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Semiconductors

2012-13

Department of physics, BVB CET,HUBLI. Page 1

Introduction:
In our day today life, we are living with modern electronic equipments such as Laptops,
mobiles, LCD/LED Television and what not?. No field is free of electronics Ex: Automobile
industry is today more of electronics and less of ..Communication is the revolution that has
happened, which has changed our life. It is all because of development in Electronics i.e
semiconductor technology. This is because semiconductor technology has helped in having
devices which have less size, require less power and reduction in cost of manufacturing in all areas
of electronics and communication. Semiconductors, metals and insulators are required for
fabricating electronic devices, but the crucial role is played by semiconductors.
Classification of Solids:
Solids are classified as; Conductors, Insulators and Semiconductors.
Important difference between them is their resistance to current flow, defined in terms of
the resistivity of the material. Conductors, such as copper, aluminium and gold, have a resistivity
in the order of 10
-8
Om, and are useful for low resistance wiring and interconnections in electronic
circuits. Insulators, such as glass, plastic etc have the resistivity in the order of 10
16
Om and are
used for isolation purposes in electrical devices. Between these two limits the resistivity of the
semiconductor material lies; the pure elemental semiconductors, silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge)
and compound the most important of which is gallium arsenide (GaAs).

Energy bands in solids:
Why band structure in solids?
An isolated atom has a series of well defined and discrete allowed energy levels/orbits E
1
, E
2
,
E
3
..etc,. The other values of energy or intermediate levels/orbits are forbidden. The orbits to
which electrons are confined are called as electron shells and are named as K, L, M..so on. A
shell is characterized by the principle quantum number n accommodates a maximum of 2n
2

electrons. The value of n increases as the distance of shell from the nucleus increases. Thus, a K
shell with n =1 accommodates 2 electrons; an L-shell with n=2 takes 8 electrons and so on. These
shells are built from subshells (s,p,detc.) which accommodate electrons of the same value of
orbital quantum number l. Thus electrons that share a certain value of l in a shell are said to
occupy the same subshell. The number of subshell in a shell is equal to the value of n. Thus, a K-
shell has only 1subshell, L-shell has 2subshells and so on. When atomic spacing is large between
the atoms, energy levels of such atoms are not affected by other distant atoms. But when such
atoms brought close to each other then there is a significant changes in their energy levels. For a
solid containing N number of atoms having N number of electrons then there will be N allowed
energy levels. And distribution of electrons among the energy levels fallowed by Paulis exclusion
principle (no more than two electrons in a given interacting system may have the same quantum
state). Thus when N number of atoms are brought close to each other, electrons which have almost
same energy will start accumulating one side and they form bands. For example let us consider an
atom of lithium in vaporized state. A lithium atom has 3 electrons, two of which occupy the K-
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shell, where as the third one occupies the first subshell 2s of the L-shell as showed in the energy
level diagram.

Fig (1)
As explained above, 2s subshell can have maximum 2 electrons, but because of only one
electron, 2s subshell is half filled and of course subshell 2p is unoccupied. And in solid lithium, 1s
and 2s band have N levels each. The 1s band is completely filled as 2N electrons occupy the band
and 2s band is half filled. And all higher energy bands are unoccupied because Li atom has no
electrons to fill them.
Based on the band theory of solids, solids are classified into three types;

Fig (2)
1. Conductors: In conductors, the conduction band is partially filled and the valence band is
completely filled, In conductors always fever number of electrons in the conduction band.
Hence conductivity of the metals is very high Ex: silver, gold, copper etc .In the absence of
electric field there are electrons travelling in random directions with different velocities.
When an electric field is applied to such electrons a slight imbalance develops and
electrons flow to the direction of the applied electric field.
2. Semiconductors: In semiconductors, the energy band gap E
g
between conduction band
and the valence band is about 2eV, and resistivity between 10
8
Om to 10
-3
Om Ex: Silicon
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(1.1eV), Germanium (0.7eV). Therefore at OK temperature the conduction band is empty
and the valence band is completely filled by the electrons. Hence there is no conduction at
T=0K. But at room temperature due to thermal energy, few electrons acquire sufficient
energy and get excited to the conduction band from the valence band.
3. Insulators: In insulators, the energy band gap E
g
between conduction band and the
valence band is too large of the order of 6 eV. Ex: Diamond, plastic etc. If we supply very
high temperatures (high enough to approach the melting point), only few electrons acquire
enough thermal energy to be raised to the conduction band from the valence band. Hence
conductivity is very low in case of insulators.
Importance of Semiconductors:
Semiconductors have Engineering importance from the fact that they can be conductors as well
as insulators. Semiconductors are especially important because varying conditions like temperature
and impurity content can easily alter their conductivity. The combination of different
semiconductor types together generates devices with special electrical properties, which allow
control of electrical signals. Semiconductors are employed in the manufacture of electronic
devices and integrated circuits. Imagine life without electronic devices. There would be no radios,
no TV's, no computers, no video games, and poor medical diagnostic equipment.

Direct and Indirect band gap semiconductors:
While making semiconductor devices, material selection is very important. Because in some
semiconductors due to the recombination of electrons and holes energy dissipated in the form of
heat and in some in the form of light. There are two types of semiconductors, direct and indirect
band gap semiconductors.
If a plot of energy E v/s momentum k( k) is made,
typical curves are obtained for different semiconductors
as shown in the figure (3) (4). In both figures, lower
curves represent variation of E with k for holes in
valence band and upper curves represent the same
variation for electrons in the conduction band.

Direct band gap semiconductors:
In figure (3), the minima of the conduction band occur
at the same value of k as the maxima of the valence
band. A direct optical transition is drawn vertically with
no significant change of k, because of the absorbed has a
very small wave vector. The threshold frequency v for
absorption by the direct transition determines the energy
gap E
g
=hv. Examples GaAs, InGa.etc. Fig(3)

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Indirect band gap semiconductors:
The indirect transition in figure (4) involves both a
photon and a phonon because the minima of the
conduction band and the maxima of the valence band are
located at different momentum positions, between which
there exist a high probability of transition. So here
conservation of momentum and energy is very much
essential. To excite the electron from the valence band to
conduction band by absorbing photon here phonon
assistance is must.
k'=k+q
E
g
=hv+hO for phonon absorption
k'=k-q
E
g
=hv-hO for phonon emission.
Where; k-initial wave vector of electron Fig(4)
k'-final wave vector of electron
q-phonon wave vector
hv-photon energy
hO-phonon energy
At higher temperatures phonons are already present; if a phonon is absorbed along with a photon
the threshold energy is E
g
=hv
+
hO
In these semiconductors generally release energy as heat.
Ex: Silicon, Germanium, AlAs etc.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Semiconductors
Intrinsic Semiconductors: Pure (no impurity or defect) semiconductor crystals are known as
intrinsic semiconductors.
Ex: Pure Germanium and Silicon (Which have forbidden energy gap of 0.7 eV and 1.1 eV
respectively)


Fig (5) When T=0K
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Fig (6) When T>0K
In pure silicon at T =0K, the bonding of Si atoms are linked together by covalent bonds with
surrounding atoms and no free electrons available in the conduction band. Hence at 0K
temperatures valence band is completely filled and conduction band is empty (fig5). As
temperature rises, T >0K, valence electrons break there covalent bonds and get excited to
conduction band leaving an empty space in the valence band (Hole). Hence as temperature
increases the density of hole-electron pair also increases and hence conductivity of the
semiconductor increases (fig6).

Electrical Conductivity and mobility in semiconductors:
Electrical conductivity is of the primary importance and interest in semiconductors. Both
electrons and holes constitute to electrical current in semiconductors.

Fig. (7)
At thermal equilibrium, the electrons and holes are uniformly distributed in the semiconductor
and in the absence of an external stimulus average velocity of electrons and holes is zero and no
current flows. The thermal equilibrium can be varied by an external agent (Electric field,
temperature and concentration gradients).
Drift current: Under the action of electric field, the charge carriers in the semiconductor drift and
produce drift current.
In case of semiconductors, current flow is due to the movement of electrons and holes in the
opposite direction (Fig.7).When an electrical field is applied, electrons drift opposite to the field,
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carry a net current I
e
, conductivity o
e
and holes drift in the same direction as that of the applied
field, carry current I
h
and conductivity o
h
.
I
drift
=I
e
+I
h
=env
e
A +epv
h
A-----------(1)
where n=electron density/m
3

p=hole density (per m
3
)
v
e
=electron drift velocity (ms
-1
)
v
h
=hole drift velocity (ms
-1
)
A=semiconductor cross-section area (m
2
)
Now v
e
=
e
E and v
h
=
h
E
Then I =e (n
e
+p
h
) EA
I/A =e (n
e
+p
h
) E
J
drift
=e (n
e
+p
h
) E
Since in an intrinsic semiconductor, n =p =n
i

J
drift
=e n
i
(
e
+
h
) E
Conductivity, o =e n
i
(
e
+
h
) -----------(2)
Carrier concentration in semiconductor:
The conductivity of semiconductor depends on number of charge carriers in the material.
To calculate conductivity of semiconductors we have to calculate number of holes (p) in valence
band and number of electrons in conduction band. The value of n and p depend on the temperature
as well as presence of impurities. Carrier concentration of free electrons (n) and concentration of
holes (p) can be calculated using density of states equation and Fermi-Dirac distribution function
for C.B and V.B.
Concentration of electron in conduction band/unit volume at T> 0K
The actual number of electrons in the conduction band is given by
n = N(E)JE
top o] bund
L
c

Because the Fermi-Dirac function describes the probability of occupancy of a state under the
conditions of thermal equilibrium, the electron concentration obtained from eqn.(3)is the
equilibrium concentration.
As the f(E) rapidly approaches zero for higher energies, the integral in eqn.(3) can be written as
n = N(E)JE

L
c

The number of electrons/unit volume having energy range E and E+dE in C.B is given as
N(E) dE =f(E) g(E) dE
n = f(E)g(E) dE

L
c
-----------(3)
The density of state equation for C.B is written as
g(E) =

2
(
8m
c

h
2
)
3
2
(E - E
c
)
1/2
-----------(4)
where m
c

is the effective mass of the electron.
Substituting eqn.(4) for g(E) and f(E) =e
-(E-E
F
)/K
B
T
in the above eqn.(3) we get
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n =

2
(
8m
c

h
2
)
3
2
(E E
C
)
1
2

1
1+c
E-E
]
K
B
T
JE

L
c

by solving above equation we get;
n =N
c
c
(E
]
-E
C
)
T K
B
------------ (5)
where, N
c
=2(
2m
c

K
B
1
h
2
)
3
2

N
c
is effective density of the states in conduction band.
m
c

is effective mass of the electron.


Concentration of holes in valance band:
Here hole signifies an empty energy space in the Fermi level for a hole is 1-f(E). Where f(E) is
probability of occupancy of a state E.
The actual number of holes in the valence band is given by
p =
[1 (E)] g(E)JE
L

Bottom bund

p =
[1(E)] g(E)JE
L

-
----------- (6)
The density of state holes in V.B is written as
g(E) =

2
(
8m
h

h
2
)
3
2
(E
v
- E)
1/2
--------------------(7)
m
h

is effective mass of the hole.


Substituting eqn.(7) for g(E) and [1-f(E)] =e
-(E
F
-E)/K
B
T
in the above eqn.(6) we get
The number of holes in the equation range E and E+dE in V.B is given by.
p=

2
(
8m
h

h
2
)
3
2
(E
v
- E)
1/2
. e
-(E
F
-E)/K
B
T
dE
Total no. of holes/unit volume in valence band is
p = p(E)JE
L

-

By solving this we get
p =N
v
c
[E
v
-E
]

T K
B
------------(8)
where, N
v
=2 (
2m
h

K
B
1
h
2
)
3
2

In case of intrinsic semiconductors, n=p from equations (5) and (8)
N
c
c
(E
]
-E
C
)
T K
B
=N
v
c
[E
v
-E
]

T K
B

N
c
N

=c
(L
v
-L
]
)
1 K
B
. c
-(L
]
-L
C
)
1 K
B

=c
(E
v
+E
C
-2E
]
)
T K
B

ln
N
c
N

=
(L
v
+L
C
-2L
]
)
1 K
B

2E
f
=E
v
+E
c
K
B
T ln
N
c
N

Fig (8)
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If the effective masses of electron and holes are equal, then N
c
=N
v

E
f
=
L
c
+L

2
------(9)
Hence in case of intrinsic semiconductors, E
f
lies in the midway between the forbidden energy
gap.
Total concentration in an intrinsic semiconductor:
For intrinsic semiconductors the product of n and p is n.p=n
i
2,
where n
i
is concentration of holes
and electrons in intrinsic semiconductor.


n
i
2
=n p =N
C
N
V
c
(E
]
-E
C
)
T K
B
c
[E
v
-E
]

T K
B

n
i
2
=N
C
N
V
c
(E

-E
C
)
T K
B

by solving we get n
i
2
=4(
2nk1
h
2
)
3
(m
c

m
h

)
3
2
c
-(E
c
-E

)
T K
B

Substituting E
c
-E
v
=E
g
and substitute the values of constants in the above equation we get
n
i

=A
1
2
I
3
2

.c
(-E
g
)
T K
B
---------------(10)
Where A
1
2
is constant (A=2.322x10
43
(
(m
c

m
h

)
h
2
)
3
2
, E
g
is value of band gap at 0K
i.e n
i
o

I
3
2
and n
i
o

c
-E
g
2TK
B

Hence intrinsic carrier concentration increases exponentially with increasing temperature.

Fermi distribution function: (Applied to metals)
In semiconductors electrons and holes are the charge carriers. To obtain expression for carrier
concentration (n and p) we must investigate the distribution of carriers over the available energy
states. For this we can use Fermi-Dirac distribution function, as electrons in semiconductors obey
Fermi-Dirac statistics.
The distribution of electrons over a range of allowed energy levels at thermal equilibrium is given
by;
(E) =
1
1+c
E-E
]
k
B
T

where; k
B
-Boltzmanns constant (1.38x10
-23
J/K)
T-is absolute temperature,
E
f
- Fermi energy.(average energy possessed by the electrons
at absolute 0K temperature)
f(E) gives the probability of an occupancy of an electron in a given energy state.
At T=0 K and E<E
f
f(E) =1
At T=0 K and E>E
f
f(E) =0 and
At T=0 K f(E) =
1
2

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Fig (9)
Intrinsic semiconductors: In case of intrinsic semiconductors probability of occupancy in
conduction band equals the probability of vacancy in valence band.

i.e f(E
c
) =1- f(E
v
) ------(11)


Fig (10)
Because of the symmetry of f(E) v/s E diagram, to satisfy the above condition E
F
must be at the
middle of the band gap., i.e the Fermi level in an intrinsic semiconductor is at the middle of the
band gap and is called the intrinsic level.

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Extrinsic Semiconductors:
The intrinsic semiconductors have low conductivity which is not amenable to control and as
such of little interest. But however a judicious introduction of impurity atoms in perfect (pure)
semiconductors produces useful modifications of its electrical conductivity.
Doping: An intentionally adding controlled quantity of impurity into intrinsic semiconductors
called doping. The impurity added is called a dopant. A semiconductor doped with impurity atoms
is called extrinsic semiconductor. When impurities are added to an otherwise pure semiconductor,
additional energy levels are introduced in the band structure of the semiconductor. Usually these
energy levels lie within the band gap.
Typical doping levels range from 10
20
to 10
27
impurity atoms/m
3
.pentavelent elements or trivalent
elements are used as dopants.
Two types of extrinsic semiconductors, namely n-type and p-type semiconductors are produced
depending upon the type of impurity atom.
n-type semiconductors:









Fig (11)
A semiconductor doped with pentavalent impurity (Ex:P,AS,Sb..etc) is called n-type
semiconductor. Pentavelent impurity introduces energy level in the band gap, close to the
conduction band edge.


Fig ( 12 )
At very low temperature region, electrons in the conduction band are only due to the transition
of electrons from the donor levels. Therefore, the Fermi level E
Fn
lies between the donor level E
D

and the bottom edge of the conduction band E
C
.
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E
Fn
=
L
c
+L
D
2
(Ionization region)
As the temperature increases, the donor levels gradually get depleted and Fermi level shifts
downward. At the temperature of depletion T
d
the Fermi level coincides with the donor level.
E
Fn
=E
D
(at T=T
d
)
As temperature further increases above T
d
, the Fermi level shifts downward in an approximately
linear fashion, though the concentration in the conduction band remains constant. At a temperature
T
i
, where intrinsic process contributes to electron concentration significantly, the Fermi level
approaches the intrinsic value E
Fi
=E
g
/2. With further increase in the temperature, the behavior of
extrinsic semiconductor same as that of an intrinsic semiconductor and Fermi level stays at E
Fi
.
In n-type semiconductors majority charge carriers are electrons and minority charge carriers
are holes. i.e n>>p.
The conductivity of n-type semiconductor is given by;
o = n
e
e ------(12)
In the depletion region, the electron concentration in the conduction band is nearly identical to the
concentration of the dopant atoms.
If N
D
is the impurity concentration then, n=N
D

o
n
=N
D
e
e

According to charge neutrality condition;
n+N
A
=p+N
D

Thus, the charge neutrality for n-type semiconductor requires that;
N
A
=0, n>>p, hence n~N
D
In n-type material free-electron concentration is approximately equal to donor.
n.p=n

2

p=
n
i
2
n

The number of holes in n-type semiconductor is given by
p=
n
i
2
N
D
------(13)

Fermi Distribution function in case of n-type semiconductors:
In case of n-type semiconductors probability of occupancy in conduction band is much greater
than the probability of vacancy in valence band.

i.e f(E
c
) >>1-f(E
v
) --------(14)

To satisfy this condition E
f
must be above the middle of the band gap. As doping increases E
f

moves towards E
c
.
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Fig (13)
Calculation of exact position of Fermi level in n-type material can be done by using the equations
N
D
=N
c
.c
-
(E
c
-E
F
)
K
B
T

E
F
=E
c
- k
B
T ln
N
c
N
D
-----------(15)
p-type semiconductors:
A p-type semiconductor is obtained by doping an intrinsic semiconductor with trivalent such as
boron and aluminium.








Fig (14)
The addition of acceptor impurities contributes hole levels low in the semiconductor the band gap
so that electrons can easily excited from the valence band into these levels, leaving mobile holes in
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the valence band. This shifts the effective Fermi level to a point about halfway between the
acceptor levels and the valence band.
At a very low temperature holes are produced in the valence band due to electrons jump from
valence band to accepter level(E
A
)

.As temperature goes on increases , E
Fp
raises and co insides
with the E
Fi.

Fig(15 )

In p-type semiconductors majority charge carriers are holes and minority charge carriers are
electrons .i.e p>>n.
The conductivity of p-type semiconductor is given by;
o
p
= p
h
e ------- (16)
and if N
A
is the impurity concentration p=N
A

o
p
=N
A

h
e
According to charge neutrality condition
n+N
A
=p+N
D

Thus, the charge neutrality for p-type semiconductor requires that;
N
D
=0, p>>n, hence p ~ NA

In p-type material hole concentration is approximately equal to acceptor.
n.p =n

2

n =
n
i
2
p

The number of holes in n-type semiconductor is given by
n =
n
i
2
N
A
--------(17)
Fermi Distribution function in case of p-type semiconductors:
In case of p-type semiconductors probability of vacancy in valence band is much greater than
the probability of occupancy in conduction band at room temperature. Therefore, Fermi level must
be closer to E
v
compared to E
c
.
i.e f(E
c
) << 1-f(E
v
)


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Fig (16)
Calculation of exact position of Fermi level in p-type material can be done by using the equation
E
F
=E
v
+K
B
T ln
N
v
N
A
--------------(18)

Hall Effect
When a magnetic field is applied to a current carrying conductor, a voltage is developed across
the specimen in a direction perpendicular to both the current and magnetic field. This phenomenon
is called the Hall Effect. The voltage developed across the specimen is called Hall voltage (V
H
).

Fig (17)
When current carring conductor is placed in an external magnetic field B, which exert a
transverse magnetic deflecting force called as Lorentz force acting on the charge carriers.
F
L
=e V
h
B--------(19)
Where F
L
is Lorentz force, B is applied magnetic field, V
h
=hole drift velocity (ms
-1
)
Consequently the sides which are perpendicular to applied magnetic field B,and current I start
collecting charges. These excess of ve and +ve charges on the sides of the conductors creates a
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force which opposes the Lorentz force after some time equilibrium is reached in which force due
to the accumulation of charges opposes and becomes equal to lorentz force.
Steady-state reached when
F
L
=F
H

F
H
is force due to the accumulation of charges.
F
H
=e E
H

F
H
=e (
v
H
d
)------(20)
From equations (19) and (20)
e V
h
B =e (
v
H
d
)
V
H
=d B V
h
---------(21)
Since I =p e V
h
(d x t) for p-type
and I =n e V
e
(d x t) for n-ytype
V
h
=
I
p c d t
------(22)
Sustitute equation (22) in (21)
V
H
=
BI
pct
----(23)
Where V
H
- Hall voltage.
B-magnetic field
I-Current through the conductor
n-Density of free electrons
t-Thickness of the conductor
V
H
=
R
H
IB
t
------(24)
R
H
is Hall co-efficient and is given by for p-type R
H
=1/pe and for n-type R
H
=-1/ne
p =
BI
ctv
H
-------(25)
which gives concentration of current carriers and mobility of electrons and holes can be
determined by the formula
e
=o/en (for n-type) and
h
=o/ep (for p-type)
It is Hall effect which showed there exist two types of charge carriers in semiconductors.

Applications of hall effect:
1. It helps in finding sign of the carrier.
2. To determine carrier concentration
3. To determine mobility of charge carriers if o is known.
4. Hall generator: A Hall generator is a device that makes use of the Hall effect for the
purpose of generating a direct current voltage in the presence of a magnetic field.
5. Hall effect sensor: A Hall effect sensor is a transducer that varies its output voltage in
response to a magnetic field. Hall effect sensors are used for proximity switching,
positioning, speed detection, and current sensing applications.
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pn-Juction diode:
When a p-type semiconductor is joined together with n-type semiconductor, a pn-juction is
formed. A pn-juction is also known as semiconductor diode. A pn-juction diode is a very
important device, it allows current in only one direction and opposes when it is reversed.
This property is known as rectification.

Fig (18)
Formation of pn-junction:
pn-juction is formed when a p-type and n-type semiconductors are joined metallargically. The
interface lying between the n and p type region is called pn-juction. In P-type majority carriers are
holes and in n-type majority charge carriers are electrons. Because of a large concentration
gradient exists across the pn-juction for the majority charge carriers. Electrons tend to diffuse
from n-type region into p-type region and holes tend to diffuse from p-type into n-type region in
order to reduce the concentration mismatch in the region.
Due to diffussion of charge carriers, holes give rise to hole diffusion current density
component (J
hp
) and electrons give rise to electron diffusion current density component (J
en
). The
first letters h and e in the subscript denote the carrier and the second letters p and n
indicates the region of their origin.Both the current components are in the same direction and the
net diffusion current density is given by
J(Diff) =J
en
+J
hp

On entering the p-type, electrons recombine with the holes and on entering n-type, hole
recombine with electrons, in the vicinity of the junction, there are only uncovered donor ions
(positive) on n-side and uncovered acceptor ions (negative) on p-side. Due to these immobile
charges, a potential difference(V
o
) is set up across the juntion and hence, an internal field is
created, known as built in field, which is directed from n-type to p-type and increases with
increase in the number of uncovered ions. Since electrons feel force opposite to the electric field
while holes feel force in the direction of the electric field, the built-in electric field opposes the
diffusion of charge carriers across the junction. When the built-in electric field becomes large
enough, it prevents further diffusion of electrons and holes. The region on either side of the
junction, which has only uncovered ions and is depleted from the free charge carriers is called
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depletion region or space region. The width of this region is called as depletion layer width. The
potential difference set up across the deplition region is called barrier potential and is represented
by V
0
.
Drift of minority carriers:
It is seen that built-in field across the junction prevents the further diffusion of majority carriers.
However, the electric field has the right direction to promote minority charge carriers. The two
components, namely electron and hole drift current densities are designated as J
ep
and J
hn

respectively. The direction of J
ep
and J
hn
are the same. Therefore, the net drift current through the
junction is given by
J(Drift) =J
ep
+J
hn

Important points are to be remembered regarding minority carriers and the drift current:
1. The minority carriers are generated through breaking of covalent bonds and in each region
the minority carrier concentration is slowely determined by he temperature. Therefore the
drift current is constant at a given temperature.
2. Due to small number of minority carriers the drift current will be very small.
3. Minority carriers can move across the junction only when the barrier potential exists
across the junction. When the barrier potential is smaller they move slower; when it is
greater, they move faster.
4. An externally applied voltage cannot change the magnitude of the current. It can change
only the kinetic energy of the minority carriers.

Equilibrium condition:
When the diode is not connected to any extexnal circuit, electric current cannot flow across it. And
also when the junction is in thermal equilibrium, there cannot be any current across it. It implies
that the drift of minority cariers is counterbalanced by the diffusion of the same number of
majority carriers across the junction.
J(Diffusion) = J(Drift)
J
en
+J
hp
=J
ep
+J
hn
There cannot be a net build-up of electrons or holes on either side with time, as the electrical
neutrality of each side is to be retained. Therefore, the diffusion and drift current components due
to each type of carriers should cancel each other. From the above equation ,the condition
For equilibrium may be written as
J
hp
=J
hn

J
en
=J
ep
Thus in the equilibrium condition, the drift hole current must be equal in magnitude and opposite
in direction to the diffusion hole current. Similarly, the drift electron current must be equal and
opposite to the diffusion electron current, resulting in net zero electron current.

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As shown in the fig. (19). the electric potential on n-type region of
the juction is higher (as +ve donor ions are there on the n-type
region) than the p-type region of the juction. Because of that
energy bands on the p-type region will lie higher in energy than
the energy bands on the n-type region of the juction. From the
energy level diagram, we can see that electrons cannot diffuse
from the n-type region to p-type region, as there is potential
barrier of heightV
0
, which they cannot cross as they are having
smaller energy. So, in the absence of any external voltage across
the juction, the net current through the junction is zero.



Fig (19)
Biasing of the P-N junction
The process of applying proper voltage to the deivce is called biasing. A pn-junction can be biased
in two ways.
Forward Biasing mode

Fig (20 )
A pn-junction is said to be forward biased when p-region is connected to positive and n-region
is connected to negative treminal of the power supply.
When an external field applied across the pn-junction, which acts opposite to the internal potential
barrier V
0
reduces the effective voltage across the junction to (V
0
-V). It means a decrease in the
electric field acting across the deplition layer. As the field intensity decreases the majority carriers
push into the deplition layer and width of the deplition layer becomes narrow which urges majority
carriers to flow across the juction hence it offers very less resistance and current increases. As
illustrated by solid lines in the above figure (20,a). Hence J
hp
and J
en
increases and due to very
small drift current J
ep
and J
hn
decreases.
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Reverse biased mode:
A pn- junction is said to be reverse biased if the positive terminal of the battery is connected to
N-side and the negative terminal to p-side of the pn-junction. When external field is applied across
the junction, the external voltage adds to the barrier voltage V
0
and the barrier potential increases
to a value (V
o
+V). As a result, the electric field in the depletion region increases and the majority
carriers are pulled away from the junction and the depletion region becomes thick. The resistance
becomes high when reverse biased and so there is no conduction across the junction due to
majority carriers. The minority carriers however cross the junction and they constitute a current
that flows in the opposite direction. This is the reverse current.

Fig (21)
The reverse current through the pn-junction increases with temperature because it is due to the
flow of minority carriers in the semiconductor and the number of minority carriers in the
semiconductor increases with increase in temperature.
Forward and reverse bias characteristics:

Fig (22)
Above graph shows the VI characteristics of a pn-junction diode. In forward bias, when the
applied voltage V, is increased from zero, initially no current flows through the diode, because
diffusion of majority carriers through the junction cannot take place until the potential barrier is
overcome. When the forward bias approaches the value of barrier potential, majority carriers
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starts diffusing and current starts increasing very rapidly. The forward voltage at which forward
current starts increasing is called knee (or cutin, offset, threshold) voltage. The forward current
flows through the diode mainly due to the diffusion of the majority carriers, which increases with
the voltage exponentially.
I
F
=I
0.
(c
cv
kT
-1)
In reverse biasing, diffusion of majority carriers is not possible and current is only due to the
drift of minority carriers. But this current is very small as the number of minority carriers is very
small. When the reverse voltage is very high, the current through the diode becomes very large
which damages the diode due to excessive heating. This is called break down of the diode. The
current through the diode is related with the biasing voltage V, according to the following
relation,
I
R
=- I
0.
(c
-
cv
kT
+1)
In reverse bias, V is opposite to the forward voltage and is represented by a negative sign, so
c
-
cv
kT
1 in reverse bias, thus the reverse current I
R
~I
0
. Below the breakdown voltage, the reverse
current is therefore very small and almost constant (does not depend on the reverse biasing
voltage). So, I
0
is also referred as reverse saturation current and it depends only on temperature.
Thus pn-junction diodes offer a low current when reverse biased and a very high current when
forward biased.





















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Zener Diode:
When we studied about the diode characteristics, it was
found that under reverse bias, there is a small amount of
current due to the drifting of the minority charge carriers.
But as the reverse potential is increased beyond a level,
suddenly the current increase, which is called as 'breakdown'
and diode, will be damaged. Zener diode is heavily doped
diode the depletion region is narrow. When the reverse biase
voltage is increased the electric field across the depletion
region becomes very strong. When the field is of the order of
3x10
7
V electrons are pulled out of the covalent bonds. A
large number of electron-hole pairs are thereby produced.
The reverse current rises rapidly. This effect is zener effect.
Fig (23)
I-V characteristics of a zener diode:

Fig(24) : Volt-ampere characteristics of zener diode.
There are two ways in which the breakdown can occur. When a reverse bias is given it
hinders diffusion but it aids drifting. The velocity of minority carriers is proportional to the applied
bias voltage. So the minority carriers namely electrons in 'P' type and holes in n-type get
accelerated and they attain very high kinetic energy. These highly energetic charge carriers collide
with valence electrons breaking their bond creating hole - electron pair, this is called as 'avalanche
breakdown'. The high electric field inside the semiconductor may also break the covalent bonds
this is called as 'zener breakdown'. A diode operating in this type of zener breakdown is called as a
zener diode.

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Bipolar junction transistor (BJT)
Introduction
A transistor is a device made from semiconductor material, has three terminals and two pn
junctions. They have found a number of applications in electronic circuits. Invention of transistor
revolutionized the entire field of electronics and has largely replaced vacuum tubes. In analogue
circuits their basic function is to amplify a signal (i.e., as amplifier) while in digital circuits they
act as a switch or gate. We shall confine our study to the first property.
A junction transistor is simply a sandwich of one type of semiconductor material between
two layers of the other type, as shown in the figure (25).


Fig(25)
These two junctions give rise to three regions. The central region is base. It may be p-type or n-
type semiconductor the two outer regions are called as emitter and collector.
Emitter: Emitter region of the transistor is more heavily doped than any of the other regions
because its main function is to supply majority charge carriers (electrons in case of npn or holes in
case of pnp).
Base: The middle section of the transistor is called base. Base region is moderately doped and is
very thin (10
-6
m) as compared to either emitter or collector so that it may pass most of the injected
charge carriers to the collector.
Collector: In most transistors, collector region is made physically large in size than the emitter
region, because it has to dissipate much greater power. Because of this difference, there is no
possibility of inverting the transistor. And this is lightly doped
There are two types of transistors: npn and pnp transistor.
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pnp transistor: If base is n-type, the emitter and collector are p-type such transistor is called as
npn transistor.( Fig 25,a)
npn transistor: If base is p-type, the emitter and collector are n-type such transistor is called as
npn transistor.(Fig 25,b)
Formation of depletion regions: Transistor consists of two pn junctions. The junction between
the emitter and base region is known as the emitter-base junction (EB junction) and the junction
between the collector and base region is known as the collector-base junction (CB junction).
During the process of formation of junctions diffusion of majority carriers take place and depletion
layers form.

Fig (26)
As the doping levels of three regions are different, the two depletion layers will have different
widths. Because the emitter is heavily doped and the base region is lightly doped, the depletion
layer at EB junction penetrates only slightly into the emitter region and deeply into the base
region. Similarly, at the CB junction the depletion layer extends deep into the base region while it
penetrates to a lesser extent into the collector region. The result is narrow emitter depletion layer
and a wide collector depletion layer. The base region becomes thinner compared to its actual
physical dimension, as the two depletion layers encroach on it.
The EB junction acts as input diode and CB junction acts as output diode. As both the diodes they
base as common, they influence each other strongly.
Transistor Biasing: For proper working of a transistor, it is essential to apply voltages of current
polarity across its two junctions.
1. emitter-base junction is always forward biased.
2. collector-base junction is always reverse biased.
Transistor circuit configurations:
Transistor can be connected in three configurations they are;
1. Common Base (CB) configuration
2. Common Emitter (CE) configuration
3. Common Collector (CC) configuration
The term common is used to denote the electrode that is common to the input and output circuits.
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Action of a Transistor:


Fig(27)

Make the connections with NPN transistor as shown in the circuit diagram. If the switch S
1
is
closed the emitter junction is forward biased by the battery V
EE
. If the switch S
2
is closed the
collector junction is reversed biased. When the two switches are open both the junctions are
unbiased. There will be depletion or space regions at both the junctions.

When S
1
is closed


Fig. (28)

Suppose the switch S
1
is closed with S
2
open. Then the EB-junction will be forward biased as
shown in the Fig.(28). When it is forward biased the width of the EB-junction will be reduced in
size and a large current flows across the junction. This current consists of the electron diffusion
current from the emitter into the base and the hole diffusion current from the base into the emitter.
The base is very lightly doped whereas the emitter is heavily doped. Hence then total current I
E

across the junction is due to mostly the electron diffusion. The emitter current IE and the base
current are large and equal to each other. The collector current I
C
is zero.

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When S
2
is closed

Fig. (29)
Next we close the switch S
2
keeping S
1
open as show in the fig. (29). The CB-junction is reversed
biased. A very small current flows from the collector into the base across the collector base
junction. The only current flows across the CB-junction will be the reverse leakage current made
up of thermally generated minority carriers which are accelerated by the potential barrier and
relatively small and dependent on temperature. There is no emitter current. The small collector
current is designated as I
CBO
. This symbol CBO indicates that the current is between the Collector
and Base when the third terminal (emitter) is Open.
Suppose now both the switches are closed. Then on the basis of the above discussion we should
expect large values of the emitter and base currents and a small collector current. But what we
actually observe is a large emitter current as expected. But the base current becomes very small
and the collector current is very large.
The behavior of a transistor:
When both the switches in Fig. (27) are closed the transistor is said to be forward-reversed biased.
It is in an active operation as shown in Fig. (30). The EB-junction is forward biased by the battery
V
EE
. The CB-junction is reversed biased by the battery V
CC
. The directions of the emitter, base and
collector currants are as shown in the figure. The direction of each current is opposite to the
direction of motion of the electrons.


Fig. (30)
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When the emitter-base junction is forward biased reduces the potential barrier and leads to
diffusion of majority carriers. The electron current is made much larger than the hole current by
doping the base region more lightly than the emitter region. The sum of the electron and hole
current constitutes the emitter current I
E
. The ratio of the electron current to the total emitter
current I
en
/I
E
is known as emitter junction ratio, . The value of typically of the order of 0.995. It
means that only 0.5% of I
E
consists of hole current. The electrons that enter the base from emitter
form minority carriers in the base. Because of very light doping and very thin base only few
electrons and holes recombine in the base region. For example the electron 3 is shown to
recombine with the hole 6. The majority of the electrons injected into the base together with the
thermally generated electrons in the base cross the CB-junction and enter the collector region. A
few of thermally generated electrons in the collector may cross into the base. Their number is very
small. For example the electron 5 and the hole 8 cross the CB-junction. The movement of 5 and 8
across the junction constitutes the leakage current I
CBO
. The movement of electron 3 and hole 7
across the EB-junction forms part of the emitter current IE. These two currents are not equal.
Actually the number of electrons and holes crossing the emitter junction is much more than the
number of electrons and holes crossing the collector junction. The difference between these two
current constitutes the base current IB.
A part of the emitter current consists of holes that do not contribute to the collector current. Further
not all the electrons that are injected into the base reach the collector. For these two reasons the
base current is less than the emitter current. The ratio of the number of electrons that reach the
collector to the number are injected into the base is called the base transportation factor. It is
denoted by '. Thus
'=
nu.u e|ectrunx that reach the cu||ectur
nu.|njected e|ectrunx |ntu the haxe

The ratio of collector current to the emitter current is called the dc alpha of the transistor. Thus
o
dc
= '
The dc alpha is of the order of 0.99 for most transistors. A typical value of is 0.995
Transistor currents:
The three primary currents which flow in a properly-biased transistor are I
E
, I
B
and I
C
.

Fig(31)
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Fig (31) shows the directions of flow as well as relative magnitudes of these currents for a pnp-
transistor connected in a common-base mode. It is seen that
I
E=
I
B
+I
C

Dividing both sides by I
C
we get
I
E
I
C
=1+
I
B
I
C

The ratio of the collector current to the emitter current is alpha dc. The ratio of the collector
current to the base current is called beta dc (
d
). There fore we get the relation between alpha
and beta as
1
u
dc
=1+
1

dc

dc
=o
dc
/ (1-o
dc
)
The amplifying action of a transistor:
The transistor can perform a number of functions. But its main function is amplification.
(a) Voltage amplifier: The reversed biased collector junction is equivalent to a high resistance
(r
c
) due to small current and the forward biased emitter junction is equivalent to a low input
resistance (r
i
) because of large emitter current. If for instance, we take emitter E as the
input terminal and apply a signal Vs to that in addition to the biasing current I
E
an
additional current AI
E
flows then we shall get at the collector current AI
C
in addition to dc
current I
C
. Hence from eqn.(2) AI
C
=i
C
=o AI
E


Fig(32)

Although AI
C
is less than AI
E
by definition of o yet the situation is different if we consider the
voltage output at collector, where a load R
L
is also connected
V
0
=R
L
AI
C
=[oAI
E
] R
L

The signal voltage at input is V
i
=r
i
AI
E

So voltage gain is A
V
=
F

F
|
=
(uAI
E
)
( I
E
r

)
=
uR
L
r


Now, although o is less than 1, but generally R
L
>>r
i
so
V
0
>>V
i

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i.e. output voltage is quite larger than input voltage. Thus it give rise to voltage amplification.
(b) Current amplification

Fig (33)
CE Configuration: In a CE amplifier the base current I
B
is the input current. The collector
current I
C
is the output current. The base current amplification factor is defined as the ratio of the
change in collector current to the change in base current at constant V
CC
. Thus

ac
=
I
C
I
B

The current flowing through the base is generally less than 5%. Hence the value of is generally
more than 20. Its value usually ranges from 20 to 500.
Here, input signal is applied between the base and emitter and output signal is taken out from
collector and emitter circuit. As seen from fig (33), I
B
is the input current and I
C
is the output
current.
The ratio of dc collector to dc base current is called dc beta (
dc
) or just of the transistor.
=
I
C
I
B
or I
C
= I
B

It is also called common-emitter dc forward transfer ratio and written as h
FE.
It is possible for to
have as high a value as 500.
While analyzing ac operation of a transistor, we use ac which is given by

ac
=
I
C
I
B

The flow of various currents in a CE configuration is given by,
I
E
=I
B
+I
C
=I
B
+ I
B
= (1+ ) I
B
The ratio of collector current to emitter current is called dc alpha (o
dc
)
Relation between o and
o =

1+

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Transistor Characteristics: These are the curves which represent relationship between different
dc currents and voltage of a transistor. These are helpful in studying the operation of a transistor
when connected in a circuit. The three important characteristics of a transistor are;
1. input characteristic
2. output characteristic
3. current transfer characteristic.

Common-emitter static characteristics:
The circuit to draw the characteristics of the transistor in CE configuration as shown in the Fig
(34). Here the emitter junction is forward biased by the battery V
BB
and the corresponding input
voltage and current is read by voltmeter V
BE
and ammeter I
B
. The collector junction is reversed
biased by the battery V
CC
and the corresponding output voltage and current is read by voltmeter
V
CE
and ammeter I
C
.

Fig.(34).
(a) Input Characteristic:
The input characteristics are drawn by noting the
input voltage V
BE
and the corresponding base current
I
B
keeping output voltage V
CE
constant Graph shows
how I
B
varies with change in V
EE
when V
CE
is kept
constant at a particular value. To begin with, voltage
V
CE
is maintained constant at a convenient value and
then V
BE
is increased in steps. Corresponding values
of I
B
are noted at each step. Fig(35) shows a typical
input characteristic. Curve is exactly similar to
forward characteristics of a pn-junction; this
characteristic is used to find the input resistance of the transistor. Fig(35)
Its value is given by the reciprocal of its slope.
r
|n
=
F
BF
I
B
(V
CE
is constant)

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Due to initial non-linearity of the curve, r
in
varies considerably from a value of 4KO near the
origin to a value of 600O over the more linear part of the curve.

(b) Output or collector characteristic
To obtain output characteristic, first I
B
is set to a convenient value and maintained constant
and then V
CE
is increased from zero in steps, I
C
being noted at each step. Next, V
CE
is reduced
to zero and I
B
increased to another convenient value and the whole procedure repeated. In this
way output curve is obtained.

Fig(36)
It indicates the way in which I
C
varies with change in V
CE
when I
B
is held constant. Hence
we get different curves for different values of I
B
.
It is seen that as V
CE
increases from zero, I
C
rapidly increases to a near saturation level
for fixed value of I
B
. As shown, a small amount of collector current flows even when I
B
=0.
It is called I
CEO
. Since main collector current is zero, the transistor is said to be cut-off.
It may be noted that if V
CE
is allowed to increase too far, collector-base junction completely
breaks down and due to this avalanche breakdown occurs, and I
C
increases rapidly and may
cause damage to the transistor.
When V
CE
has very low value, the transistor is side to be saturated and it operates in the
saturation region of the characteristic. Here, change in I
B
does not produce any
corresponding change in I
C
.
This characteristic is used to find at a specific value of I
B
and V
CE
.
=
I
C
I
B

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We may select any two points A and B on the I
B
=60A and 40A lines respectively and
measure corresponding values of I
C
from the diagram for finding AI
C
. Since AI
B
=(60-
40)=20A, can be easily found. The value of output resistance R
OUT
(=AV
CE
/AI
C
) over the
near horizontal part of the characteristic varies from 10kO to 50kO.
(c ). Current transfer characteristic.
This characteristic shows how I
C
varies with change in I
B
when V
CE
is held constant at a
given value. Such a typical characteristic is shown in below figure (37,a).Its slope gives
=
I
C
I
B


Fig (37)
From the above fig (37,b), shows that a small collector current flows even when I
B
=0. It is
the common-emitter leakage current I
CEO
= (1+) I
CO
, It is also due to minority carriers
across the reverse-biased collector-base junction.