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Laboratory 2: Measure Diode V-I Characteristics

Writing an Effective Lab Report.


This is the first lab requiring a lab report. Careful accumulation of your lab notebook notes will
ease the pain of this process. The ability to write an effective lab report is an important professional
skill that will serve you well in practice. It is key to remember that simply going through the
motions, making the minimum required measurements and jotting down the numbers is no where
near sufficient to achieve a good grade. You must engage your brain and develop your powers of
observation and analysis.
Every measurement is subject to variation and uncertainty. Evaluation of uncertainty effects is
important to gaining deep understanding of experimental methods and the real significance of
experimental results. No calculation may be reported with more significant figures than the input
data warrant. This typically means that 3 significant figures is all that can usually be claimed for any
calculation. For example, the ratio of a 270 k resistor and 15 k resistor is not 18.000, such as
your calculator might say. It is simply 18. That's it. Reporting more significant figures than that is
just not acceptable, and is actually dishonest. In order to report a measurement to 1% accuracy, the
device used must be calibrated (i.e. compared to "truth") to 0.1% accuracy it must be a factor of
10 more accurate than the measurement being made. A large number of digits is "high resolution",
not accuracy. Most people do not sufficiently appreciate the difference between resolution and
accuracy. "Precision" refers to the repeatability of a measurement a high precision measurement
has low standard deviation. Use careful language when writing a lab report.
The general format of an effective laboratory report contains at least the following topics (think
of IMRAD):
Introduction:

The objective(s) of the laboratory measurements. Also, some idea of the expected
results should be included. Don't make measurements without some prior reasonable
expectation of the results: A. mA or kA? V, mV or kV? ...

Methods:

A description of the circuits, measurement connections and like considerations.


Voltage is measured in parallel, current is measured in series, for example. Describe
how the measurements were made. Include drawings and sketches! (You cannot talk
circuits in the air.)

Results and
Discussion:

Tables of measured values and other results. The results can be included in the
descriptions of each separate task, if that makes more sense. Make professional plots
of your data with a plotting program like Excel. An overall discussion of the
conclusions from and implications of the measurements as a whole must be included
as an integral part of the lab report. This is you applying your powers of engineering
analysis to the issue(s) at hand. A lab report that doesn't include in-depth analysis
and discussion (i.e. what do the results mean?) is unacceptable and quite lame.

Electronic Circuits I (EE 438)


Laboratory 2

Unique
Number
16450
16455
16460
16465

Day

Time

Location

TA

Due Date

F
F
F
TH

9 AM 12 PM
12 3 PM
3 6 PM
5 8 PM

ECJ 1.324
ECJ 1.324
ECJ 1.324
ECJ 1.324

Abhishek
Ehsan
Abhishek
Jeonggoo

9/18
9/18
9/18
9/17

Laboratory 2
Goal: Measure the I-V characteristics of a diode
Components:

Digital multimeter
1 1k resistor (1/4 W)
1 LM 741 operational
2 1N4004

TASK 1:
In the figure below, we show an experimental setup that you should use to measure the I-V
characterisric of various diode structures.
In this setup, the device under test (DUT) is placed into the negative feedback network of an
Op Amp. The AWG is first connected to the (+) input of the Op Amp. The (-) input of the Op
Amp follows the AWG voltage, which makes the voltage across the DUT equal to the voltage
applied by the AWG. The current that flows through the DUT at this voltage is then multiplied
by the 1k to produce an output voltage (gain = 1000 V/A).
The main goal in this experiment is to apply a voltage by the AWG and measure the DUT
current by observing Op Amp output voltage. Note that uncertainty in the feedback
resistance affects the measurements.

1 kOhm
+10V

DUT

SCOPE

3
4

GND
AWG

CH1
CH2

-10V

Assemble the components on the proto-board.

Connect the supply and set its outputs to provide +10V/-10V. It is important that you
set the current limit to 50mA.

Connect the Op-Amp and AWG output to Channel 1 and Channel 2 of the oscilloscope,
respectively.

Set the output of the AWG to sine waveform and slowly increase the peak to peak from
200mVpp to 2Vpp.

Observe the Op-Amp output voltage when the AWG signal increases.

Show your setup to the TA.

Record the Maximum and Minimum voltage of both the channels as the AWG signal
increases.

Calculate and plot the I-V curve of the diode. You can do this in either Excel or Matlab.


TASK 2:
Repeat Task 1 for two diodes in parallel.
1 kOhm
+10V
2

SCOPE

7
6

3
4

GND
AWG

CH1
CH2

-10V

Record the maximum and minimum voltages of each channel.

Calculate and plot the I-V curve of the DUT.

TASK 3:
Repeat Task 1 for two diodes in series. Remember the direction of the diodes is reversed
compared to Task 1 and Task 2 and vary the input up to 3.2Vpp.
1 kOhm
+10V
2

3
4

GND
AWG

SCOPE

CH1
CH2

-10V

Record the maximum and minimum voltages of each channel.

Calculate and plot the I-V curve of the DUT.

REPORT:
Follow the format in Lab Syllabus and Schedule document. You need to plot the I-V curve of
all three structures and explain different regions of operation. Also provide a narrative that
explains the relationship among the I-V curves of the three tasks.