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Diode circuit analysis using ideal diodes exam problem

I've been reviewing some past exam and stumbled across this question

So I need to find the current I through the middle diode and the voltage across the bottom left 10KΩ resistor.

To try solve this problem i used the technique, "assumed states for analysis of ideal switch model diode circuits" (not sure
if thats the actual name of the technique).

So for my first state, i assumed that both D1 and D2 are on

Since the current are not negative for both diodes, the assumption for both diodes being on must be correct. Thus the
required current across the diode is:

(15V - 11.25V)/10KΩ = 0.000375A

However upon looking the answers, it says that the current across the diode is 0A. This means that the diode is actually
"off" (while the other diode is on), and thus my analysis is wrong.

Is there a problem with my reasoning or am i missing something crucial?

Thank you for your time!

dc diodes analysis

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/108501/diode-circuit-analysis-using-ideal-diodes-exam-problem 1/2
11/11/2017 dc - Diode circuit analysis using ideal diodes exam problem - Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange
asked Apr 30 '14 at 12:49
74 1 1 7

1 I think your assumption that there is no current flowing through the lower right 5k resistor is
incorrect. – Joe Hass Apr 30 '14 at 15:39

Yes, the diode connects it to a 10 Kohm resistor. Only if the diode connected the top of the 5 Kohm to
ground would the assumption that I=0 through the 5 Kohm be valid. – horta Apr 30 '14 at 15:49

2 Answers

I think the easiest method to solve such problems is to assume that the diodes are
off (both, and then one of the two), compute the voltages across the diodes and
see if there's a contradiction with your assumption. Let's call the top left diode D1
and the diode in the middle D2 .

Case 1: D1 off, D2 off: Since D1 is off there is no current through the top 5k
resistor, and since D2 is off, there is also no current through the bottom left 10k
resistor. So V = 0 and the voltage at the anode of D1 is 15 Volts. Contradiction! (
D 1 should be on).

Case 2: D1 off, D2 on: again no current through top 5k resistor. Voltage V is

15V ⋅ (5k||10k)
V = = 3.75V
10k + (5k||10k)

Contradiction! (Because the voltage across D1 would be 15V − 3.75V = 11.25V

and it should be on.)

Case 3: D1 on, D2 off: Voltage V is

15V ⋅ 10k
V = = 10V
5k + 10k

The voltage at the anode of D2 is 15V ⋅ 5k/15k = 5V . This agrees with our
assumption, because with these voltages D2 must be off. So your solution is

I = 0A, V = 10V

answered Apr 30 '14 at 15:57

Matt L.
2,950 6 12

L Thanks for the in depth answer! For case 3 however, how does 5V at the anode of D2 correspond to
D2 being off? Did you already know that the voltage at the cathode of D2 is 10V? – goli12 May 1 '14 at

@goli12: Yes, with this assumption V=10 volts (see case 3 in my answer), so there's a negative
voltage across the diode (10 volts at the cathode and 5 volts at the anode, which gives -5 volts from
anode to cathode). – Matt L. May 1 '14 at 6:48

Remove the middle diode and solve for the voltage at the nodes where it was
connected. If the cathode voltage is higher, then adding the diode will have no
effect, and the current through the diode will be zero.

answered Apr 30 '14 at 15:08

John D
10.4k 1 16 26

So using nodal analysis, the cathode voltage is 10V (ie the voltage across the bottom left 10KΩ to
ground) while the anode voltage is 5V (the voltage across the 5KΩ to ground). So the diode is actually
in reverse bias, and thus, I=0A yes? – goli12 Apr 30 '14 at 23:33

@goli12 Yes, exactly. – John D May 1 '14 at 3:56

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