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# IMPATT Diode

## Name:- Tuhin Dutta

Stream:- ECE
Roll: 1011
Introduction
 When the pn junction diode is reverse-biased, then current does
not flow.
 However when the reverse voltage exceeds a certain value, the
junction breaks down and current flows with only slight increase of
voltage. This breakdown is caused by avalanche multiplication of
electrons and holes in the space charge region of the junction.
 The pn junction in the avalanche breakdown condition exhibits
negative resistance characteristics in the microwave frequency
range.
 Since the negative resistance is based upon avalanche
multiplication and transit-time effect of carriers, the device has been
called the IMPATT (Impact Avalanche Transit-Time) Diode.
Device Structure
The original suggestion for a microwave device employing
involved an n+-p-i-p+ structure such as that shown in
figure. This device operates by injecting carriers into the
drift region and is called an IMPATT diode.
The device consists essentially of two regions:
1) the n+p region, at which avalanche
multiplication occurs, and
2) the i (essentially intrinsic) region, through which
generated holes must drift in moving to p+ contact.
Principle of operation

K p+ n i n+ A

## Avalanche Drift region

~V(t) region I(t)

1020
|ND-NA|

1016

1012 x
E ideal
real

x
E(t) EAC(T/4)
IMPATT diode
Eb
T=0
n(x,t)
x V(t)=VDC+vAC(t)
E(t) E(t)=EDC+ EAC(t)
EAC(T/2)=0
Eb EDC≈Eb
T=T/4
n(x,t)
x
E(t) EAC(3T/4) τ T=T/4
Eb n(x,t)
T=T/2
x
E(t) EAC(T)=0
Eb
T=3T/4
n(x,t)
x
V IMPATT I-V Characteristics
vAC V DC

t
0 T/2 T 3T/2 2T 5T/2
Qinj iAC~-vAC
rAC<0
PAC=iACvAC/2<0
t Power is
0 T/2 T 3T/2 2T 5T/2
transferred
I to the field
iAC
IDC
t
0 T/2 T 3T/2 2T 5T/2
Small Signal model
xA W
K p+ n n- n+ A
I(t)

## Avalanche Drift region rAC>0 ω< ωA

region L  xA rAC<0 ω> ωA
2vS I DC i / E
A

rAC

CA=εsS/xA
Current in avalanche region is delayed by π/2 -inductance
 2  i / E  vs I DC 
Resonance frequency  A  ( LAC A ) 1   
 A  s 
Typically f=vs/2W
Some IMPATT Circuits
Classification
Device structure is based on the doping profile. The three basic
types of Impatt diodes are:-
1. Single drift region (SDR) - The SDR diode consists of a
single avalanche zone and a single drift zone with p+nn+ structure.
2. Double drift region (DDR) – A DDR diode has a p+pnn+
structure that consist of two drift layers, one for electrons and other
for holes on either side of the central avalanche zone.
3. Double avalanche region (DAR) – The DAR diode has a
p+nipn+ structure that consist of one drift zone sandwiched
between two avalanche zones. The electrons and holes from the
two junctions travel across the central i-region in opposite directions
and deliver power.
Applications
 These diodes make excellent microwave
generators for many applications like:-
1. Parametric amplifier,
2. Parametric up converter,
3. Parametric down converter,
4. Negative resistance parametric
amplifier.
Summary
• IMPATT stands for Impact Avalanche And Transit
Time
• Operates in reverse-breakdown (avalanche)
region
• Applied voltage causes momentary breakdown
once per cycle
• This starts a pulse of current moving through the
device
• Frequency depends on device thickness
• IMPact Ionization Transit Time
• IMPATT devices can be used for oscillator and
amplifier applications
• They can be fabricated with Si, GaAs, and InP
• Can be used up 400 GHz.
• Noisy oscillator
• In general, IMPATTs have 10 dB higher AM
noise than that of Gunn diodes
• IMPATT diode is not suitable for use as a local
Thank You…

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