diode (sometimes called a "varicap diode") might vary from 60 picofarads (pf) at zero bias down to 15 pf at 20 volts. Very careful manufacturing can get a capacitance range of up to ten-to-one, although this seems at present to be a practical limit. Varactor diodes are used in electronic tuning systems, to eliminate the use of and need for moving parts. The Zener Diode 68

When the reverse voltage applied to a diode exceeds the capability of the diode to withstand it, one of two things will happen, yielding essentially the same result in either case. If the junction is wide, a process called avalanche breakdown occurs, whereby the current through the diode increases as much as the external circuit will permit. A narrow junction will experience Zener breakdown, which is a different mechanism but has the same effect. The useful feature here is that the voltage across the diode remains nearly constant even with large changes in current through the diode. In addition, manufacturing techniques allow diodes to be accurately manufactured with breakdown voltages ranging from a few volts up to several hundred volts. Such diodes find wide use in electronic circuits as voltage regulators. The Schottky Barrier Diode

When we get into high-speed applications for electronic circuits, one of the problems exhibited by semiconductor devices is a phenomenon called charge storage. This term refers to the fact that both free electrons and holes tend to accumulate inside a semiconductor crystal while it is conducting, and must be removed before the semiconductor device will turn off. This is not a major problem with free electrons, as they have high mobility and will rapidly leave the semiconductor device. However, holes are another story. They must be filled more gradually by electrons jumping from bond to bond. Thus, it takes time for a semiconductor device to completely stop conducting. This problem is even worse for a transistor in saturation, since then by definition the base region has an excess of minority carriers, which tend to promote conduction even when the external drive is removed. The solution is to design a semiconductor diode with no P-type semiconductor region, and therefore no holes as current carriers. Such a diode, known as a Schottky Barrier Diode, places a rectifying metal contact on one side on an N-type semiconductor block. For example, an aluminium contact will act as the P-type connection, without requiring a significant P-type semiconductor region. This diode construction has two advantages in certain types of circuits. First, they can operate at very high frequencies, because they can turn off as fast as they can turn on. Second, they have a very low forward voltage drop. This is used to advantage in a number of ways, including as an addition to TTL ICs. When a Schottky diode is placed across the collectorbase junction of a transistor as shown to the right, it prevents the transistor from becoming saturated, by bypassing the excess base current around the transistor.

Therefore, the transistor can turn off faster, thus increasing the switching speed of the IC. Experimentation is always in progress, and new applications are invented regularly. If you should hear of a diode type not yet in the list, please contact the webmaster and let me know there. Semiconductor Diode Symbols


Diac Doide: Triac Diode: SCR: Diode Ratings In addition to forward voltage drop (V f ) and peak inverse voltage (PIV), there are many other ratings of diodes important to circuit design and component selection. Semiconductor manufacturers provide detailed specifications on their products -- diodes included -- in publications known as datasheets. Datasheets for a wide variety of semiconductor components may be found in reference books and on the internet. The internet as a source of component specifications preferred, because all the data obtained from manufacturer websites are up-to-date. A typical diode datasheet will contain figures for the following parameters: Maximum repetitive reverse voltage = V RRM , the maximum amount of voltage the diode can withstand in reverse-bias mode, in repeated pulses. Ideally, this figure would be infinite. Maximum DC reverse voltage = V R or V DC , the maximum amount of voltage the diode can withstand in reverse-bias mode on a continual basis. Ideally, this figure would be infinite. Maximum forward voltage = V F , usually specified at the diode's rated forward current. Ideally, this figure would be zero: the diode providing no opposition whatsoever to forward current. In reality, the forward voltage is described by the diode equation. Maximum (average) forward current = I F(AV) , the maximum average amount of current the diode is able to conduct in forward bias mode. This is fundamentally a thermal limitation: how much heat can the PN junction handle, given that dissipation power is equal to current (I) multiplied by voltage (V or E) and forward voltage is dependent upon both current and junction temperature. Ideally, this figure would be infinite. Maximum (peak or surge) forward current = I FSM or i f(surge) , the maximum peak amount of current the diode is able to conduct in forward bias mode. Again, this rating is limited by the 70

diode junction's thermal capacity, and is usually much higher than the average current rating due to thermal inertia (the fact that it takes a finite amount of time for the diode to reach maximum temperature for a given current). Ideally, this figure would be infinite. Maximum total dissipation = P D , the amount of power (in watts) allowable for the diode to dissipate, given the dissipation (P=IE) of diode current multiplied by diode voltage drop, and also the dissipation (P=I2R) of diode current squared multiplied by bulk resistance. Fundamentally limited by the diode's thermal capacity (ability to tolerate high temperatures). Operating junction temperature = T J , the maximum allowable temperature for the diode's PN junction, usually given in degrees Celsius (oC). Heat is the Achilles' heel of semiconductor devices: they must be kept cool to function properly and give long service life. Storage temperature range = T STG , the range of allowable temperatures for storing a diode (unpowered). Sometimes given in conjunction with operating junction temperature (T J ), because the maximum storage temperature and the maximum operating temperature ratings are often identical. If anything, though, maximum storage temperature rating will be greater than the maximum operating temperature rating. Thermal resistance = R(), the temperature difference between junction and outside air (R() JA ) or between junction and leads (R() JL ) for a given power dissipation. Expressed in units of degrees Celsius per watt (oC/W). Ideally, this figure would be zero, meaning that the diode package was a perfect thermal conductor and radiator, able to transfer all heat energy from the junction to the outside air (or to the leads) with no difference in temperature across the thickness of the diode package. A high thermal resistance means that the diode will build up excessive temperature at the junction (where it's critical) despite best efforts at cooling the outside of the diode, and thus will limit its maximum power dissipation. Maximum reverse current = IR , the amount of current through the diode in reverse-bias operation, with the maximum rated inverse voltage applied (V DC ). Sometimes referred to as leakage current. Ideally, this figure would be zero, as a perfect diode would block all current when reverse-biased. In reality, it is very small compared to the maximum forward current. Typical junction capacitance = C J , the typical amount of capacitance intrinsic to the junction, due to the depletion region acting as a dielectric separating the anode and cathode connections. This is usually a very small figure, measured in the range of Pico farads (pF). Reverse recovery time = t rr , the amount of time it takes for a diode to turn off when the voltage across it alternates from forward-bias to reverse-bias polarity. Ideally, this figure would be zero: the diode halting conduction immediately upon polarity reversal. For a typical rectifier diode, reverse recovery time is in the range of tens of microseconds; for a fast switching diode, it may only be a few nanoseconds. Most of these parameters vary with temperature or other operating conditions, and so a single figure fails to fully describe any given rating. Therefore, manufacturers provide graphs of component ratings plotted against other variables (such as temperature), so that the circuit designer has a better idea of what the device is capable of.




Diode Rectification

What is Rectification? Rectification is the process of converting a.c to d.c Why Rectification Most electronic equipment (hi-fi's, radios, TV's, etc) require powering by one or more DC voltages. The mains power supplied by the electricity companies isn't d.c., it arrives in the form of a 50Hz 230 Volts (rms) sinewave. This mains power has to be converted into the d.c. required. As a result, nearly all mains powered equipment has to include a power supply unit which converts the mains a.c. into the required d.c. levels. The diagram below illustrates a simple circuit for doing this.

To understand it, we can break up its function into three parts, the reservoir (or smoothing) capacitor, the diode, and the transformer. Types of Semiconductor Diode Rectification There are 2 Types of semiconductor diode rectification. Half Wave Rectification Full Wave Rectification 4.1.1 Half-Wave Rectification

Half wave rectification is a special case of a clipper. In half wave rectification, either the positive or negative half of the AC wave is passed easily while the other half is blocked, depending on the polarity of the rectifier. Because only one half of the input waveform reaches the output, it is very inefficient if used for power transfer. Half wave rectification can be achieved with a single diode in a one phase supply as shown below. Basic Half Wave Rectifier and Waveform

Since we already know something about capacitors we'll start with that. To understand what the reservoir capacitor is doing, consider the RC circuit shown in figure 6.2a. Now, the input comes through the resistor, and the output is taken from the top of the capacitor. 72

If we use the same methods as part 5 we discover that this new circuit is a sort of inverse of the high pass filter. Its voltage gain & phase effect for sinewave are illustrated in figure 6.2. These show that: The circuit passes low frequencies without altering them very much and rejects high frequencies. The phase of the output signal lags behind that of the input. Using calculus or similar methods it's possible to prove that, for circuit 6.2a, the sinewave voltage gain and phase change are given by the expressions

where is the circuit's time constant, and f is the freq.

; [Note we've used the magnitude (modulus) voltages in equation 1 instead of the peak-to-peak or rms voltages used in previous sections. This is OK because these values are all proportional to one another. Provided we use the same sorts of voltages for both input and output, the value of the ratio will be the same.]. This circuit is called a low pass filter or smoothing filter. We can use it wherever we want to pass through low frequencies (or d.c.) and suppress any swift voltage changes. The circuit behaves in this way because the output voltage is taken from the capacitor. Hence the output voltage can only be changed by moving charge in or out of the capacitor. Any change in the input voltage can provide current, but its level is controlled by having to squeeze through the resistor. The bigger the resistor's value, the smaller the current. The bigger the capacitor, the more charge it takes to alter its voltage. 73

In the power supply circuit the capacitor acts as a charge storage reservoir. For reasons which will become clearer later, the diode & transformer supply regular pulses of charge which top up the capacitor to a specific voltage. In between these pulses the capacitor provides the steady currents being drawn out of the power supply by the hi-fi amplifiers, or other circuits connected to it. Provided the capacitor's value is nice and large this means the circuits drawing current don't notice that the power from the mains is arriving in cyclic bursts & being stored in the capacitor until needed. 4.2 HULL-WAVE RECTIFICATION

A full wave rectifier converts the whole of the input waveform to one of constant polarity (positive or negative) at its output by reversing the negative (or positive) portions of the alternating current waveform. The positive (negative) portions thus combine with the reversed negative (positive) portions to produce an entirely positive (negative) voltage/current waveform. For single phase AC, if the AC is center-tapped, then two diodes back-to-back (i.e. anodes-to-anode or cathode-to-cathode) form a full wave rectifier as shown below.

Full-wave rectification converts both polarities of the input waveform to DC, and is more efficient. However, in a circuit with a non-center tapped transformer, four rectifiers are required instead of the one needed for half-wave rectification. This is due to each output polarity requiring 2 rectifiers each, for example, one for when AC terminal 'X' is positive and one for when AC terminal is positive. The other DC output requires exactly the same, resulting in four individual junctions. Four rectifiers arranged this way are called a bridge rectifier

Rectifier Output Smoothing While half- and full-wave rectification suffices to deliver a form of DC output, neither produces constant voltage DC. In order to produce steady DC from a rectified AC supply, a smoothing circuit is required. In its simplest form this can be what is known as a reservoir capacitor or smoothing capacitor, placed at the DC output of the rectifier. There will still remain an amount of AC ripple voltage where the voltage is not completely smoothed. Sizing of the capacitor represents a tradeoff. For a given load, a larger capacitor will reduce ripple but will cost more and will create higher peak currents in the transformer secondary and in the supply feeding it. In extreme cases where many rectifiers are loaded onto a power distribution circuit, it may prove difficult for the power distribution authority to maintain a correctly shaped sinusoidal voltage curve. 74

Three phase bridges provide six peaks per cycle rather than two meaning the capacitor size can be significantly reduced if a 3 phase supply is available. To further reduce this ripple, a capacitor-input filter can be used. This complements the reservoir capacitor with a choke and a second filter capacitor, so that a steadier DC output can be obtained across the terminals of the filter capacitor. The choke presents a high impedance to the ripple current. If the DC load is very demanding of a smooth supply voltage, a voltage regulator will be used either instead of or in addition to the capacitor-input filter, both to remove the last of the ripple and to deal with variations in supply and load characteristics.


Diode Bridge

A diode bridge or bridge rectifier (occasionally called a Graetz bridge) is an arrangement of four diodes connected in a bridge circuit as shown below, that provides the same polarity of output voltage for any polarity of the input voltage. When used in its most common application, for conversion of alternating current (AC) input into direct current (DC) output, it is known as a bridge rectifier. The bridge rectifier provides full wave rectification from a two wire AC input (saving the cost of a center tapped transformer) but has two diode drops rather than one reducing efficiency over a center tap based design for the same output voltage. The essential feature of this arrangement is that for both polarities of the voltage at the bridge input, the polarity of the output is constant. 4.2.3 Basic Operation of Diode Bridge

When the input connected at the left corner of the diamond is positive with respect to the one connected at the right hand corner, current flows to the right along the upper colored path to the output, and returns to the input supply via the lower one.

, When the right hand corner is positive relative to the left hand corner, current flows along the upper colored path and returns to the supply via the lower colored path. In each case, the upper right output remains positive with respect to the lower right one.

Since this is true whether the input is AC or DC, this circuit not only produces DC power when supplied with AC power: it also can provide what is sometimes called "reverse polarity 75

protection". That is, it permits normal functioning when batteries are installed backwards or DC input-power supply wiring "has its wires crossed" (and protects the circuitry it powers against damage that might occur without this circuit in place). Prior to availability of integrated electronics, such a bridge rectifier was always constructed from discrete components. Since about 1950, a single four-terminal component containing the four diodes connected in the bridge configuration became a standard commercial component and is now available with various voltage and current ratings. Rectified Waveforms


Output Voltage Smoothing

For many applications, especially with single phase AC where the full-wave bridge serves to convert an AC input into a DC output, the addition of a capacitor may be important because the bridge alone supplies an output voltage of fixed polarity but pulsating magnitude (see photograph above). The function of this capacitor, known as a 'smoothing capacitor' (see also Filter capacitor), is to lessen the variation in (or 'smooth') the raw output voltage waveform from the bridge. One explanation of 'smoothing' is that the capacitor provides a low impedance path to the AC component of the output, reducing the AC voltage across, and AC current through, the resistive load.

In less technical terms, any drop in the output voltage and current of the bridge tends to be cancelled by loss of charge in the capacitor. This charge flows out as additional current 76

through the load. Thus the change of load current and voltage is reduced relative to what would occur without the capacitor. Increases of voltage correspondingly store excess charge in the capacitor, thus moderating the change in output voltage / current. The capacitor and the load resistance have a typical time constant = RC where C and R are the capacitance and load resistance respectively. As long as the load resistor is large enough so that this time constant is much longer than the time of one ripple cycle, the above configuration will produce a well smoothed DC voltage across the load resistance. 4.2.5 Bridge Rectifier

A bridge rectifier makes use of four diodes in a bridge arrangement to achieve full-wave rectification. This is a widely used configuration, both with individual diodes wired as shown and with single component bridges where the diode bridge is wired internally.

Bridge Rectifier, RC Filter A bridge rectifier makes use of four diodes in a bridge arrangement to achieve full-wave rectification. This is a widely used configuration, both with individual diodes wired as shown and with single component bridges where the diode bridge is wired internally.

Current Flow in the Bridge Rectifier

For both positive and negative swings of the transformer, there is a forward path through the diode bridge. Both conduction paths cause current to flow in the same direction through the load resistor, accomplishing full-wave rectification. While one set of diodes is forward biased, the other set is reverse biased and effectively eliminated from the circuit. Three bridge rectifiers. The size is generally related to the power handling capability. 77

Diodes; the one on the left is a diode bridge



The primary application of rectifiers is to derive usable DC power from an AC supply. Virtually all electronic devices require a DC supply but mains power is AC so rectifiers find uses inside the power supplies of virtually all electronic equipment. Converting DC voltage from one level to another is much more complicated but rectifiers are usually involved. One method of such DC-to-DC conversion is to first convert to AC (using a device called an inverter), then use a transformer to change the voltage, and finally rectify it back to DC. Rectifiers also find a use in detection of amplitude modulated radio signals. The signal may or may not be amplified before detection but if unamplified a very low voltage drop diode must be used. In this case the capacitor and load resistance must be carefully matched. Too low a capacitance will result in the high frequency carrier passing to the output and too high will result in the capacitor just charging and staying charged. The pulsating DC from an AC rectifier (either half-wave or full-wave) sometimes needs to be smoothed to be useful. This can be done using a Reservoir capacitor. 4.2.7 CHOKES & CAPACITOR FILTERS

Rectifiers convert an AC supply into a pulsating DC. Most modern electronic devices require a steady DC supply. The term 'filter capacitor' usually refers to a capacitor specifically intended to smooth the ripple voltage present in the pulsating DC voltage output of a power supply rectifier. Sometimes the term merely refers to a capacitor that is part of an electrical or electronic filter circuit. But a non electronic one doesnt Capacitor-input filter The capacitor-input filter is a type of filter circuit. Filter circuits are used to remove the AC component from the rectified output and allows only the DC component to reach the load.


A typical capacitor input filter consists of a filter capacitor C1, connected across the rectifier output, a choke L, in series and another filter capacitor connected across the load. The capacitor C1 offers low reactance to the AC component of the rectifier output while it offers infinite reactance to the DC component. As a result the capacitor bypasses an appreciable amount of the AC component while the DC component continues its journey to the choke L. The choke L offers high reactance to the AC component but it offers almost zero reactance to the DC component. As a result the DC component flows through the choke while the AC component is blocked. The capacitor C2 bypasses the AC component which the choke had failed to block. As a result only the DC component appears across the load. 4.4 PEAK DETECTOR

A peak detector is a series connection of a diode and a capacitor outputting a DC voltage equal to the peak value of the applied AC signal. The circuit is shown in Figure below with the corresponding SPICE net list. An AC voltage source applied to the peak detector, charges the capacitor to the peak of the input. The diode conducts positive half cycles, charging the capacitor to the waveform peak. When the input waveform falls below the DC peak stored on the capacitor, the diode is reverse biased, blocking current flow from capacitor back to the source. Thus, the capacitor retains the peak value even as the waveform drops to zero. Another view of the peak detector is that it is the same as a half-wave rectifier with a filter capacitor added to the output.

Peak detector: Diode conducts on positive half cycles charging capacitor to the peak voltage (less diode forward drop). It takes a few cycles for the capacitor to charge to the peak as in Figure below due to the series resistance (RC time constant). Why does the capacitor not charge all the way to 5 V? It would charge to 5 V if an ideal diode were obtainable. However, the silicon diode has a forward voltage drop of 0.7 V which subtracts from the 5 V peak of the input.

Peak detector: Capacitor charges to peak within a few cycles. 79

The circuit above could represent a DC power supply based on a half-wave rectifier. The resistance would be a few Ohms instead of 1 k due to a transformer secondary winding replacing the voltage source and resistor. A larger filter capacitor would be used. A power supply based on a 60 Hz source with a filter of a few hundred F could supply up to 100 mA. Half-wave supplies seldom supply more due to the difficulty of filtering a half-wave. The peak detector may be combined with other components to build a crystal radio



In electronics, a clipper is a device designed to prevent the output of a circuit from exceeding a predetermined voltage level without distorting the remaining part of the applied waveform. In order words, an electronic circuit removes the peak of a waveform is known as a clipper. A diode clipping circuit can be used to limit the voltage swing of a signal. The figs below show diode circuits that clip both the positive and negative voltage swings to references voltages.


Operation of Clipping Circuits

Clipper: clips negative peak at -0.7 V. During the positive half cycle of the 5 V peak input, the diode is reversed biased. The diode does not conduct. It is as if the diode were not there. The positive half cycle is unchanged at the output V(2) in Figure below. Since the output positive peaks actually overlays the input sinewave V(1), the input has been shifted upward in the plot for clarity. In Nutmeg, the SPICE display module, the command plot v(1)+1) accomplishes this.

V(1)+1 is actually V(1), a 5 Vptp sinewave, offset by 1 V for display clarity. V(2) output is clipped at -0.7 V, by diode D1. During the negative half cycle of sinewave input of Figure above, the diode is forward biased, that is, conducting. The negative half cycle of the sinewave is shorted out. The negative half cycle of V(2) would be clipped at 0 V for an ideal diode. The waveform is clipped at -0.7 V 80

due to the forward voltage drop of the silicon diode. The spice model defaults to 0.7 V unless parameters in the model statement specify otherwise. Germanium or Schottky diodes clip at lower voltages. Closer examination of the negative clipped peak (Figure above) reveals that it follows the input for a slight period of time while the sinewave is moving toward -0.7 V. The clipping action is only effective after the input sinewave exceeds -0.7 V. The diode is not conducting for the complete half cycle, though, during most of it. The addition of an anti-parallel diode to the existing diode in Figure above yields the symmetrical clipper in Figure below.

Symmetrical clipper: Anti-parallel diodes clip both positive and negative peak, leaving a 0.7 V output. Diode D1 clips the negative peak at -0.7 V as before. The additional diode D2 conducts for positive half cycles of the sine wave as it exceeds 0.7 V, the forward diode drop. The remainder of the voltage drops across the series resistor. Thus, both peaks of the input sinewave are clipped in Figure below. The net list is in Figure above

Diode D1 clips at -0.7 V as it conducts during negative peaks. D2 conducts for positive peaks, clipping at 0.7V. The most general form of the diode clipper is shown in Figure below. For an ideal diode, the clipping occurs at the level of the clipping voltage, V1 and V2. However, the voltage sources have been adjusted to account for the 0.7 V forward drop of the real silicon diodes. D1 clips at 1.3V +0.7V=2.0V when the diode begins to conduct. D2 clips at -2.3V -0.7V=-3.0V when D2 conducts.

D1 clips the input sinewave at 2V. D2 clips at -3V.


The clipper in Figure above does not have to clip both levels. To clip at one level with one diode and one voltage source, remove the other diode and source. The waveforms in the Figure below shows the clipping of v(1) at output v(2).

D1 clips the sinewave at 2V. D2 clips at -3V. There is also a zener diode clipper circuit in the Zener diode section. A zener diode replaces both the diode and the DC voltage source.

One Type of Clipping Circuit

Clipper Applications A practical application of a clipper is to prevent an amplified speech signal from overdriving a radio transmitter in Figure below. Over driving the transmitter generates spurious radio signals which cause interference with other stations. The clipper is a protective measure.

Clipper prevents over driving/loading radio transmitter by voice peaks. A sinewave may be squared up by overdriving a clipper. Another clipper application is the protection of exposed inputs of integrated circuits. The input of the IC is connected to a pair of diodes as at node 2 of Figure above . The voltage sources are replaced by the power supply rails of the IC. For example, CMOS IC's use 0V and +5 V. Analog amplifiers might use 12V for the V1 and V2 sources. 82

Clamper Circuits
A diode can be used to clamp one side of a sinusoidal signal to near zero. Diode Clamper: A clamper is an electric circuit that prevents a signal from exceeding a certain defined magnitude. A diode clamp relies on a diode, which conducts electric current in only one direction; resistors and capacitors in the circuit can be used to alter the dc level at the clamper output. A clamp or clamp circuit is an electrical circuit used to prevent another circuit from exceeding a certain predetermined voltage level. It operates by sensing the output voltage of the monitored circuit and then if the output voltage threatens to exceed the preset limit, applies an electric load which draws greater and greater current from the output in a regulated manner in order to prevent the output voltage from exceeding the predetermined voltage level. The clamp circuit works only if it has a lower output impedance than the monitored circuit thereby overpowering that circuit. The term voltage clamp is often used to refer to the clamp circuit. Clamping For Input Protection Clamping can be used to adapt an input signal to a device that cannot make use of or may be damaged by the signal range of the original input. The circuits below are known as clampers or DC restorers. These circuits clamp a peak of a waveform to a specific DC level compared with a capacitively coupled signal which swings about its average DC level (usually 0V). If the diode is removed from the clamper, it defaults to a simple coupling capacitor-- no clamping. What Is The Clamp Voltage? And, Which Peak Gets Clamped? In Figs below: (a) the clamp voltage is 0 V ignoring diode drop, (more exactly 0.7 V with Si diode drop). The positive peak of V(1) is clamped to the 0 V (0.7 V) clamp level. Why is this? On the first positive half cycle, the diode conducts charging the capacitor left end to +5 V (4.3 V). This is -5 V (-4.3 V) on the right end at V(1,4). Note the polarity marked on the capacitor in Figure below (a). The right end of the capacitor is -5 V DC (-4.3 V) with respect to ground. It also has an AC 5 V peak sinewave coupled across it from source V(4) to node 1. The sum of the two is a 5 V peak sine riding on a - 5 V DC (-4.3 V) level. The diode only conducts on successive positive excursions of source V(4) if the peak V(4) exceeds the charge on the capacitor. This only happens if the charge on the capacitor drained off due to a load, not shown. The charge on the capacitor is equal to the positive peak of V(4) (less 0.7 diode drop). The AC riding on the negative end, right end, is shifted down. The positive peak of the waveform is clamped to 0 V (0.7 V) because the diode conducts on the positive peak.

Clampers: (a) Positive peak clamped to 0 V. (b) Negative peak clamped to 0 V. (c) Negative peak clamped to 5 V.


V(4) source voltage 5 V peak used in all clampers. V(1) clamper output from above (a). V (1,4) DC voltage on capacitor in Figure (a). V(2) clamper output from Figure (b). V(3) clamper output from Figure (c). Suppose the polarity of the diode is reversed as above (b)? The diode conducts on the negative peak of source V(4). The negative peak is clamped to 0 V (-0.7 V). See V(2) in Figure above. The most general realization of the clamper is shown in Figure above (c) with the diode connected to a DC reference. The capacitor still charges during the negative peak of the source. Note that the polarities of the AC source and the DC reference are series aiding. Thus, the capacitor charges to the sum of the two, 10 V DC (9.3 V). Coupling the 5 V peak sinewave across the capacitor yields Figure above V(3), the sum of the charge on the capacitor and the sinewave. The negative peak appears to be clamped to 5 V DC (4.3V), the value of the DC clamp reference (less diode drop). Describe the waveform if the DC clamp reference is changed from 5 V to 10 V. The clamped waveform will shift up. The negative peak will be clamped to 10 V (9.3). Suppose that the amplitude of the sine wave source is increased from 5 V to 7 V? The negative peak clamp level will remain unchanged. Though, the amplitude of the sinewave output will increase. Clamping When a signal drives an open-ended capacitor the average voltage level on the output terminal of the capacitor is determined by the initial charge on that terminal and may therefore be quite unpredictable. Thus it is necessary to connect the output to ground or some other reference voltage via a large resistor. This action drains any excess charge and results in an average or DC output voltage of zero. A simple alternative method of establishing a DC reference for the output voltage is by using a diode clamp as shown in figure 4.11. By conducting whenever the voltage at the output terminal of the capacitor goes negative, this circuit builds up an average charge on the terminal that is sufficient to prevent the output from ever going negative. Positive charge on this terminal is effectively trapped. Figure 4.11: Diode clamp circuit and its output waveform.

Clamping Circuit 84

The clamping network is the one that will "clamp" a signal to a different dc level. The network must have capacitor, a diode, and a resistive element, but it can also employ an independent dc supply to introduce an additional shift.

Application of Clamping Circuit An application of the clamper circuit is as a DC restorer in composite video circuitry in both television transmitters and receivers. An NTSC (US video standard) video signal white level corresponds to minimum (12.5%) transmitted power. The video black level corresponds to a high level (75% of transmitter power. There is a blacker than black level corresponding to 100% transmitted power assigned to synchronization signals. The NTSC signal contains both video and synchronization pulses. The problem with the composite video is that its average DC level varies with the scene, dark vs light. The video itself is supposed to vary. However, the sync must always peak at 100%. To prevent the sync signals from drifting with changing scenes, a DC restorer clamps the top of the sync pulses to a voltage corresponding to 100% transmitter modulation.



In digital telecommunication, pulse shaping is the process of changing the waveform of transmitted pulses. Its purpose is to make the transmitted signal suit better to the communication channel by limiting the effective bandwidth of the transmission. By filtering the transmitted pulses this way, the intersymbol interference caused by the channel can be kept in control. In RF communication pulse shaping is essential for making the signal fit in its frequency band.


Why Pulse Shaping

Transmitting a signal at high modulation rate through a band-limited channel can create intersymbol interference. As the modulation rate increases, the signal's bandwidth increases. When the signal's bandwidth becomes larger than the channel bandwidth, the channel starts to introduce distortion to the signal. This distortion is ususally seen as intersymbol interference. The signal's spectrum is determined by the pulse shaping filter used by the transmitter. Usually the transmitted symbols are represented as a time sequence of dirac delta pulses. This theoretical signal is then filtered with the pulse shaping filter, producing the transmitted signal. The spectrum of the transmission is thus determined by the filter. In many baseband communication systems the pulse shaping filter is implicitly a boxcar filter. Its spectrum is of the form sin(x)/x, and has significant signal power at frequencies higher than symbol rate. This is not a big problem when optical fibre or even twisted pair cable is used as the communication channel. However, in RF communications this would waste bandwidth, and only tightly specified frequency bands are used for single transmissions. In other words, the channel for the signal is band-limited. Therefore better filters have been developed, which attempt to minimise the bandwidth needed for a certain symbol rate.

4.8 4.8.1


What Are Voltage Multipliers? A voltage multiplier is an electrical circuit that converts AC electrical power from a lower voltage to a higher DC voltage by means of capacitors and diodes combined into a network. Voltage multipliers can be used to generate bias voltages of a few volts or tens of volts or millions of volts for purposes such as high-energy physics experiments and lightning safety testing. The most common type of voltage multiplier is the half-wave series multiplier, also called the Villard cascade. Such a circuit is shown opposite.


Assuming that the peak voltage of the AC source is +U s we can describe the (simplified) working of the cascade as follows: 1. Negative peak (U s ): The C 1 capacitor is charged through diode D 1 to 0V (potential difference between left and right plate of the capacitor is U s ) 2. Positive peak (+U s ): the potential of C 1 adds with that of the source, thus charging C 2 to 2U s through D 2 3. Negative peak: potential of C 1 drops to 0V thus allowing C 3 to be charged through D 3 to 2U s . 4. Positive peak: potential of C 1 rises to 2U s (analogously to step 2), also charging C 4 to 2U s . The output voltage (the sum of voltages under C 2 and C 4 ) raises till 4U s . In reality more cycles are required for C 4 to reach the full voltage. Adding more segments analogous to C 1 -D 1 -D 2 -C 2 , we can increase output voltage by 2U s .


What Is A Voltage Doubler?

A Voltage Doubler is one type of Voltage Multipliers described above. As its name implies, the Voltage Doubler increases the peak input voltage twice. A voltage multiplier is a specialized rectifier circuit producing an output which is theoretically an integer times the AC peak input, for example, 2, 3, or 4 times the AC peak input. Thus, it is possible to get 200 VDC from a 100 V peak AC source using a doubler, 400 VDC from a quadrupler. Any load in a practical circuit will lower these voltages. A voltage doubler application is a DC power supply capable of using either a 240 V AC or 120 V AC source. The supply uses a switch selected full-wave bridge to produce about 300 VDC from a 240 V AC source. The 120 V position of the switch rewires the bridge as a doubler producing about 300 V DC from the 120 V AC. In both cases, 300 V DC is produced. This is the input to a switching regulator producing lower voltages for powering, say, a personal computer.

Types of Voltage Doubler There are two main types of voltage doublers: 87

Half Wave Voltage Doubler and Full Wave Voltage Doubler

The half-wave voltage doubler in Figure below (a) is composed of two circuits: a clamper at (b) and peak detector (half-wave rectifier) in Figure prior, which is shown in modified form in Figure below (c). C 2 has been added to a peak detector (half-wave rectifier).

Half-wave voltage doublers (a) is composed of two circuits (b) a clamper and (c) a half-wave rectifier. Referring to Fig (b) above, C2 charges to 5 V (4.3 V considering the diode drop) on the negative half cycle of AC input. The right end is grounded by the conducting D2. The left end is charged at the negative peak of the AC input. This is the operation of the clamper. During the positive half cycle, the half-wave rectifier comes into play at Figure above (c). Diode D2 is out of the circuit since it is reverse biased. C2 is now in series with the voltage source. Note the polarities of the generator and C2, series aiding. Thus, rectifier D1 sees a total of 10 V at the peak of the sinewave, 5 V from generator and 5 V from C2. D1 conducts waveform v(1) (Figure below), charging C1 to the peak of the sine wave riding on 5 V DC (Figure below v(2)). Waveform v(2) is the output of the doubler, which stabilizes at 10 V (8.6 V with diode drops) after a few cycles of sinewave input.

Voltage doubler: v(4) input. v(1) clamper stage. v(2) half-wave rectifier stage, which is the doubler output. The full-wave voltage doubler is composed of a pair of series stacked half-wave rectifiers. (Figure below) The corresponding netlist is in Figure below. The bottom rectifier charges C1 on the negative half cycle of input. The top rectifier charges C2 on the positive halfcycle. Each capacitor takes on a charge of 5 V (4.3 V considering diode drop). The output at node 5 is the series total of C1 + C2 or 10 V (8.6 V with diode drops).


Full-wave voltage doubler consists of two half-wave rectifiers operating on alternating polarities. Note that the output v(5) Figure below reaches full value within one cycle of the input v(2) excursion.

Full-wave voltage doubler: v(2) input, v(3)voltage at mid point, v(5) voltage at output The Figure below illustrates the derivation of the full-wave doubler from a pair of opposite polarity half-wave rectifiers (a). The negative rectifier of the pair is redrawn for clarity (b). Both are combined at (c) sharing the same ground. At (d) the negative rectifier is re-wired to share one voltage source with the positive rectifier. This yields a 5 V (4.3 V with diode drop) power supply; though, 10 V is measurable between the two outputs. The ground reference point is moved so that +10 V is available with respect to ground.

Full-wave doubler: (a) Pair of doublers, (b) redrawn, (c) sharing the ground, (d) share the same voltage source. (e) move the ground point.


Transformer Coupled Half Wave Voltage Doubler

Transformer Coupled Full Wave Voltage Doubler The circuit shown below is a full-wave voltage doubler. The main advantage of a full-wave doubler over a half-wave doubler is better voltage regulation, as a result of reduction in the output ripple amplitude and an increase in the ripple frequency. The circuit is, in fact, two half-wave rectifiers. These rectifiers function as series-aiding devices except in a slightly different way. During the alternation when the secondary of the transformer is positive at the top, C1 charges to 200 volts through CR1. When the transformer secondary goes negative at the top, C2 charges to 200 volts through CR2. R1 and R2 are equal value, balancing resistors that stabilize the charges of the two capacitors. Resistive load RL is connected across C1 and C2 so that RL receives the total charge of both capacitors. The output voltage is +400 volts when measured at the top of R L, or point "A" with respect to point "B." If the output is measured at the bottom of RL, it is -400 volts. Either way, the output is twice the peak value of the ac secondary voltage. As you can imagine, the possibilities for voltage multiplication are extensive. Full-wave voltage doubler.


What Is A Transistor? The transistor, invented by three scientists at the Bell Laboratories in 1947, rapidly replaced the vacuum tube as an electronic signal regulator. A transistor regulates current or voltage flow and acts as a switch or gate for electronic signals. A transistor consists of three layers of a semiconductor material, each capable of carrying current. A semiconductor is a material such as germanium and silicon that conducts electricity in a "semi-enthusiastic" way. It's somewhere between a real conductor such as copper and an insulator (like the plastic wrapped 90

around wires). The semiconductor material is given special properties by a chemical process called doping. The doping results in a material that either adds extra electrons to the material (which is then called N-type for the extra negative charge carriers), or creates "holes" in the material's crystal structure (which is then called P-type because it results in more positive charge carriers). The transistor's three-layer structure contains an N-type semiconductor layer sandwiched between P-type layers (a PNP configuration) or a P-type layer between N-type layers (an NPN configuration). A small change in the current or voltage at the inner semiconductor layer (which acts as the control electrode) produces a large, rapid change in the current passing through the entire component. The component can thus act as a switch, opening and closing an electronic gate many times per second. The name transistor is a shortened version of the original term, transfer resistor, which indicates how the device works. Most transistors have three connections. The voltage on (or current into/out of) one wire has the effect of controlling the free flow of current movement between the other two terminals. The effect is to make a resistance whose value can be altered by the input signal. We can use this behaviour to transfer patterns of signal fluctuation from a small input signal to a larger output signal. A transistor is a semiconductor, differentiated from a vacuum tube primarily by its use of a solid, non-moving part to pass a charge. Transistors are crucial components in virtually every piece of modern electronics, and are considered by many to be the most important invention of the modern age (as well as a herald of the Information Age). A transistor is a three-terminal semiconductor device that can be used for amplification, switching, voltage stabilization, signal modulation and many other functions. The transistor is the fundamental building block of both digital and analogue integrated circuits - the circuitry that governs the operation of computers, cellular phones, and all other modern electronics. 5.1.1 Brief Historical Background of the Transistor

The development of the transistor grew directly out of huge advances in diode technology during World War II. In 1947, scientists at Bell Laboratories unveiled the first functional transistor, after a number of false starts and technological stumbling blocks. The first important use of the transistor was in hearing aids, by military contractor Raytheon inventors of the microwave oven and producer of many widely-used missiles, including the Sidewinder and Patriot missiles. The first transistor radio was released in 1954 by Texas Instruments, and by the beginning of the 1960s transistor radios had become a mainstay of the worldwide electronics market. Also in the 1960s transistors were integrated into silicon chips, laying the groundwork for the technology that would eventually allow personal computers to become a reality. In 1956, Bill Shockley, Walter Brattain, and John Bardee won the Nobel Prize for physics for their development of the transistor. The primary type of transistor in use is known as a bipolar junction transistor, which consists of three layers of semi-conductor material, two of which have extra electrons, and one which has gaps in it. The two with extra electrons (NType) sandwich the one with gaps (P-Type). This configuration allows the transistor to be a switch, closing and opening rapidly like an electronic gate, allowing voltage to pass at a determined rate. If a bipolar transistor is not shielded from light, the light may be used to open or close the gate, in which case it is referred to as a phototransistor, functioning as a highly-sensitive photodiode. The secondary type of transistor is known as a field-effect transistor, and consists either entire of N-Type semi-conductive material or P-Type semiconductive material, with the current controlled by the amount of voltage applied to the transistor.



The Importance of the Transistor

The transistor is considered by many to be one of the greatest inventions in modern history, ranking in importance with the printing press, automobile and telephone. It is the key active component in practically all modern electronics. Its importance in today's society rests on its ability to be mass produced using a highly automated process (fabrication) that achieves vanishingly low per-transistor costs. Although millions of individual (known as discrete) transistors are still used, the vast majority of transistors are fabricated into integrated circuits (often abbreviated as IC and also called microchips or simply chips) along with diodes, resistors, capacitors and other electronic components to produce complete electronic circuits. A logic gate comprises about twenty transistors whereas an advanced microprocessor, as of 2006, can use as many as 1.7 billion transistors (MOSFETs) [1]. The transistor's low cost, flexibility and reliability have made it a universal device for non-mechanical tasks, such as digital computing. Transistorized circuits have replaced electromechanical devices for the control of appliances and machinery as well. It is often less expensive and more effective to use a standard microcontroller and write a computer program to carry out a control function than to design an equivalent mechanical control function. Because of the low cost of transistors and hence digital computers, there is a trend to digitize information. With digital computers offering the ability to quickly find, sort and process digital information, more and more effort has been put into making information digital. As a result, today, much media data is delivered in digital form, finally being converted and presented in analogue form by computers. Areas influenced by the Digital Revolution include television, radio, and newspapers. 5.1.3 Some Transistor Characteristics:

1. An equivalent circuit of a NPN transistor is two diodes tied anode to anode; one cathode being the emitter, the other the collector, and the junction of the anodes is the base. 2. When a NPN Si transistor is doing-its-thing, there is always a constant 0.6 volt drop between the base and emitter, i.e., the base is always ~ 0.6 volts more positive than the emitter--always! 3. There is no output at the collector, until the base has reached ~ 0.6 volts and the base is drawing current, i.e., any signal that appears at the base that is not up to ~ 0.6 volts (and not drawing base current), is never seen at the collector. 4. The base requires a current, not a voltage to control the collector current. 5. The collector is a current source: it does not source a voltage. 6. The collector appears to output a voltage when a resistor is connected between it and power. 7. The collector is high impedance when compared to the emitter. 8. The transistor can output an amplified signal either from the collector or the emitter (or both). 9. When operating with a collector resistor (RL): the output voltage from the collector is an amplified voltage. 10. When operating with only an emitter resistor (Re): the output voltage from the emitter is not an amplified voltage, because it is always ~ 0.6 volts, below the input (base) voltagehence the name voltage follower. But because the emitter can source large amounts of current to the "LOAD," it can be said, there was CURRENT amplification. 11. The collector--being high impedance--cannot drive a low impedance load. 12. The emitter--being a low impedance--can drive a low impedance load. 13. The voltage gain from the collector is greater than one (Gv > 1). 14. The voltage gain from the emitter is less than one (Gv < 1). 15. Both the collector and the emitter: output ~ the same power: E x I = P. 5.1.4 Advantages of Transistors over Vacuum Tubes 92

Before the development of transistors, vacuum tubes (or in the UK thermionic valves or just valves) were the main active components in electronic equipment. The key advantages that have allowed transistors to replace their vacuum tube predecessors in most applications are: -Smaller size (despite continuing miniaturization of vacuum tubes) Highly automated manufacture Lower cost (in volume production) Lower possible operating voltages (but vacuum tubes can operate at higher Voltages) No warm-up period (most vacuum tubes need 10 to 60 seconds to function Correctly) Lower power dissipation (no heater power, very low saturation voltage) Higher reliability and greater physical ruggedness (although vacuum tubes are electrically more rugged. Also the vacuum tube is much more resistant to nuclear electromagnetic pulses (NEMP) and electrostatic discharge (ESD)) Much longer life (vacuum tube cathodes are eventually exhausted and the vacuum can become contaminated) Complementary devices available (allowing circuits with complementarysysmetry: vacuum tubes with a polarity equivalent to PNP BJTs or P type FETs are not available) Ability to control large currents (power transistors are available to control hundreds of amperes, vacuum tubes to control even one ampere are large and costly) Much less microphonic (vibration can modulate vacuum tube characteristics, though this may contribute to the sound of guitar amplifiers)

5.1.5 Types of Transistor Transistors are categorized by: Semiconductor material: germanium, silicon, gallium arsenide, silicon carbide Structure: BJT, JFET, IGFET (MOSFET), IGBT, "other types" Polarity: NPN, PNP, N-channel, P-channel Maximum power rating: low, medium, high Maximum operating frequency: low, medium, high, radio frequency (RF), microwave (The maximum effective frequency of a transistor is denoted by the term fT, an abbreviation for "frequency of transition". The frequency of transition is the frequency at which the transistor yields unity gain). Application: switch, general purpose, audio, high voltage, super-beta, matched pair Physical packaging: through hole metal, through hole plastic, surface mount, ball grid array Thus, a particular transistor may be described as: silicon, surface mount, BJT, NPN, low power, high frequency switch. See symbols below. BJT PNP BJT NPN

JFET P-channel

JFET N-channel


A Transistor is an Electronic Device composed of layers of Semiconductor Materials which regulates Current or Voltage Flow and acts as a Switch or Gate for Electronic Circuits. A Transistor can be thought of as a device that is active in only One Direction: It can draw more or less current through its load resistor (sometimes referred to as a pull-up resistor). It can either Sink Current or it can Source Current, it Cannot do Both. There are Two Main Types of Transistor: 1. The Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and 2. The Unipolar Junction Transistors, known as the Field Effect Transistors (FETs) The BJTs are Three Terminal devices that replaced the traditional Vacuum Tubes. They are solid state devices that are used for: Amplification; Switching; Detecting Light, Photoemitting, Thermistors, Theristors, etc. The three terminals of the BJTs and the FETs are: Emitter, Base & Collector - (BJT) Source, Gate & Drain - (FET)


The Bipolar Junction Transistor The Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT) was the first type of transistor to be mass-produced. Bipolar transistors are so named because they conduct by using both majority and minority carriers. The three terminals of the BJT are named emitter, base and collector respectively. Two p-n junctions exist inside a BJT: the base/emitter junction and base/collector junction. The BJT is commonly described as a current-operated device because the collector/emitter current is controlled by the current flowing between base and emitter terminals. Unlike the FET, the BJT is a low input-impedance device. As the base/emitter voltage (Vbe) is increased the base/emitter current and hence the collector/emitter current (Ice) increase exponentially (Ice KVbe where K is a constant). Because of th is exponential relationship the BJT has a higher transconductance than the FET. Bipolar transistors can be made to conduct by light, since absorption of photons in the base region generates a photocurrent that acts as a base current; the collector current is approximately beta times the photocurrent. designed for this purpose have a transparent window in the package and are called phototransistors. A bipolar junction transistor (BJT) is a type of transistor. It is a three-terminal device constructed of doped semiconductor material and may be used in amplifying or switching applications. 95

Bipolar transistors are so named because their operation involves both electrons and holes. Although a small part of the baseemitter current is carried by the majority carriers, the main current is carried by minority carriers in the base, and so BJTs are classified as 'minoritycarrier' devices. Introduction to BJT An NPN transistor can be considered as two diodes with a shared anode region. In typical operation, the emitterbase junction is forward biased and the basecollector junction is reverse biased. In an NPN transistor, for example, when a positive voltage is applied to the baseemitter junction, the equilibrium between thermally generated carriers and the repelling electric field of the depletion region becomes unbalanced, allowing thermally excited electrons to inject into the base region. These electrons wander (or "diffuse") through the base from the region of high concentration near the emitter towards the region of low concentration near the collector. The electrons in the base are called minority carriers because the base is doped p-type which would make holes the majority carrier in the base. The base region of the transistor must be made thin, so that carriers can diffuse across it in much less time than the semiconductor's minority carrier lifetime, to minimize the percentage of carriers that recombine before reaching the collectorbase junction. The collectorbase junction is reverse-biased, so little electron injection occurs from the collector to the base, but electrons that diffuse through the base towards the collector are swept into the collector by the electric field in the depletion region of the collectorbase junction. Voltage, Current, And Charge Control The collectoremitter current can be viewed as being controlled by the baseemitter current (current control), or by the baseemitter voltage (voltage control). These views are related by the currentvoltage relation of the baseemitter junction, which is just the usual exponential currentvoltage curve of a p-n junction (diode). The physical explanation for collector current is the amount of minority-carrier charge in the base region. Detailed models of transistor action, such as the GummelPoon model, account for this charge explicitly to explain transistor behaviour more exactly. The charge-control view easily handles phototransistors, where minority carriers in the base region are created by the absorption of photons, and handles the dynamics of turn-off, or recovery time, which depends on charge in the base region recombining. However, since base charge is not a signal that is visible at the terminals, the current- and voltage-control views are usually used in circuit design and analysis. In linear circuit design, the current-control view is often preferred, since it is approximately linear. That is, the collector current is approximately 'beta' times the base current. The voltage-control model requires an exponential function to be taken into account. Transistor 'Alpha' and 'Beta The proportion of electrons able to cross the base and reach the collector is a measure of the BJT efficiency. The heavy doping of the emitter region and light doping of the base region cause many more electrons to be injected from the emitter into the base than holes to be injected from the base into the emitter. The base current is the sum of the holes injected into the emitter and the electrons that recombine in the baseboth small proportions of the emitter to collector current. Hence, a small change of the base current can translate to a large change in electron flow between emitter and collector. The ratio of these currents Ic/Ib, called the current gain, and represented by or hfe, is typically greater than 100 for transistors. Another important parameter is the base transport factor, T-. The base transport factor is the proportion of minority carriers injected from the emitter that diffuse across the base and are swept across the basecollector junction without recombining. This has values usually between 0.98 and 0.998. Alpha and Beta are related by the following identities: 96

Construction of the BJT A BJT consists of three differently doped semiconductor regions, the emitter region, the base region and the collector region. These regions are, respectively, p type, n type and p type in a PNP, and n type, p type and n type in a NPN transistor. Each semiconductor region is connected to a terminal, appropriately labelled: emitter (E), base (B) and collector (C). The base is physically located between the emitter and the collector and is made from lightly doped, high resistivity material.

The collector surrounds the emitter region, making it almost impossible for the electrons injected into the base region to escape being collected, thus making the resulting value of very close to unity, and so, giving the transistor a large . A cross section view of a BJT indicates that the collectorbase junction has a much larger area than the emitterbase junction. The bipolar junction transistor, unlike other transistors, is not a symmetrical device. This means that interchanging the collector and the emitter makes the transistor leave the forward active mode and start to operate in reverse mode. Because the transistor's internal structure is usually optimized to forward-mode operation, interchanging the collector and the emitter makes the values of and of reverse operation much smaller than those found in forward operation; usually, the of the reverse mode is lower than 0.5. The lack of symmetry is primarily due to the doping ratios of the emitter and the collector. The emitter is heavily doped, while the collector is lightly doped, allowing a large reverse bias voltage to be applied before the collectorbase junction breaks down. The collectorbase junction is reverse biased in normal operation. The reason the emitter is heavily doped is to increase the emitter injection efficiency: the ratio of carriers injected by the emitter to those injected by the base. For high current gain, most of the carriers injected into the emitterbase junction must come from the emitter. Small changes in the voltage applied across the base emitter terminals causes the current that flows between the emitter and the collector to change significantly. This effect can be used to amplify the input voltage or current. BJTs can be thought of as voltage-controlled current sources, but are more simply characterized as currentcontrolled current sources, or current amplifiers, due to the low impedance at the base. Early transistors were made from germanium but most modern BJTs are made from silicon. A significant minority are also now made from gallium arsenide, especially for very high speed applications (see HBT, below). The NPN Transistor NPN is one of the two types of bipolar transistors, in which the letters "N" and "P" refer to the majority charge carriers inside the different regions of the transistor. Most bipolar transistors used today are NPN, because electron mobility is higher than hole mobility in semiconductors. NPN transistors consist of a layer of P-doped semiconductor (the "base") between two N-doped layers. NPN transistors are commonly operated with the emitter at ground and the collector connected to a positive voltage through an electric load. A small current entering the base in common-emitter mode is amplified in the collector output. The arrow in the NPN transistor symbol is on the emitter leg and points in the direction of the conventional current flow when the device is in forward active mode. 97

The PNP Transistor The other type of BJTs is PNP with the letters "P" and "N" referring to the majority charge carriers inside the different regions of the transistor. Few transistors used today are PNP, since the NPN type gives better performance in most circumstances.

The symbol of a PNP BJT PNP transistors consist of a layer of N-doped (often doped with boron) semiconductor between two layers of P-doped (often with arsenic) material. PNP transistors are commonly operated with the collector at ground and the emitter connected to a positive voltage through an electric load. A small current entering the base prevents current from flowing between the collector and emitter. The Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor The Heterojunction Bipolar Hransistor (HBT) is an improvement of the BJT that can handle signals of very high frequencies up to several hundred GHz. It is common nowadays in ultrafast circuits, mostly RF systems. The term heterojunction refers to a semiconductor junction which is composed of layers of dissimilar semiconductor material, these materials having non-equal band gaps. In such a structure, the implementable diode characteristics can closely approach those of an idealized diode. Furthermore, the diode model parameters that define the diode current vs. voltage response can be tuned by adjusting the thicknesses and band gaps of the layers. Heterojunction transistors have different semiconductors for the elements of the transistor. Usually the emitter is composed of a larger bandgap material than the base. This helps reduce minority carrier injection from the base when the emitter-base junction is under forward bias and increases emitter injection efficiency. The improved injection of carriers into the base allows the base to have a higher doping level, resulting in lower resistance to access the base electrode. With a regular transistor, also referred to as homojunction, the efficiency of carrier injection from the emitter to the base is primarily determined by the doping ratio between the emitter and base. Because the base must be lightly doped to allow the high injection efficiency its resistance is relatively high. With a Heterojunction the base can be highly doped allowing a much lower base resistance and consequently higher frequency operation. Two commonly used Hats are silicongermanium and aluminium gallium arsenide. Silicongermanium is widely used because it is compatible with standard silicon digital processes, allowing integration of very high speed circuitry with complex lower speed digital circuitry. The Difference Between BJT And HJT The principal difference between the BJT and HBT is the use of differing semiconductor materials for the emitter and base regions, creating a heterojunction. The effect is to limit the injection of holes into the base region, since the potential barrier in the valance band is so large. Unlike BJT technology, this allows high doping to be used in the base, creating higher electron mobility while maintaining gain. The efficiency of the device is measured by the Kroemer factor, after Herbert Kroemer who received a Nobel Prize for his work in this field in 2000. Materials used for the substrate include silicon-germanium alloys and gallium arsenide, while aluminium gallium arsenide, indium phosphide and indium gallium phosphide are used for the epitaxial layers. Wide-bandgap semiconductors are especially promising, e.g. gallium nitride and indium gallium nitride. 98

BJT Amplifier Models Once the DC Q-point has been established in the active region, the BJT can be used as an amplifier to amplifier small (AC) signals. New small-signal circuit models are needed to model the BJT. There are several types of models: 1) mid-frequency models - used to find voltage, current, and power gain and Zin and Zout. 2) low- and high-frequency models - used to find frequency response information These models are used to analyse the behaviour and performance of BJT amplifiers. Mid-Frequency Small-Signal Models There are several possible models. Textbooks vary in which model they prefer. The models are, however, closely related. Some of the most common are: 1) h-parameter Model 2) hybrid-p Model 3) Y-parameter Model 4) Z-parameter Model 5) S-parameter Model 6) re (or re) Model The BJT H-Parameter Model What Is H- Parameter Model? The letter H represents the word Hybrid (meaning mixture, crossbreed). The word Parameter means Factor or Limit (to which the BJT amplifier works). The word Model means Representation, Form, Replica, etc. Therefore, H-Parameter Model means what? This model is a 2-port network particularly suited to BJTs as it lends itself easily to the analysis of circuit behaviour, and may be used to develop further accurate models. The Model is as shown. Ideal H-Parameter Model From the model, the subscript x represents the transistor in any of the 3 configurations: C-B, C-E or C-C.

As shown above, the term "x" in the model represents the BJT lead depending on the topology used. For common-emitter mode the various symbols take on the specific values as x = 'e' since it is a CE topology. Terminal 1 = Base, Terminal 2 = Collector, Terminal 3 = Emitter, Iin = Base current (ib), io = Collector current (ic), Vin = Base-to-emitter voltage (VBE), Vo = Collector-to-emitter voltage (VCE), and the h-parameters are given by hix = hie - The input impedance of the transistor (corresponding to the emitter resistance re). hrx = hre - Represents the dependence of the transistor's IBVBE curve on the value of VCE. It is 99

usually very small and is often neglected (assumed to be zero). hfx = hfe - The forward current-gain of the transistor. This parameter is often specified as hFE or the DC current-gain (DC) in datasheets. hox = hoe - The output impedance of transistor. This term is usually specified as admittance and has to be inverted to convert it to impedance. As shown, the hparameters have lower-case subscripts and hence signify AC conditions or analyses. For DC conditions they are specified in upper-case. For the CE topology, an approximate h-parameter model is commonly used which further simplifies the circuit analysis. For this the hoe and hre parameters are ignored (rather, they are set to infinity and zero, respectively). It should also be noted that the h-parameter model is suited to low-frequency, small-signal analysis. For high-frequency analyses this model is not used since it ignores the inter-electrode capacitances which come into effect at high frequencies.

Transistor Applications In the early days of transistor circuit design, the bipolar junction transistor, or BJT, was the most commonly used transistor. Even after MOSFETs became available, the BJT remained the transistor of choice for digital and analogue circuits because of their ease of manufacture and speed. However, the MOSFET has several desirable properties for digital circuits, and since major advancements in digital circuits have pushed MOSFET design to state-of-the-art. MOSFETs are now commonly used for both analogue and digital functions. BJT used as an electronic switch, in grounded-emitter configuration. Amplifier circuit, minimal commonemitter configuration. Switches Transistors are commonly used as electronic switches, for both high power applications including switched-mode power supplies and low power applications such as logic gates. Amplifiers From mobile phones to televisions, vast numbers of products include amplifiers for sound reproduction, radio transmission, and signal processing. The first discrete transistor audio amplifiers barely supplied a few hundred milliwatts, but power and audio fidelity gradually increased as better transistors became available and amplifier architecture evolved. Transistors are commonly used in modern musical instrument amplifiers, where circuits up to a few hundred watts are common and relatively cheap. Transistors have largely replaced valves in instrument amplifiers. Some musical instrument amplifier manufacturers mix transistors and vacuum tubes in the same circuit, to utilize the inherent benefits of both devices. Computers The "first generation" of electronic computers used vacuum tubes, which generated large amounts of heat and were bulky, and unreliable. The development of the transistor was key to computer miniaturization and reliability. The "second generation" of computers, through the late 1950s and 1960s featured boards filled with individual transistors and magnetic memory cores. Subsequently, transistors, other components, and their necessary wiring were integrated into a single, mass-manufactured component: the integrated circuit. Transistors incorporated into integrated circuits have replaced most discrete transistors in modern digital computers. 100

Transistors are the basic elements in integrated circuits (ICs), which consist of very large numbers of transistors interconnected with circuitry and baked into a single silicon microchip or "chip." Today's computers use circuitry made with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. CMOS uses two complementary transistors per gate (one with N-type material; the other with P-type material). When one transistor is maintaining a logic state, it requires almost no power. Advantages of Transistors Over Vacuum Tubes Before the development of transistors, vacuum tubes (or in the UK thermionic valves or just valves) were the main active components in electronic equipment. The key advantages that have allowed transistors to replace their vacuum tube predecessors in most applications are: Smaller size (despite continuing miniaturization of vacuum tubes). Highly automated manufacture Lower cost (in volume production) Lower possible operating voltages (but vacuum tubes can operate at higher voltages) No warm-up period (most vacuum tubes need 10 to 60 seconds to function correctly) Lower power dissipation (no heater power, very low saturation voltage) Higher reliability and greater physical ruggedness (although vacuum tubes are electrically more rugged. Also the vacuum tube is much more resistant to nuclear electromagnetic pulses (NEMP) and electrostatic discharge (ESD)) Much longer life (vacuum tube cathodes are eventually exhausted and the vacuum can become contaminated) Complementary devices available (allowing circuits with complementary-symmetry: vacuum tubes with a polarity equivalent to PNP BJTs or P type FETs are not available) Ability to control large currents (power transistors are available to control hundreds of amperes, vacuum tubes to control even one ampere are large and costly). Much less microphonic (vibration can modulate vacuum tube characteristics, though this may contribute to the sound of guitar amplifiers) " Nature abhors a vacuum tube " Myron Glass (see John R. Pierce), Bell Telephone Laboratories, circa 1948. 5.1 TRANSISTOR CURRENT COMPONENTS

This animation shows the transistor effect as the transistor is made to alter its state from a starting condition of conductivity (switched 'on', full current flow) to a final condition of insulation (switched 'off', no current flow). The animation begins with current flowing through the transistor from the emitter (point E) to the collector (point C). When a negative voltage is applied to the base (point B), electrons in the base region are pushed ('like' charges repel, in this case both negative) back creating insulation boundaries. The current flow from point E to point C stops. The transistor's state has been changed from a conductor to an insulator.


Transistor Biasing What Is Biasing? Biasing in electronics is the method of applying a predetermined voltage and current to the junction of a transistor to set the appropriate quiescent point. Amplification is the process of raising the strength of a weak signal without any change in its general shape. This is achieved using amplifiers. Hence small ac signal is applied to the input and larger output signal is obtained. Before applying ac signal, proper biasing of the transistor is necessary. Why Biasing Before applying ac input signal, we have to setup the Q-point (quiescent point) of operation, typically near the middle of the dc load line. The process of obtaining certain dc collector current at a certain dc collector voltage by setting up operating point is called biasing. After establishing the operating point, when input signal is applied, the Q-pt should not move either to saturation or cut-off region. But this unwanted shift might occur due to various reasons. Reasons for Shift of Q-pt The shifting of operating point is due to two reasons: 1. Parameters of transistor depend on temperature. As it increases, leakage current due to minority charge carriers (ICBO) increases. As ICBO increases, ICEO also increases, causing increase in collector current IC. This produces heat at the collector junction. This process may get repeated, and finally Q-pt may shift into saturation region. Sometimes the excess heat produced at the junction may even burn the transistor. This is known as thermal runaway. 2. When a transistor is replaced by another of the same type, the Q-pt may shift, due to change in parameters of transistor such as current gain () which changes from unit to unit. Hence, to avoid shift of Q-pt, bias-stabilization is necessary. Various biasing circuits can be used for this purpose. Requirements of Biasing Circuit Q-pt is established in centre of active region of transistor characteristic. It should not shift to saturation region or cut-off region, when input is applied. Q-pt should be independent of transistor parameters i.e. should not shift if transistor is replaced by another of the same type. Collector current should be stabilized against changes in temperature. It must be practical in its implementation, and cost-effective. Other Types of Biasing Circuits There are five main types of biasing circuits. Fixed Bias Collector-to-base Bias Fixed Bias With Emitter Resistor Voltage Divider Bias Emitter Bias


Forward Biasing and Reverse Biasing Arrangements

Operation And Behaviour Of A Transistor


Flow of the emitter electrons into the collector in an nun BJT

A transistor may be arranged to have any of its three electrodes / terminals common between input and output. These arrangements give birth to transistor circuit designs called CommonBase, Common-Emitter and Common-Collector Configurations, as shown below. Fore each arrangement, both NPN and PNP transistors are shown in identical circuits, except that, the Collector and Emitter Bias Voltages are Reversed.

A transistor may be connected in any one of three basic configurations (fig. 2-16): common emitter (CE), common base (CB), and common collector (CC). The term common is used to denote the element that is common to both input and output circuits. Because the common element is often grounded, these configurations are frequently referred to as grounded emitter, grounded base, and grounded collector. Each configuration, as you will see later, has particular characteristics that make it suitable for specific applications. An easy way to identify a specific transistor configuration is to follow three simple steps: Identify the element (emitter, base, or collector) to which the input signal is applied. Identify the element (emitter, base, or collector) from which the output signal is taken. The remaining element is the common element, and gives the configuration its name. Therefore, by applying these three simple steps to the circuit in figure 2-12, we can conclude that this circuit is more than just a basic transistor amplifier. It is a commonemitter amplifier. Fig. Transistor configurations.


Common Base Stage Because the base is "grounded", this configuration does not suffer from the Miller Effect, thus yielding the widest bandwidth of all configurations. Note that the drive is to the Emitter, and there is no signal inversion. THE COMMON BASE CONFIGURATION This Common Base Configuration is used for high frequency applications because the base separates the input and output, minimizing oscillations at high frequency. It has a high voltage gain, relatively low Input impedance and high output impedance compared to the common collector. In this circuit, the input voltage is applied with the Emitter-Base junction and base is common between input and output circuits. The Emitter Current (Ie) completes its path through the input, and as such, the circuit has a very low input resistance around 50 to 100 Ohms. The output resistance is very high, in the order of hundreds of Kilo Ohms. This is because the out resistance is simply, the reverse resistance of the Collector Base Junction.



The common emitter configuration lends itself to voltage amplification and is the most common configuration for transistor amplifier. Here, the input voltage is applied to the bas and the output is taken from the collector, the emitter being grounded and common between input and output. 105

The important differences compared with the C-B Cct are: 1. The collector output returns to the grounded emitter Instead of the base. It is indicated by the cct symbol Vce For the reverse bias applied to the collector. 2. In the input cct, forward bias Voltage Vbe is applied to the Base instead of the emitter. Hence, the effect of voltage polarity for base input with respect to emitter is opposite from emitter Input with respect to base. 3.Base current completes its path through the input cct and as its value is Quite low compared to the Ie flowing in the C-B ccts, it means, CE ccts, have Rin larger than CB ccts. Rin is in the range of 500 to 1500 Ohms. 4. The polarity of the bias supply voltage Vbe and Vce is same with respect to ground. Thus, single battery may be used to provide bias to both base and collector. 5. Another main advantage is that the C-E cct has high voltage and current gains. 6. An important feature of the C-E cct is that, it inverts the polarity / Phase of its applied / input signal at 180 degrees. ASSIGNMENT:

Identify any advantages or disadvantages of this phase Inversion by the c-e circuit. The Common-Collector Configuration

The common collector amplifier, often called an emitter follower since its output is taken from the emitter resistor, is useful as an impedance matching device since its input impedance is much higher than its output impedance. It is also termed a "buffer, for this reason it is used in digital circuits with basic gates. With collector grounded, the input voltage is applied between base and collector and the output is taken between emitter and collector. In this case, the input circuit has high resistance and the output is taken from the low resistance emitter circuit. This feature makes impedance load a high impedance source. ANALYZING COMMON-COLLECTOR CIRCUITS

In this circuit arrangement, the Collector Node of the transistor is tied to a power rail or a common node, the emitter node is connected to the output load to be driven, and the base node acts as an input. Owing to the physics of the bipolar transistor, the emitter node closely Tracks ('follows') the voltage applied to the input node, which is useful in many applications, hence the term, Emitter Follower. The common collector circuit is found to have a voltage gain of almost unity, meaning AC signals appearing on the input will be nearly identically replicated on the output. The circuit has a typical current gain which depends largely on the h of the transistor. 106

A small change to the input current results in much larger change in the output current supplied to the output load. Thus a weakly driven input node can be used to drive a lower resistance at the output node. This configuration is commonly used in the output stages of class-B and class-AB amplifier the base circuit is modified to operate the transistor in class-B or AB mode. In class-A mode, sometimes an active current source is used instead of RE to improve linearity and/or efficiency. THE COMMOMN EMITTER FOLLOWER In electronics, a common collector circuit, also known as an emitter follower circuit, refers to one type of circuit arrangement in which a bipolar transistor drives a load circuit such as a resistor or the next stage in an electronic amplifier. It is so called because the output voltage signal at the emitter is approximately equal to the voltage signal input on the base. The amplifier's voltage gain is always less than unity, but it has a large current gain and is normally used to match a high-impedance source to a low-impedance load: the amplifier has a large input impedance and a small output impedance. A typical Emitter Follower Amplifier is as shown.

Base-Emitter Junction Details A base emitter voltage Vbe of about 0.6 v will "turn on" the base-emitter diode and that voltage changes very little, < +/- 0.1v throughout the active range of the transistor which may change base current by a factor of 10 or more. An increase in base-emitter voltage by about 60 mV will increase the collector current by about a factor of 10. The effective AC series resistance of the emitter is about 25/ Ic ohms. The base-emitter voltage Vbe is temperature dependent, decreasing about 2.1 mV/C Vbe varies slightly with the collector-emitter voltage Vce at constant collector current Ic :Vbe is Approx. -0.01Vce. Base-Emitter Voltage (VBE) The entire normal range of silicon transistor operation involves a change in base-emitter voltage of only about two-tenths of a volt. This is because the base-emitter diode is forward biased. One of the constraints on transistor action is that this voltage remains At about 0.6 volts (often referred to as the diode drop). A small change in VBE can produce a large change in collector current and achieve current amplification. Base-Emitter Junction Details


FAMILY OF C-E OUTPUT CHARACTERISTICS As the CB junction is reverse biased, the current Ic depends totally on Ie. When Ie=0, Ic=Icbo is the current caused by the minority carriers crossing the pn-junction. This is similar to the diode current-voltage characteristics seen before, except both axes are reversed (rotated 180 degrees) as both voltage Vcb and current Ic are defined in the opposite direction. When Ie is increased, Ic= Ie+Icbo is increased correspondingly. Higher Vcb can slightly increase and thereby Ic.


ANALYSING CE CIRCUIT: LOADLINE METHOD In analyzing a C-E cct, the value of input current Ib, must first be determined. In determining Ib, the diode like characteristics of the E-B junction is again utilized. Referring to the C-E cct, Ib is supplied by the voltage Vbb through the series resistor Rb, Thus, Vbb = Ib X Rb + Vbe. Where Ib = (Vbb-Vbe) / Rb. This is the procedure for calculating load-line and approximate methods of analysis. As before, the procedure is to write Kirchhoffs Voltage Equation for the output portion of the cct and plot this equation (load-line) on the output characteristic curve corresponding to the value of Ib that gives the cct operating point. The equation is: Vcc = Ic X Rc + Vce. This equation relates Ic to Vce and is called the load-line equation. To plot this line, the easiest points to choose are (Ic = 0, Vce = Vcc) and (Ic = Vcc / Rc, Vce = 0). EXAMPLE A transistor has the C-E output characteristic curves shown below. Find Ic and Vce, Ib = 50A, with Vcc =12v and Rc = 1k. The load line equation is 12 = Ic X Rc + Vce. The insertion of this load line and the Ib = 50A, curve is thus Ic = 5mA and Vce = 7v. The voltage across the 1-k resistor is 5mA X 1k = 5v. These values can be checked by substituting into the load-line equation. In this case, the operating point lies in the Active Region of the transistor characteristics. C-E LOADLINE AND OPERATING POINT

The output characteristic plot of the common-emitter transistor can be divided into three regions: Cut-off Region: Vbe < 0.7v, Ib=0, Iceo ~ 0, Vc=Vcc, i.e., the transistor (between collector and emitter) is cut off (the portion immediately above the horizontal axis of the output plot). Linear / Active Region: Vbe >0.7v, Ib >0, Ic= Ie , i.e., the output current Ic is proportional to the input current Ib, Vc=Vcc-RcIc. Saturation Region: Vbe is further increased and so is Ib, Ic= Ib will approach its maximum Vcc/Rc. As Ic can never exceed this value, it will no longer be proportional to Ib, i.e., Ic < Ib, and Vce ~0.2v independent of Ib (to the immediate right of the vertical axis of the output plot). Example: Assume that in the CE circuit shown above, Vcc=12v, Rb=6k,Rc=2k, =60. Find output voltage Vout=Vce when Vin takes the following values: i) Vin=0. As Vbe < 0.7v, Ib=0 and Ic= Ib=0, i.e., the transistor is cut off. ii) Vin = 1v. As the BE junction is forward biased, the voltage drop is about Vbe = 0.7v, and Ib = (Vin Vbe) / Re = (1 0.7) / 6 = 0.05mA. Ic = Ib = 60 X 0.05mA = 3mA.


Vce = Vcc IcRc = 12v 3mA X 2k = 6v. The transistor is in linear region. iii) Vin = 12v. Ib = (2-0.7) / 6 = 0.22mA, Ic = Ib = 60 X 0.22mA = 13mA, and Vce = 12v (13mA X 2k ) = - 14v. The reason why we get this unreasonable negative voltage Vce is that the base current Ib is so high that the transistor is working in its saturation region, therefore the linear relationship is no longer applicable (only valid in linear region). The output voltage is therefore about Vce = 0.2v instead of negative. Maximum Swing Operating Point DC Load Line The DC load line is drawn on the transistor characteristics. It represents the voltage current relationship for the collector circuit. For the DC loadline, open circuit the emitter capacitor and write a loop equation around the collector circuit. Vcc = Vce + Rdc*Ic where Rdc = Rc + Re (4K in this example). The DC load line is a plot of Ic vs Vce using this equation. Common emitter amplifier. AC and DC load lines

AC Load Line The AC load line is a plot of the current through the transistor vs the voltage across it for AC signals. For AC analysis assume capacitors and power supplies (Vcc) are short circuits. Rac=Rc=1K is the resistance around the collector circuit with capacitors shorted. Writing the loop equation around the collector circuit. vce = -Rac*ic where vce and ic are the AC collector to emitter voltage and the AC collector current. The AC load line must pass through the quiescent operating point. When the AC signals are zero, Ic = Icq and VCE = Vceq. When currents and voltages vary, the operating point moves along the AC loadline. The circuit shown in figure 1 has been designed for maximum voltage swing by placing the operating point in the middle of the AC load line. A Simple Equation Assures Maximum Swing: Icq = Vcc/ (Rac + Rdc). This equation is used to select resistors for maximum AC collector voltage swing. Consider the red triangle drawn with the AC load line as hypotenuse. The horizontal side is Vceq. Since the operating point is in the center of the AC load line, the vertical side of the triangle is Icq. Vceq = Icq*Rac where 1/Rac is the slope of the AC load line. 110

Plug this equation into the equation for the DC loadline, Vcc -Vceq = Rdc*Icq, Vcc - Rac *Icq = Rdc*Icq; Icq = Vcc/ (Rac+Rdc). If there are no capacitors Rac = Rdc and Icq = Vcc/2Rdc. NPN Common Emitter Amplifier

Transistor Equations CB Current Amplification Factor (Alpha) :


CE Current Gain: Kirchhoffs Current Rule: Derivation of


I E = IC + I B
> > 1.


from First Principles to show that

Proving From First Principles: CBC Current Amplification Factor (Alpha) : = Ic / Ie By Kirchhoffs Current Rule, Ie = Ib + Ic, Then, = Ic / (Ib + Ic); (Ib + Ic) = Ic; Ib = Ic Ic; Thus, = (Ic Ic) / Ib; Ic / Ib - Ic / Ib But Ic / Ib = ; So that, = - ; (1 - ) =

Hence, = / (1 ). Where is the CEC Current Gain / Amplification Factor.

Therefore, making the subject gives: = / (1+ ); < 1; >> 1.



THERMAL RUNAWAY Thermal runaway refers to a situation where an increase in temperature changes the conditions in a way that causes a further increase in temperature leading to a destructive result. Bipolar Transistors Bipolar transistors (notably germanium based bipolar transistors) increase significantly in current gain as they increase in temperature. Depending on the design of the circuit, this increase in current gain can increase the current flowing through the transistor and with it the power dissipation. This causes a further increase in current gain. If multiple bipolar transistors are connected in parallel (which is typical in high current applications) one device will enter thermal runaway first, taking the current which originally was distributed across all the devices and exacerbating the problem. This effect is called current hogging. Eventually one of two things will happen, either the circuit will stabilize or the transistor in thermal runaway will be destroyed by the heat.


Configurational Bias There are three configurations of a transistor. Configuration is the method of connecting any one terminal of transistor common to both input and output circuits. The three types are listed below. 1. Common Base (Grounded base): Here base is common to both input and output. Emitterbase junction is fwd-biased and collector-base junction is rev-biased. 2. Common emitter: Here emitter terminal is common to both input and output. Emitter-base junction is fwd-biased and collector-base junction is reverse biased. 3. Common collector (Emitter follower): Here collector terminal is common to both input and output. Load is connected to emitter. Comparison of the Three TransistorConfigs. Parameter CB CE Phase shift b/n i/p & o/p zero 180 Current gain less high than 1 Voltage gain high high Power gain moderate high I/p Resistance low moderate O/p Resistance high moderate Applications of the Three Transistor-Configs CB Config.: CE Config.: CC Config.: ELECTTRICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF TRANSISTORS In order to understand electronics cct techniques using transistors, it is essential to know the electrical characteristics of transistors. Transistor characteristic curves may be drawn in any of the three cct configurations in which the device can be used, but mostly C-B and C-E are more than sufficient to understand the behaviour of the transistor.

CC zero high less than 1 low to moderate high low


THE COMMON-BASE CHARACTERISTICS Input Characteristics The diagram below shows a plot of the Input Current (Ie) against the bias voltage and BaseEmitter Junction Voltage (Vbe) for different Collector-Base Voltages (Vcb). These curves are Forward Biased Junction characteristics when collector is open circuited. Conditionally, the electrons complete their path through E-B junction to the base and none of the electrons can go to collector. With collector short ccted to the base, a small current starts to flow through the collector and as a result, the emitter current is increased for a given E-B voltage. On the supply of Vcb, the collector current increases and this results in a large emitter current. The curves are non-linear and therefore contain AC resistance as in diodes. The input characteristics are used to select the operating emitter current. As Ic Ie, CB configuration has no current amplification effect.

Basic C-B Test Circuit


ANALYSING CB CIRCUIT: LOADLINE METHOD The load-line method is a graphical technique used in the analysis of transistor amplifiers when a great deal of accuracy is required. In analyzing a transistor C-B circuit, we first determine the input current Ie, from which the output current Ic can be determined. In determining the Ie, the diode-like characteristics of the E-B junction are utilized. Refer to C-B cct. Ie is supplied by the voltage Vee through series resistor Re. By Kirchhoffs voltage equation, the input voltage Vee =Ie x Re +Vbe. Thus Ie = (Vee Vbe) / Re. The voltage Vbe is the voltage across the E-B junction when it is forward biased. As with P-N diodes, this voltage is typically about 0.7v for silicon and 0.3v for germanium semiconductor materials. EXERCISE - 1 A silicon transistor has Vee = 10.7v and Re = 500. Determine Ie. Find Ie for a germanium transistor. 5.6 C-B Operating / Quiescent Point (Q-P)

The characteristic curves of BJT are not only helpful in studying the behavior of the transistor but also in determining the region of operation for the transistor. As was done with a diode, we can draw a load line on the above curves to determine the operating point of the transistor. The intersection of the load line with the curves gives the operating point, referred to as the Q-point. The regions of interest in a transistor are the amplifying region, cutoff region and the saturation region. The last two are extensively used when the transistor is used in digital circuits. These three regions are defined as follows: CUTOFF: both the emitter and collector junction are reverse biased. SATURATION: both the emitter and collector junctions are forward biased. ACTIVE: emitter junction is forward biased, collector junction is reverse biased. In the active region, the collector current is independent of the value of the collector voltage and hence the transistor behaves as an ideal current source where the current is determined by VBE. When the transistor is biased in the active region it operates as an amplifier. The biasing problem is that of establishing a constant DC current in the emitter (or the collector) which is insensitive to variations in temperature, value of b and so on. This is equivalent to designing the transistor circuit so that the Q-point is in the middle of the DC load line. 115

Changing the biasing resistors has the effect of shifting the Q-point along the DC load line, moving the transistor into the regions of cutoff or saturation. The amplification property can be graphically interpreted as seen in Figure 2. Figure 2. Amplification of a small signal the analysis suggests that small sinusoidal signals, Vbe, superimposed on the DC voltage VBE, will give a sinusoidal collector current, Ic, superimposed on the DC current IC at the Q-point. Depending upon the configuration of the resistors in the collector, the emitter, and the load, there will be an ideal Q-point for maximum distortion-free output signal amplitude. Determining this resistor requires constructing an ac loadline.
I Output Signal Q-point Ic Vbe vbe Input Signal
ti m e ti m e

C-B Operating / Quiescent (Q) Point





TRANSISTOR BIASING What Is Biasing in Electronics Biasing in electronics is the method of establishing predetermined voltages and/or currents at various points of a circuit to set an appropriate operating point (Q Point). In electronics, a bias point, also known an operating point, quiescent point or Q-point, is a DC voltage which, when applied to a device, causes it to operate in a certain desired fashion. The term is normally used in connection with devices such as transistors and diodes which are used in amplification or rectification. Linear circuits involving transistors typically require a specific P-n junction voltage to operate correctly, which can be achieved using a biasing circuit. The method of keeping a device to operate in the active region is also referred to as biasing of the circuit. In amplifiers, a small input signal gives larger output signal without any change in its general shape. Before applying an AC signal, proper biasing of the transistor is necessary. For example, for Bipolar Junction Transistors the bias point would keep the transistor operating in the active mode, drawing a DC current. A small signal is then applied on top of this bias voltage, thereby either modulating or switching the current, depending on the design 116

of the circuit. The input dc voltage is chosen to satisfy the required large signal parameters. The quiescent point of operation is typically near the middle of the dc load line. The process of obtaining certain dc collector current at a certain dc collector voltage by setting up operating point is called biasing. Quiescent current is the current that flows in an electrical circuit when no load is present. This term is commonly used in circuit analysis of electronic amplifier and voltage regulator circuits. It is basically the current which flows through a component/circuit without actually contributing in any way to the load and usually of the order of milliamperes to microamperes. After establishing the operating point, when input signal is applied, the Q-point should not move either to saturation or cut-off region. However this unwanted shift might occur due to various reasons.

Reasons for shift of Q-point

The shifting of operating point is due to two major reasons: 1. Parameters of transistor depend on temperature. As it increases, leakage current due to minority charge carriers (ICBO ) increases. As I CBO increases, ICEO also increases, causing increase in collector current I C . This produces heat at the collector junction. This process repeat, and finally Q-point may shift into saturation region. Sometimes the excess heat produced at the junction may even burn the transistor. This is known as thermal runaway. 2. When a transistor is replaced by another of the same type, the Q-point may shift, due to change in parameters of transistor such as current gain () which changes from unit to unit. To avoid shift of Q-point, bias-stabilization is necessary. Various biasing circuits can be used for this purpose.

BJT transistor biasing

Requirements of biasing circuit
1. Q-point is established in center of active region of transistor characteristic. It should not shift to saturation region or cut-off region, when input is applied. 2. Q-point should be independent of transistor parameters ie., should not shift if transistor is replaced by another of the same type. 3. Collector current should be stabilized against changes in temperature. 4. The circuit must be practical in its implementation, and cost-effective.

Types of Transistor Biasing

There are five main types of biasing circuits used with Bipolar transistors. 1. Fixed bias. 2. Collector-to-base bias. 3. Fixed bias with emitter resistor. 4. Voltage divider bias. 5. Emitter bias

Fixed Bias (Base Bias)

This form of biasing is also called Base Bias. In the example image shown below, the single power source (ie. battery) is used for both collector and base of transistor, although separate batteries can also be used.


In the given circuit above, V CC = I B R B + V be. Therefore, I B = (V CC - V be )/R B. For a given transistor, V be does not vary significantly during use. As V CC is of fixed value, on selection of R B , the base current I B is fixed. Therefore this type is called fixed bias type of circuit. Also for given circuit, V CC = IC R C + V ce. Therefore, V ce = V CC - I C R C. From this equation we can obtain V ce . Since IC = IB , we can obtain IC as well. In this manner, operating point given as (V CE ,IC ) can be set for given transistor. Merits of Fixed Bias: It is simple to shift the operating point anywhere in the active region by merely changing the base resistor (R B ). Very few number of components are required. Demerits of Fixed Bias: The collector current does not remain constant with variation in temperature. Therefore the operating point is unstable. When the transistor is replaced with another one, slight (if not large) change in the value of can be expected. Due to this the operating point will shift. Usage: Due to the above inherent drawbacks, fixed bias is rarely used in linear circuits, ie. those circuits which use the transistor as a current source. Instead it is often used in circuits where transistor is used as a switch.

Collector-To-Base Bias
In this form of biasing, the base resistor R B is connected to the collector instead of connecting it to the battery V CC . Similar to above, V ce = V CC - IC R C (Since I B << I C ). In case of increase in temperature, collector current tends to increase, causing the voltage drop across resistor R C to increase. Hence V ce decreases. Therefore base current reduces, thereby compensating for the increase in collector current. It can be noted that for the given circuit,I B = (V CC )/(R B +R C ).

Merits: Circuit has a tendency to stabilize the operating point against variations in temperature and (ie. replacement of transistor) Demerits: The resistor R B causes an ac feedback, reducing the voltage gain of the amplifier. This is a mostly undesirable effect. Usage: Due to the major drawback of feedback, this biasing form is rarely used. 118

Fixed Bias with Emitter Resistor

The fixed bias circuit is modified by attaching an external resistor to the emitter. Since V be is very small, we get. Ib = (V CC - IE R E )/R B. When the temperature increases, the leakage current increases. Therefore there is increase in I C and IE . This increases the emitter voltage, which reduces the voltage across the base resistor. This reduces the base current which results in less collector current. Thus collector current is not allowed to increase, and operating point is kept stable. Similarly, if the transistor is replaced by another, there may be a change in I C corresponding to change in -value. By similar process as above, the change is negated and operating point kept stable. V ce = V CC - (R C +R E )I C (since I C roughly equals IE as I B is very small).

Merits: The circuit has the tendency to stabilize operating point against changes in temperature and -value. Demerits: In this circuit, for proper functioning, the following condition must be met: R E >> R B /. As -value is fixed for a given transistor, this relation can be satisfied either by keeping R E very large, or making R B very low. If R E is of large value, high V CC is necessary. This increases cost as well as precautions necessary while handling. If R B is low, a separate low voltage supply should be used in the base circuit. Using two supplies of different voltages is impractical. In addition to the above, R E causes ac feedback which reduces the voltage gain of the amplifier. Usage: Due to the above disadvantages, this type of biasing circuit is generally not used.

Voltage Divider Bias

The voltage divider is formed using external resistors R 1 and R 2 . The voltage across R 2 forward biases the emitter junction. By proper selection of resistors R 1 and R 2 , the operating point of the transistor can be made independent of . In this circuit we get, V B = V across R 2 = (R 2 *V CC )/(R 1 +R 2 ). Also V B = V be + I E R E. When temperature increases, I C increases. As I C makes up the majority of IE , IE also increases. When IE increases, V be decreases. Therefore I C decreases and the operating point remains stable. Also, V C = V CC - IC R C. Since IC is roughly equal to I E , V ce = V C - (R C +R E )IC. We note that is absent from all the above equations. Therefore, if the transistor is replaced by another having a different value of , the operating point is largely unaffected.


Merits: Unlike above circuits, only one dc supply is necessary. Operating point is almost independent of variation. Operating point stabilized against shift in temperature. Demerits: Ac feedback is caused by R E , which reduces the voltage gain of the amplifier. A method to avoid this is discussed below. Usage: The circuit's stability and merits as above make it the most widely used for linear circuits.

Voltage Divider with Capacitor

The standard voltage divider circuit discussed above faces one critical drawback - ac feedback caused by resistor R E . This can be avoided using a capacitor (C E ) in parallel with R E , as shown in circuit diagram. The impedance of the capacitor (X C ) is given by the equation, X C = 1/(2**F*C); where- F is the frequency of the input signal; C the value of capacitance; is pi . Therefore, the capacitor offers low impedance to ac input as ac signal has high frequency. Thus the emitter is placed at ground potential for ac input. Only dc feedback is provided for stabilization of operating point.

Emitter Bias


When a split supply (dual power supply) is available, this biasing circuit is the most effective. The negative supply V EE is used to forward-bias the emitter junction through R E . The positive supply V CC is used to reverse-bias the collector junction. Only three resistors are necessary. We know that, V B - V E = V be. If R B is small enough, base voltage will be approximately zero. Therefore emitter current is, I E = (V EE - V be )/R E. The operating point is independent of if R E >> R B /. Merit: Good stability of operating point similar to voltage divider bias. Demerit: This type can only be used when a split (dual) power supply is available. Self-Bias A better method of biasing is obtained by inserting the bias resistor directly between the base and collector, as shown in figure 2-13 below. By tying the collector to the base in this manner, feedback voltage can be fed from the collector to the base to develop forward bias. This arrangement is called SELF-BIAS. Now, if an increase of temperature causes an increase in collector current, the collector voltage (VC) will fall because of the increase of voltage produced across the load resistor (RL). This drop in VC will be fed back to the base and will result in a decrease in the base current. The decrease in base current will oppose the original increase in collector current and tend to stabilize it. The exact opposite effect is produced when the collector current decreases. Self Bias Diagram



A combination of fixed and self-bias can be used to improve stability and at the same time overcome some of the disadvantages of the other biasing methods. One of the most widely used combination-bias systems is the voltage-divider type shown above. Fixed bias is provided in this circuit by the voltage-divider network consisting of R1, R2, and the collector supply voltage (VCC). A basic transistor amplifier with combination bias is shown below


The dc current flowing through the voltage-divider network biases the base positive with respect to the emitter. Resistor R3, which is connected in series with the emitter, provides the emitter with self-bias. Should IE increase, the voltage drop across R3 would also increase, reducing VC. This reaction to an increase in IE by R3 is another form of degeneration, which results in less output from the amplifier. This degeneration process is known as Negative Feedback. The dc current flowing through the voltage-divider network biases the base positive with respect to the emitter. Resistor R3, which is connected in series with the emitter, provides the emitter with self-bias. Should IE increase, the voltage drop across R3 would also increase, reducing VC. This reaction to an increase in IE by R3 is another form of degeneration, which results in less output from the amplifier. This degeneration process is known as Negative Feedback. 5.10 THERMAL STABILITY

Transistor Temperature Stability As the temperature of a transistor increases, the collector current will increase because Intrinsic semiconductor current between the collector and base increases with temperature. Its flow through the biasing resistors drives the base more positive, increasing forward bias on the base-emitter diode. For a silicon diode Simpson quotes an increase of 2 nA for a 10C temperature rise. The base-emitter voltage required for a given collector current will decrease. This decrease is about -2.5 mV/C. An approximate relationship for the collector current change is:

The forward drop voltage of any germanium PN junction, such as a transistors base-emitter junction, decreases as the temperature increases. Assume we have carefully chosen the values of R1 and R2 to give a collector current of 5mA through each transistor at 20C (roughly room temperature). As the temperature increases, the forward drop of the base-emitter junction decreases. Since we are holding the bases at a constant voltage by R1 and R2, the base current will increase. As a result, the collector current through the transistors will also increase. In this silent state, a few mA increase in collector current isn't really a problem. However at higher volumes the current increases considerably - this is the whole point of the design. This higher current (peaks of over 100mA being typical) causes the transistors to become warmer. As they become warmer, their gain increases, and so the collector current increases, and they become even warmer. We have a nasty vicious circle that is appropriately known as "Thermal Runaway" (Temperature increases until it goes out of hand). If left unchecked it would soon result in the demise of the transistors. As mentioned, Re stabilises the bias. This is actually the first line of defence against thermal runaway. As the collector current increases, the voltage drop also increases. Since the voltage on the transistor bases is held constant by R1 and R2, the base-emitter bias is reduced, thus reducing the collector current. Re reduces the efficiency of the circuit a bit (because some power is wasted there in the form of negative feedback, rather than being delivered to the output transformer). 122

An increase in temperature produces an increase in the minority carrier current, but a negative change in VBE, so both effects lead to an increase in collector current with temperature. The presence of RE provides negative feedback which stabilizes the circuit against changes in temperature, supply voltage, etc., but it also decreases the voltage gain.

The Basic Idea of Amplification The idea of amplification is introduced here as a gain of amplitude when a signal passes through an assembly of electronic devices known as an amplifier. Alternatively, an amplifier can be considered as an electronic circuit with an input port to which a signal enters, and an output port from which an enlarged signal emerges. The diagram shown in Fig. 5 may help explain this notion.

Fig. 5: Voltage amplifier Two aspects of practical amplification should be highlighted. The first aspect is, of course, the enlargement (reduction) of signal amplitude. The second aspect is the phase shift of the output signal relative to the input signal. It is important here to point out that a practical amplifier does not give the same gain and phase shift for signals of all frequencies. Usually, a practical amplifier maintains a fixed gain and phase shift for a range of frequencies only. For example, an amplifier with a first-order low-pass cut-off should be adequate for this purpose. Your attention should be drawn to the gain and phase shift variation as frequency increases.


Ideal Amplifiers What Is An Ideal Transistor? An ideal amplifier is one that is made up of some gain device (transistors) that has very much more gain than the finished amplifier. If this gain device had infinite gain, then the amplifier's gain would be completely dependent on the gain setting resistors: which set the gain by determining the amount of feedback used to overcome the amplifier's open loop gain (e.g., Op Amps). In the case of simple single transistor gain stages, the control exerted by the gain setting resistors is limited and has less effect on the stage's overall performance, i.e., the transistor's inherent gain is dominant. However, realize that the greater the ratio of final amplifier gain to the maximum possible gain (no feedback) of the transistor, the less vulnerable the gain of the amplifier is to variations of the individual transistor's gain (within limits). A.C. Coupled Common Emitter Amplifier (No Feedback)

A port is a pair of terminals of a network (circuit). Across the port is a voltage, v, and through it flows a current, i, as shown. Amplifiers have two ports, input and output. An electrical waveform is a voltage or current as a function of time. A waveform to be amplified is applied to the input port and another waveform appears at the output port that is larger than the input waveform. Input and output quantities can be either voltages or currents, resulting in four basic kinds of amplifiers:

Amplifiers have two ports, input and output. An electrical waveform is a voltage or current as a function of time. A waveform to be amplified is applied to the input port and another waveform appears at the output port that is larger than the input waveform. Input and output quantities can be either voltages or currents, resulting in four basic kinds of amplifiers: Amplifier Type Input Quantity voltage, vi current, ii current, ii voltage, vi Output Quantity voltage, vo current, io voltage, vo current, io

Voltage, A v Current, A i Transresistance, Rm Transconductance, G m

In the table under amplifier type is the expression for amplification or gain (or transfer function), which is the output quantity divided by the input quantity. In general, A = xo/xi, where x is either a voltage or current. An ideal input port is not affected by input source 124

resistance nor is an ideal output port affected by output load resistance. The general amplifier is shown below:

The combination source/resistance symbol is a generalized source: either a Thevenin or Norton equivalent circuit. The amplifier has an input resistance Rin and output resistance, Rout. The input source, xi (where xi is VI or ii), has resistance Ri. It forms a divider (voltage or current) with Rin so that xi xin. Similarly, output resistance Rout forms a divider with output port load resistance RL so that the output xout = K xin. The amplification of xin by K results in xout that is K times larger. K is the gain, and it scales xin. (Gain less than 1 is called attenuation.) If source or load resistance is unknown or varies with K, then error in the overall amount of gain results. An accurate (or at least unchanging) gain is required for calibrated sensor circuits, so that the transducer output is multiplied by a known (and constant) amount. An example of a voltage amplifier is shown below:

The overall voltage gain is: The first factor is the input voltage divider attenuation, the second is the amplifier voltage gain and the third is the output voltage divider attenuation. For the ideal voltage amplifier, Av = K. This is achieved when Rin approaches infinity (open-circuit input) and Ro = 0. The ideal port resistances are given in the following table: Port Type Voltage input Current input Voltage output Current output Ideal Resistance infinite (open) zero zero infinite (open)


CHAPTER 6 TRANSISTOR AMPLIFIER CIRCUITS THE BASIC TRANSISTOR AMPLIFIER In the preceding pages we explained the internal workings of the transistor and introduced new terms, such as emitter, base, and collector. Since you should be familiar by now with all of the new terms mentioned earlier and with the internal operation of the transistor, we will move on to the basic transistor amplifier. To understand the overall operation of the transistor amplifier, you must only consider the current in and out of the transistor and through the various components in the circuit. Therefore, from this point on, only the schematic symbol for the transistor will be used in the illustrations, and rather than thinking about majority and minority carriers, we will now start thinking in terms of emitter, base, and collector currents. Before going into the basic transistor amplifier, there are two terms you should be familiar with: AMPLIFICATION and AMPLIFIER. Amplification is the process of increasing the strength of a SIGNAL. A signal is just a general term used to refer to any particular current, voltage, or power in a circuit. An amplifier is the device (hardware) that provides amplification (the increase in current, voltage, or power of a signal) without appreciably altering the original signal. Transistors are frequently used as amplifiers. Some transistor circuits are CURRENT amplifiers, with a small load resistance; other circuits are designed for VOLTAGE amplification and have a high load resistance; others amplify POWER. Now take a look at the NPN version of the basic transistor amplifier in figure 2-12 and let's see just how it works. So far in this discussion, a separate battery has been used to provide the necessary forward-bias voltage. Although a separate battery has been used in the past for convenience, it is not practical to use a battery for emitter-base bias. For instance, it would take a battery slightly over 0.2 volts to properly forward bias a germanium transistor, while a similar silicon transistor would require a voltage slightly over 0.6 volts. However, common batteries do not have such voltage values. Also, since bias voltages are quite critical and must be held within a few tenths of one volt, it is easier to work with bias currents flowing through resistors of high ohmic values than with batteries. By inserting one or more resistors in a circuit, different methods of biasing may be achieved and the emitterbase battery eliminated. In addition to eliminating the battery, some of these biasing methods compensate for slight variations in transistor characteristics and changes in transistor conduction resulting from temperature irregularities. Notice in figure 2-12 that the emitterbase battery has been eliminated and the bias resistor RB has been inserted between the collector and the base. Resistor RB provides the necessary forward bias for the emitter-base junction. Current flows in the emitter-base bias circuit from ground to the emitter, out the base lead, and through RB to VCC. Since the current in the base circuit is very small (a few hundred microamperes) and the forward resistance of the transistor is low, only a few tenths of a volt of positive bias will be felt on the base of the transistor. However, this is enough voltage on the base, along with ground on the emitter and the large positive voltage on the collector, to properly bias the transistor. PREAMPLIFIER (Pre Amp.) A preamplifier (preamp) is an electronic amplifier which precedes another amplifier to prepare an electronic signal for further amplification or processing. Description In general, the function of a preamp is to amplify a low level signal (possibly at high impedance) to line-level. A list of common sources would include a pickup, microphone, turntable or other transducer. Equalization and tone control may also be applied. 126

In a home audio system, the term 'preamplifier' may sometimes be used to describe equipment which merely switches between different line level sources and applies a volume control, so that no actual amplification may be involved. In an audio system the second amplifier is typically a power amplifier (power amp). The preamplifier provides voltage gain (about: 10millivolts to 1volt) but no significant current gain. The power amplifier provides the higher current necessary to drive loudspeakers The Basic Transistor Amplifier

This illustration is not just the basic transistor amplifier shown earlier in figure 2-12 but a class A amplifier configured as a common emitter using fixed bias. From this, you should be able to conclude the following: Because of its fixed bias, the amplifier is thermally unstable. Because of its class A operation, the amplifier has low efficiency but good fidelity. Because it is configured as a common emitter, the amplifier has good voltage, current, and power gain. In conclusion, the type of bias, class of operation, and circuit configuration are all clues to the function and possible application of the amplifier.


With Q1 properly biased, direct current flows continuously, with or without an input signal, throughout the entire circuit. The direct current flowing through the circuit develops more than just base bias; it also develops the collector voltage (VC) as it flows through Q1 and RL. Notice the collector voltage on the output graph. Since it is present in the circuit without an input signal, the output signal starts at the VC level and either increases or decreases. These dc voltages and currents that exist in the circuit before the application of a signal are known as QUIESCENT voltages and currents (the quiescent state of the circuit). Resistor RL, the collector load resistor, is placed in the circuit to keep the full effect of the collector supply voltage off the collector. This permits the collector voltage (VC) to change with an input signal, which in turn allows the transistor to amplify voltage. Without RL in the circuit, the voltage on the collector would always be equal to VCC. The coupling capacitor (CC) is another new addition to the transistor circuit. It is used to pass the ac input signal and block the dc voltage from the preceding circuit. This prevents dc in the circuitry on the left of the coupling capacitor from affecting the bias on Q1. The coupling capacitor also blocks the bias of Q1 from reaching the input signal source. The input to the amplifier is a sine wave that varies a few millivolts above and below zero. It is introduced into the circuit by the coupling capacitor and is applied between the base and emitter. As the input signal goes positive, the voltage across the emitter-base junction becomes more positive. This in effect increases forward bias, which causes base current to increase at the same rate as that of the input sine wave. Emitter and collector currents also increase but much more than the base current. With an increase in collector current, more voltage is developed across R L. Since the voltage across RL and the voltage across Q1 (collector to emitter) must add up to VCC, an increase in voltage across RL results in an equal decrease in voltage across Q1. Therefore, the output voltage from the amplifier, taken at the collector of Q1 with respect to the emitter, is a negative alternation of voltage that is larger than the input, but has the same sine wave characteristics. During the negative alternation of the input, the input signal opposes the forward bias. This action decreases base current, which results in a decrease in both emitter and collector currents. The decrease in current through RL decreases its voltage drop and causes the voltage across the transistor to rise along with the output voltage. Therefore, the output for the negative alternation of the input is a positive alternation of voltage that is larger than the input but has the same sine wave characteristics. By examining both input and output signals for one complete alternation of the input, we can see that the output of the amplifier is an exact reproduction of the input except for the reversal in polarity and the increased amplitude (a few millivolts as compared to a few volts). The PNP version of this amplifier is shown in the upper part of the figure. The primary difference between the NPN and PNP amplifier is the polarity of the source voltage. With a negative VCC, the PNP base voltage is slightly negative with respect to ground, which provides the necessary forward bias condition between the emitter and base. When the PNP input signal goes positive, it opposes the forward bias of the transistor. This action cancels some of the negative voltage across the emitter-base junction, which reduces the current through the transistor. Therefore, the voltage across the load resistor decreases, and the voltage across the transistor increases. Since VCC is negative, the voltage on the collector (VC) goes in a negative direction (as shown on the output graph) toward -VCC (for example, from -5 volts to -7 volts). Thus, the output is a negative alternation of voltage that varies at the same rate as the sine wave input, but it is opposite in polarity and has a much larger amplitude During the negative alternation of the input signal, the transistor current increases because the input voltage aids the forward bias. Therefore, the voltage across RL increases, and consequently, the voltage across the transistor decreases or goes in a positive direction (for example: from -5 volts to -3 volts). 128

This action results in a positive output voltage, which has the same characteristics as the input except that it has been amplified and the polarity is reversed. In summary, the input signals in the preceding circuits were amplified because the small change in base current caused a large change in collector current. And, by placing resistor RL in series with the collector, voltage amplification was achieved. Common Emitter Amplifier

The Common Collector Amplifier The positive power supply rail is joined to the zero volts rail by C3. As far as ac is concerned, both rails are joined together. Therefore they, and the collector, are common to both input and output. Since the emitter voltage follows the base voltage, it is also called the emitter follower.

Current gain is Ie/Ib which is quite high, typically 50. Voltage gain is only 1 because of the undecoupled emitter. The input impedance is high, typically 500k, and requiring only low power to drive it. The output impedance is low, typically 20 ohms. The output signal follows the input. There is no inversion. It is often used to match high impedances to low ones. It can be used to drive several high impedance loads.



Now that we have analyzed the basic transistor amplifier in terms of bias, class of operation, and circuit configuration, let's apply what has been covered to figure 2-12. A reproduction of figure 2-12 is shown below for your convenience. 6.1 6.2 GRAPHICAL ANALYSIS OF C-E CONFIGURATION TRANSISTOR HYBRID MODEL

BJT circuit models A large variety of bipolar junction transistor models have been developed. We have small signal model and large signal model. Types of Small Signal Models The Hybrid PI Model The Charge Control Model The small signal model lends itself well to small signal design and analysis. The charge control model is particularly well suited to analyze the large-signal transient behaviour of a bipolar transistor. The hybrid pi model of a BJT is a small signal model, named after the plike equivalent circuit for a bipolar junction transistor as shown below. The model consists of input impedance, rp, an output impedance r0, and a voltage controlled current source described by the trans-conductance, gm of the transistor. There are also the base-emitter capacitances, the junction capacitance, Cj,BE, and the diffusion capacitance, Cd,BE, and the base-collector junction capacitance, Cj,BC, also referred to as the Miller capacitance.

Small signal model (hybrid pi model) of a bipolar junction transistor. The trans-conductance, gm, of a bipolar transistor is defined as the change in the collector current divided by the change of the base-emitter voltage- gm = Ic / Vin (siemens). The theoretical equations which predict the behaviour of semiconductors are not practical for everyday use. Simpler models have been developed to predict (at least approximately) how a bipolar transistor will perform as a small-signal amplifier. A model frequently used by semiconductor manufacturers is the hybrid model, and the values used with it are called hybrid or "h" parameters: Each of these h-parameters is defined as the ratio of a particular response of the transistor divided by a certain excitation which causes that response. 130

H-Parameter Representations

This particular implementation of the hybrid model is for low frequencies only. Note that no reactive components have been used. At high frequencies, several capacitors must be added to the model to keep it realistic. In most modern texts the h11 term is renamed hie and represents the dynamic input resistance in the common emitter configuration. The h12 term is renamed hre, and represents a small input voltage developed as a result of reverse feedback from the output circuit - perhaps due to the bulk resistance of the emitter region. The term h21 is also called hfe and is the forward current gain of the transistor. The output conductance, h22, is renamed hoe. The modern h-parameter model is as shown below.


The h-parameters are defined as follows:

The h-parameters can be measured using the circuit shown below. This circuit is used to plot the transistor characteristics for the cases IB = 20, 30, 40 and 50 etc, microamps. This will give a Family of characteristic Curves plot as shown below. Here we can use graph scales: 0-20 V for Vce and 0-10 mA for Ic . Also measure VBE for IB = 20, 30, 40 and 50 microamps. all h-parameters are determined around the ( Qor 'operating') point. 132

Measurement of Transistor Characteristics The h-parameters can be measured using the diagram below. Use this circuit to plot the transistor characteristics for the cases IB = 20, 30, 40 and 50 microamps. This will give a Family of Curves plot as shown in Figure 2. Use the graph scales 0-20 V and 0-10 mA. Also measure VBE for IB = 20, 30, 40 and 50 microamps. Measurement of Transistor Characteristics:


The parameter hfe is also often called forward current gain. It is the current gain of the transistor (output current/input current). Two of the h-parameters, hoe and hfe, can be measured using the Family of Curves plot. A typical Family of Curves plot is shown in Figure 3. Hie can be determined from a plot of Vbe vs Ib, using the schematic in Figure 4. A typical plot is shown in Figure 5. Here is difficult to measure accurately with the equipment available in the lab, so use the maximum hre given on the data sheet. Measurement of Hie The h-parameters can now be used to calculate the coupling capacitor values.

Curve Tracer to h-Parameter hIE hRE hFE hOE = V BE / IB = V BE / V CE = I C / I B = I C / V CE


H-Parameter Relations hFE = bac = gmrp hIE = rp + rx hOE = 1 / rc hRE = 0 For many amplifier circuits, the values of hre and hoe are such that the results are not seriously affected if they are ignored. 6.3 INPUT RESISTANCE

The Input Resistance or impedance (Zin, Rin, Rs or ra) of an amplifier is the resistance or impedance at the input terminal of the circuit. Table 6.1 below shows the mathematical expressions for the Input Resistance or impedance of the various transistor configurations. 6.4 OUTPUT RESISTANCE

The Output Resistance or impedance (Zout, Rout, Ro or rb) of an amplifier is resistance or impedance at the input terminal of the circuit. Table 6.1 below shows the mathematical expressions for the Output Resistance or impedance of the various transistor configurations. 6.5 VOLTAGE GAIN

The Voltage Gain of an amplifier is the ratio of the output voltage to the voltage at the terminal of the amplifier. Table 6.1 below shows the mathematical expressions for the Voltage Gain of the various transistor configurations. 6.6 CURRENT GAIN

The Current Gain (Ai) of an amplifier is the ratio of the output current to the input Current. Table 6.1 below shows the mathematical expressions for Current Gain for the various transistor configurations. Mathematical Expressions for all the above Transistor Parameters are tabulated in the Low Frequency Hybrid- Equation Chart shown above.


The Hybrid- Voltage Gain (Av) Equation




We have discussed using the, so called, common emitter amplifier: where the only output is at the collector. Now we will introduce you to an interesting arrangement: the common collector, otherwise known as an emitter follower, or voltage follower. Now gang, this is where it gets sticky: The definition of an "ideal" voltage source is a source having zero output impedance, i.e., infinite current can be drawn, and the voltage stays the same. Where the common emitter amplifier required a voltage to current converter for its current input requirement, this configuration requires voltage input only. And because there is always a ~ 0.6 volt offset between the base/emitter junction (as did the common emitter), the emitter sources a voltage that reflects the input voltage, minus this offset, times the voltage gain: Vout = [Vin - 0.6volts] x [Gv = 0.95]. For this reason, the common corrector circuit is called the Emitter Follower Circuit

Emitter Follower Circuit Common Collector Lets see if I have this right: "Voltage in, voltage out; and it's a current Amplifier?" Bingo! Think about it: 1) The voltage-in is not amplified (Gv ~ 0.95); 2) There is impedance transformation--high to low; there is power amplification: Therefore there must be current amplification. 6 .8 CASCADING TRANSISTOR AMPLIFIERS

What is Cascading of Transistor Amplifiers? Cascading is the connection of two or more amplifier stages in chain. Usually, the gain required from an amplifier is greater than can be obtained from a single stage. To address this setback, two or more amplifier stages can be coupled in cascade to produce the required gain. The overall gain voltage, Av, of a multistage amplifier is the product of the individual stage gains. For example, if three stages of an amplifier have voltage gains of 10, 12, 8 respectively, the overall amplifier gain is 960. Again, if four identical stages, each having a gain of 10 are cascaded, the overall gain is 104. However, cascading stages has its own telling effect on frequency response. Firstly, the overall gain is reduced considerably. Secondly, the 3dB bandwidth of the amplifier is reduced progressively, from one stage to the other.


Two-Stage Cascade Amplifier Amplifiers are cascaded when the output of the first is the input to the second. The combined gain is

where v i2 = v o1 . The total gain is the product of the cascaded amplifier stages. The complication in calculating the gain of cascaded stages is the non-ideal coupling between stages due to loading. Basic Two cascaded CE stages are shown below.

Because the input resistance of the second stage forms a voltage divider with the output resistance of the first stage, the total gain is not the product of the individual (separated) stages. The total voltage gain can be calculated in either of two ways. First way: the gain of the first stage is calculated including the loading of r i2 . Then the second-stage gain is calculated from the output of the first stage. Because the loading (output divider) was accounted for in the first-stage gain, the second-stage gain input quantity is the Q 2 base voltage, v B2 = v o1 . Second way: the first-stage gain is found by disconnecting the input of the second stage, thereby eliminating output loading. Then the Thevenin-equivalent output of the first stage is connected to the input of the second stage and its gain is calculated, including the input divider formed by the first-stage output resistance and second-stage input resistance. In this case, the first-stage gain output quantity is the Thevenin-equivalent voltage, not the actual collector voltage of the stage-connected amplifier. The second way includes interstage loading as an input divider in the gain of the second stage while the first way includes it as an output divider in the gain of the first stage. By cascading a CE stage followed by an emitter-follower (CC) stage, a good voltage amplifier results. The CE input resistance is high and CC output resistance is low. The CC contributes no increase in voltage gain but provides a near voltage-source (low resistance) output so that the gain is nearly independent of load resistance. The high input resistance of the CE stage makes the input voltage nearly independent of input-source resistance. Multiple CE stages can be cascaded and CC stages inserted between them to reduce attenuation due to inter-stage loading.




Miller's theorem states that, if the gain ratio of two nodes is 1:K, then an impedance of Z connecting the two nodes can be replaced with a Z/(1-k) impedance between the first node and ground and a KZ/(K-1) impedance between the second node and ground. (Since impedance varies inversely with capacitance, the internode capacitance, C, will be seen to have been replaced by a capacitance of KC from input to ground and a capacitance of (K1)C/K from output to ground.) When the input-to-output gain is very large, the equivalent input-to-ground impedance is very small while the output-to-ground impedance is essentially equal to the original (input-tooutput) impedance, hence the duality of Millers Theorem. Typical Characteristics of Transistors First thing is to realize that a transistor is a current device: if you cause some current to flow in the base, a larger amount of current is caused to flow in the collector. There's that pesky echo again. Looking at the common emitter circuit above, first, while measuring the voltage and the current, one starts to apply a voltage to the base of the transistor through the base resistor. As the voltage increases from, zero there is no current flowing.

At 0.1 volt, no current; 0.2 volt, no current; 0.5 volts, still no current; as the voltage at the base approaches 0.6 voltswhere there was no currentall of a sudden a small current starts to be drawn by the base, and the voltage at the base stops increasing - and remains at ~ 0.6 volts. As the voltage from the generator continues to increase, the voltage at the base remains ~ 0.6 volts, and the current continues to increase--as well as the collector current. At some point, as the currents continue, the increase in the collector current starts to slow, until it stops increasing altogether: it is said now to be in saturation (if this transistor was being used as a switch or as part of a logic element, then it would be considered to be switched on). Send this to transistor config.


Some other Attributes Of Transistors Are: It has a voltage gain of less than one (Gv ~ .95); it is not easy to cut-off, or saturated the transistor. Unlike the common emitter, it does not invert the polarity of the input signal; it is among the most stable of amplifiers--yes it is an amplifier, even if it has a voltage gain below one. Because it has high input impedance, and low output impedance, it is often used for transforming a high impedance output, to a low impedance output: it is often used to drive transmission lines, e.g., video cable from camera to monitor. Also, it is often used as the output stage (pass transistor) of linear voltage regulators. If a 5.6 volt voltage source (low impedance) is connected to the base, the emitter output will try to maintain that voltage minus 0.6 volts: 5.60 - 0.6 = 5.0 volts (how well it maintains this voltage is dependant on the transistor's gain: Hfe = large number). Another attribute is its excellent high frequency response. Because there is no voltage gain, or because it has a gain of ~ 1, the bandwidth is equal to the cut-off frequency of the transistor, Ft(where Ft = [Hfe = 1]: BW = Ft). Note: because there is no voltage gain, there is no multiplication of the base/collector capacitance (Co) which reduces the high frequency response of common emitter amplifiers; see, also: Miller effect. Why a Voltage Gain of Less-Than-One? Good question. Here goes! In an emitter follower configuration, as voltage equal to--or greater than--0.6 volts is applied directly to the base, a current is caused to flow through the emitter resistor resulting in a commensurate voltage drop. This voltage drop is always equal to the input minus ~0.6 volts multiplied by some value slightly less than one. e.g., 95. In the previous common emitter amplifier the current into the base was determined by the relative difference between the base and emitter--above 0.6 volts. In the case of the emitter follower, as the base voltage is increased, there is a corresponding tracking of the base/emitter differential: the emitter rises to--or follows--the base's change. If the output follows the input, there can never be enough current drawn by the base to cause a voltage drop across the emitter which exceeds the input voltage--hence no voltage gain. This is an elegant case of (internal) negative feedback. The amount of base current required to cause some larger current to flow through the emitter resistor (and corresponding voltage drop) is dependant on the gain--Hfe--of the transistor and the emitter load (emitter resistor and load). Another way of thinking about this relationship is as input impedance: if the transistor had infinite gain, there would be no base current, resulting in infinite input impedance. If the transistor had zero gain, the input impedance would be directly dependant on the emitter resistor, i.e., base current = emitter current. If the transistor had some finite gain, the input impedance would be finite, i.e., base current would be dependant on the emitter resistor modified by the transistor's finite gain (Hfe), i.e., base current ~= emitter current/Hfe. In all of this, one can think of it as a sort of internal feedback, or bootstrapping of the input impedance. Why is an emitter follower so stable? Another good question. Easy to answer: As long as the gain is 1 or less than 1, it can never oscillate. Oscillation requires a positive feedback and a gain of greater than 1 to sustain oscillation (of which instability is a precursor). A Common Emitter Amplifier without Feedback A simple common emitter transistor amplifier--having no negative feedback--is not an ideal amplifier. This is because of the variability of gain from one transistor to another: making uniform gain, from amplifier to amplifier, impossible. Also, without feedback some amplifiers--having transistors with excessive gain--might be unstable and prone to be oscillate, as well as, poor signal to noise and distortion ratios (S/N+D); low input impedance (poor impedance matching between stages, etc), and susceptibility to temperature extremes.


Without negative feedback, high ambient temperatures can raise the operating point, thus heating the device further; ending with this positive (thermal) feedback, bringing on the transistor's permanent failure.

Phase Inverter So That's Feedback, ah... When (negative) feedback is introduced, most of these problems diminish or disappear, resulting in improved performance and reliability. There are several ways to introduce feedback to this simple amplifier, the easiest and most reliable of which is accomplished by introducing a small value resistor in the emitter circuit. The amount of feedback is dependent on the relative signal level dropped across this resistor, e.g., if the resistor value approached that of the collector load resistor, the gain would approach unity (Gv ~ 1).

And to beat a simple point into Terrafirma: with no emitter feedback (no Re), the gain would be essentially that of the transistor. Another feedback technique is the introduction of some fraction of the collector signal back to the base circuit. This is most easily done via the positive biasing resistor (Rb1) --as in the figure. A third but by no means last approach is to use a combination of feedback techniques: Emitter and Collector Feedback

Gain Bandwidth Product 141

Using several lower gain stages in cascade is a strategy that also works. And, a very direct and effective solution is a common base configuration, in which the input signal drives the emitter, and the base is grounded, which has the effect of breaking the collector/base feedback path. Frequency dependent feedback in the figure, the capacitor, Ce, across the emitter resistor, Re, causes the gain of this device to be greater at higher frequencies. As capacitive reactance, Xc, approaches the value of Re, a rapid increase in gain occurs. The effect, of course, is to reduce the negative feedback at higher frequencies. This is often done to compensate for the limited bandwidth of the transistor stage.


SIMPLIFIED HYBRID MODEL The simplified model becomes(3):

We might call this an "approximate hybrid equivalent circuit" for the common emitter configuration. It is quite useful in small-signal (AC model) analysis. Note that a close and useful approximation of hie may be obtained by dividing 30 mV/Ib (use the base bias current), and hfe is roughly the same as the factor b used in other models. (Purists will note that the theoretical numerator of the hie formula is 26 mV, but careful measurements on a variety of actual transistors yielded values between 30 and 38 mV. It should never be assumed that the results obtained via these models are anything other than approximations. This presents no great hardship, as the actual values of all the transistor parameters are already only approximately known. The predictions, however, can be surprisingly accurate; and the ease of using the approximate model makes it more likely that the predictions will actually be calculated instead of guessed at.


The question often arises whether to use hfe, the AC current gain; or hFE, the DC gain; in these analyses. The answer should be self-evident: use the DC gain for DC biasing predictions, and the AC gain for small-signal AC analysis. It is perhaps worth noting that the popular Motorola 2N3904 can have an hfe between 100 and 400 at 1 mA, and an hFE between 80 and 240 at the same current(4). Thus the variation of hfe or hFE values within a group of 2N3904's is greater than the difference between hfe and hFE. One cannot be very far wrong in simply assuming the current gain, AC or DC, is 100 unless told otherwise. Once the approximate hybrid model for a transistor is drawn and labelled, prediction of a circuit's performance can proceed by adding the rest of the components comprising the amplifier and applying Ohm's, Kirchoff's, and Norton's Laws. Think carefully when adding the external components - often coupling and bypass capacitors may be replaced by short circuits if only the mid-band performance is of interest. Or, the coupling capacitors may first be ignored to find midband gain and input resistance, and then the appropriate resistor-capacitor combinations may be examined to determine frequency response. Sometimes it is beneficial to solve the simplest problem first, to gain an understanding of the circuit's basic performance; and then add the complications and exceptions afterwards. This treats the mid-band performance as an "ideal" case, and clearly demonstrates what departure from that ideal is caused by each reactance which must be considered. Hybrid parameters are by no means the only set valid for approximating the performance of a transistor. Resistance (r-parameters), transmission (t-parameters), and admittance (y-parameters) have also been successfully used. Each naturally has its own advantages and disadvantages. Various reference works will help you decide which is best for the circuit you are examining.