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EGR220 Than & Bhavin Lab #1

Introduction and Objectives Since the zener diode's Vz is 7.5V, at ±7V, we could not
see the reverse region. We changed the voltage to
Although, nowadays, Zener Diodes are becoming less ±8V, and ±9V respectively, and captured the screen
popular and virtually replaced with specially designed image.
IC (integrated circuits), they are simple and useful.
Therefore, in this lab, we were instructed to measure
and analyze the static characteristic of zener diodes.
The primary objectives of this lab are:

1. To analyze and understand the nature of I-V

curve of the zener diode
2. To be able to collect data, to plot data and to
calculate rz, Iz and Vz
3. To be able to design voltage regulator

Equipments and Components used Figure 2: I-V curve of Zener Diode (±8V)

In this lab, the equipments and components we used

are:- Zener diodes: 7.5V, 2W (x2); Resistors: 200Ω
@ 1W, 51Ω@ 1W, 20Ω @ 2W; a breadboard, a
waveform generator, ±20V power supply, a multi-
meter, an Oscilloscope to capture the I-V curve, wires
and cords.

Procedure 1: Capturing I-V curve of the Zener
Figure 3: I-V curve of Zener Diode (±9V)
Procedure 2: Measuring and Plotting of Zener
In order to capture the I-V curve of the zener Diode on
Oscilloscope, we used time varying voltage source
Diode Current Voltage Point by Point
±7V, ±8V, ±9VSine Wave with frequency of 1kHz) to
trace forward and reverse characteristic of the zener
diode. One oscilloscope probe was placed across the
resistor to measure the diode current (Vr /R) and the
other was placed across the diode to measure diode
voltage by using a resistor with low resistance (3Ώ) (to
avoid unnecessary voltage drop).

Figure 4: Circuit Design for Measurement

By using the circuit in figure 4, in which R is 3Ώ, we

measured the zener diode voltage and current by
Figure 1: I-V curve of Zener Diode (±7V)
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EGR220 Than & Bhavin Lab #1

measuring point to point basis. Then we plotted the Since

ΔVo = ΔVin (rz / (R + rz)) (2)

We expected that there is a linear relationship

between ΔVo and ΔVin with a slope of (rz / (R + rz)).

Then, we measured and plotted load current and zener

diode current as a function of Vin.



Current (0.001mA)
Figure 5: I-V curve plotted from measurements 80

By using the following formula, we calculated rz Iz
40 IL
rz = ΔV / ΔI (1)
We got rz = 2Ώ.
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Vin (Voltage)

Figure 8: IL and Iz as a function of Vin Graph

According to our measurements and graph, we

concluded that the load regulation of zener diode
is almost a constant function of Vin. The
Figure 6 maximum zener diode current we measured is
0.096 mA, which was less than the current rating
Then, we built the circuit in Figure 6 , and measured of zener diode which is 0.26mA.
Vz, Iz and IL.
8.2 Procedure 3: Designing Voltage regulator with
8 the Zener Diode
In this procedure, we were instructed to build a
voltage regulator, which has a voltage regulation
across RL is around 2Vz (15V), while the input
voltage will range between 17V to 20V.
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Figure 7: Vin and Vo Graph

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EGR220 Than & Bhavin Lab #1

Although Zener diodes were popular because of
they are simple and useful, they are now virtually
replaced with IC. In fact, voltage regulation is
one of the important applications for power
supplies to prevent unnecessary damage to load
circuits. Therefore, although they are now
obsolete, it is very important to know how to

Figure 9: circuit design
[1] Sedra, Adel S., and Smith. Kenneth C.
First, we calculated Vzo by using “Microelectronics Circuits”. 5th. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2004.
Vzo = Vz – rzIz (3)

we got 7.5V for Vzo. We assume RL is 200Ώ, and

we calculated R by using

R = (V – Vz0 – rzIzmin)/(Izmin + ILmax) (4)

where rz = 2Ώ and Vo = 15V, Izmin = 1/3*(ILmax)

Ilmax = 2Vz/ RL and V = 17V (for min voltage.) We
got R =94.5; and we used 100Ώ. Then, we plotted the



Output Voltage



16.5 17 17.5 18 18.5 19 19.5 20 20.5
Input Voltage

Figure 10: Input Voltage Vs. Output Voltage

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