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Student Resource

Subject B1-4:
Electronic Fundamentals

Copyright 2008 Aviation Australia


All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, transferred, sold, or
otherwise disposed of, without the written permission of Aviation Australia.
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AA Form TO-18
Part-66 Subject B1-4 Electronic Fundamentals

CONTENTS

Page
Definitions 2
Study Resources 3
Introduction 4
Semiconductors Diode 4.1.1.1-1
Semiconductors Transistors 4.1.2.1-1
Semiconductors Integrated Circuits 4.1.3.1-1
Printed Circuit Boards 4.2-1
Servomechanisms 4.3.1-1

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DEFINITIONS

Define
To describe the nature or basic qualities of.
To state the precise meaning of (a word or sense of a word).

State
Specify in words or writing.
To set forth in words; declare.

Identify
To establish the identity of.

List
Itemise.

Describe
Represent in words enabling hearer or reader to form an idea of an object or process.
To tell the facts, details, or particulars of something verbally or in writing.

Explain
Make known in detail.
Offer reason for cause and effect.

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STUDY RESOURCES
Jeppesen General

B1-4 Student Handout

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INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this subject is to familiarise you with the basics of electronics and
servomechanisms.
On completion of the following topics you will be able to:

Topic 4.1.1.1 Semiconductors Diode


Identify symbols for the following semiconductor types:
Diode
Silicon controlled rectifier (thyristor)
Light emitting diode
Photo conductive diode
Varistor
Describe the characteristics and properties of diodes.
Describe the effects of connecting diodes in series and parallel.
Describe the main characteristics and uses of the following
semiconductors:
Rectifier Diode
Silicon controlled rectifier (thyristor)
Light emitting diode
Photo conductive diode
Varistor
Describe functional testing of diodes.

Topic 4.1.2.1 Semiconductors Transistors


Identify symbols for transistors.
Define the construction of transistors and their orientation in circuits.
Define the characteristics and properties of transistors.

Topic 4.1.3.1 Semiconductors Integrated Circuits


Define the construction and operation of the following integrated
circuits:
Logic circuits
Linear circuits
Operational amplifiers

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Topic 4.2 Printed Circuit Boards


Identify printed circuit boards and define their construction.

Topic 4.3.1 Servomechanisms


Define the following servomechanism control systems:
Open loop control
Closed loop control
Feedback
Follow-up
Identify analogue transducers used in servomechanism systems and define
their operation.
Define the principles of operation and use of the following synchro system
components / features:
Resolvers
Differential
Control and torque
Transformers
Inductance transmitters
Capacitance transmitters

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TOPIC 4.1.1.1 SEMICONDUCTORS DIODES


A diode (sometimes called a rectifier diode) is a device that allows current to flow in one
direction but will oppose, or stop, current flow in the opposite direction. A diode can be
compared to a check valve in a hydraulic system. A check valve is a one way gate for fluids:
diodes are a one way gate for electrons.
There are several types of solid state diodes currently in use. Solid state being the term used
to refer to devices that use solid materials to control electrical current flow through the
manipulation of electrons.

SEMICONDUCTORS, CONDUCTORS, AND INSULATORS


All materials are made up of atoms. These atoms contribute to the electrical properties of a
material, including its ability to conduct electrical current.

For purposes of discussing electrical properties, an atom can be represented by the valence
shell and a core that consists of all the inner shells and the nucleus. This concept is
illustrated in the figure for a carbon atom. Carbon is used in some types of electrical resistors.
Notice that the carbon atom has four electrons in the valence shell and two electrons in the
inner shell. The nucleus consists of six protons and six neutrons so the +6 indicates the
positive charge of the six protons. The core has a net charge of +4 (+6 for the nucleus and 2
for the two inner-shell electrons).

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Conductors
A conductor is a material that easily conducts electrical current. The best conductors are
single-element materials, such as copper, silver, gold, and aluminum, which are
characterized by atoms with only one valence electron very loosely bound to the atom. These
loosely bound valence electrons can easily break away from their atoms and become free
electrons. Therefore, a conductive material has many free electrons that, when moving in the
same direction, make up the current.

Insulators
An insulator is a material that does not conduct electrical current under normal conditions.
Most good insulators are compounds rather than single-element materials. Valence electrons
are tightly bound to the atoms; therefore, there are very few free electrons in an insulator.

Semiconductors
A semiconductor is a material that is between conductors and insulators in its ability to
conduct electrical current. A semiconductor in its pure (intrinsic) state is neither a good
conductor nor a good insulator. The most common single-element semiconductors are
silicon, germanium, and carbon. Compound semiconductors such as gallium arsenide are
also commonly used. The single-element semiconductors are characterized by atoms with
four valence electrons The single-element semiconductors are characterized by atoms with
four valence electrons.

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Silicon and Germanium


The atomic structures of silicon and germanium are shown in the figure. Silicon is the most
widely used material in diodes, transistors, integrated circuits, and other semiconductor
devices. Notice that both silicon and germanium have the characteristic four valence
electrons.

.
The valence electrons in germanium are in the fourth shell while those in silicon are in the
third shell, closer to the nucleus. This means that the germanium valence electrons are at
higher energy levels than those in silicon and, therefore, require a smaller amount of
additional energy to escape from the atom. This property makes germanium more unstable at
high temperatures, and this is a basic reason why silicon is the most widely used semi
conductive material.
Covalent Bonds
The figure shows how each silicon atom positions itself with four adjacent silicon atoms to
form a silicon crystal. A silicon atom with its four valence electrons shares an electron with
each of its four neighbors. This effectively creates eight valence electrons for each atom and
produces a state of chemical stability. Also, this sharing of valence electrons produces the
covalent bonds that hold the atoms together; each shared electron is attracted equally by two
adjacent atoms which share it.

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Covalent bonding in an intrinsic silicon crystal is shown in the figure. An intrinsic crystal is
one that has no impurities. Covalent bonding for germanium is similar because it also has
four valence electrons.

A piece of intrinsic silicon at room temperature has, at any instant, a number of conduction-
band (free) electrons that are unattached to any atom and are essentially drifting randomly
throughout the material. There is also an equal number of holes in the valence band created
when these electrons jump into the conduction band. This is illustrated in the figure.

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Electron and Hole Current


When a voltage is applied across a piece of intrinsic silicon, as shown in the figure, the
thermally generated free electrons in the conduction band, which are free to move randomly
in the crystal structure, are now easily attracted toward the positive end. This movement of
free electrons is one type of current in a semiconductive material and is called electron
current.

Another type of current occurs at the valence level, where the holes created by the free
electrons exist. Electrons remaining in the valence band are still attached to their atoms and
are not free to move randomly in the crystal structure as are the free electrons. However, a
valence electron can move into a nearby hole with little change in its energy level, thus
leaving another hole where it came from. Effectively the hole has moved from one place to
another in the crystal structure, as illustrated in The figure. This is called hole current.
N-TYPE AND P-TYPE SEMICONDUCTORS
Semi-conductive materials do not conduct current well and are of limited value in their
intrinsic state. This is because of the limited number of free electrons in the conduction band
and holes in the valence band. Intrinsic silicon (or germanium) must be modified by
increasing the number of free electrons or holes to increase its conductivity and make it
useful in electronic devices. This is done by adding impurities to the intrinsic material. Two
types of extrinsic (impure) semi-conductive materials, n-type and p-type, are the key building
blocks for most types of electronic devices.
Doping
The conductivity of silicon and germanium can be drastically increased by the controlled
addition of impurities to the intrinsic (pure) semiconductive material. This process, called
doping, increases the number of current carriers (electrons or holes). The two categories of
impurities are n-type and p-type.

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N-Type Semiconductor
To increase the number of conduction-band electrons in intrinsic silicon, pentavalent impurity
atoms are added. These are atoms with five valence electrons such as arsenic (As),
phosphorus (P), bismuth (Bi), and antimony (Sb).
As illustrated in the figure, each pentavalent atom (antimony, in this case) forms covalent
bonds with four adjacent silicon atoms.

Four of the antimony atoms valence electrons are used to form the covalent bonds with
silicon atoms, leaving one extra electron. This extra electron becomes a conduction electron
because it is not attached to any atom. Because the pentavalent atom gives up an electron, it
is often called a donor atom. The number of conduction electrons can be carefully controlled
by the number of impurity atoms added to the silicon. A conduction electron created by this
doping process does not leave a hole in the valence band because it is in excess of the
number required to fill the valence band.
Majority and Minority Carriers
Since most of the current carriers are electrons, silicon (or germanium) doped with
pentavalent atoms is an n-type semiconductor (the n stands for the negative charge on an
electron). The electrons are called the majority carriers in n-type material. Although the
majority of current carriers in n-type material are electrons, there are also a few holes that are
created when electron-hole pairs are thermally generated. These holes are not produced by
the addition of the pentavalent impurity atoms. Holes in an n-type material are called minority
carriers.

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P-Type Semiconductor
To increase the number of holes in intrinsic silicon, trivalent impurity atoms are added.
These are atoms with three valence electrons such as boron (B), indium (In), and gallium
(Ga). As illustrated in the figure, each trivalent atom (boron, in this case) forms covalent
bonds with four adjacent silicon atoms. All three of the boron atoms valence electrons are
used in the covalent bonds; and, since four electrons are required, a hole results when each
trivalent atom is added.

Because the trivalent atom can take an electron, it is often referred to as an acceptor atom.
The number of holes can be carefully controlled by the number of trivalent impurity atoms
added to the silicon. A hole created by this doping process is not accompanied by a
conduction (free) electron.
Majority and Minority Carriers
Since most of the current carriers are holes, silicon (or germanium) doped with trivalent
atoms is called a p-type semiconductor. Holes can be thought of as positive charges because
the absence of an electron leaves a net positive charge on the atom. The holes are the
majority carriers in p-type material. Although the majority of current carriers in p-type material
are holes, there are also a few free electrons that are created when electron-hole pairs are
thermally generated. These free electrons are not produced by the addition of the trivalent
impurity atoms. Electrons in p-type material are the minority carriers.

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THE DIODE
A p-type material consists of silicon atoms and trivalent impurity atoms such as boron. The
boron atom adds a hole when it bonds with the silicon atoms. However, since the number of
protons and the number of electrons are equal throughout the material, there is no net charge
in the material and so it is neutral.
An n-type silicon material consists of silicon atoms and pentavalent impurity atoms such as
antimony. As you have seen, an impurity atom releases an electron when it bonds with four
silicon atoms. Since there is still an equal number of protons and electrons (including the free
electrons) throughout the material, there is no net charge in the material and so it is neutral.
If a piece of intrinsic silicon is doped so that part is n-type and the other part is p-type, a pn
junction forms at the boundary between the two regions and a diode is created, as indicated
in the figure. The p region has many holes (majority carriers) from the impurity atoms and
only a few thermally generated free electrons (minority carriers). The n region has many free
electrons (majority carriers) from the impurity atoms and only a few thermally generated
holes (minority carriers).

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Formation of the Depletion Region


As you have seen, the free electrons in the n region are randomly drifting in all directions. At
the instant of the pn junction formation, the free electrons near the junction in the n region
begin to diffuse across the junction into the p region where they combine with holes near the
junction, as shown in the figure.
Before the pn junction is formed, recall that there are as many electrons as protons in the n-
type material making the material neutral in terms of net charge. The same is true for the p-
type material. When the pn junction is formed, the n region loses free electrons as they
diffuse across the junction. This creates a layer of positive charges (pentavalent ions) near
the junction. As the electrons move across the junction, the p region loses holes as the
electrons and holes combine. This creates a layer of negative charges (trivalent ions) near
the junction. These two layers of positive and negative charges form the depletion region, as
shown in the figure. The term depletion refers to the fact that the region near the pn junction
is depleted of charge carriers (electrons and holes) due to diffusion across the junction. Keep
in mind that the depletion region is formed very quickly and is very thin compared to then
region and p region.

Barrier Potential
Any time there is a positive charge and a negative charge near each other, there is a force
acting on the charges as described by Coulombs law. In the depletion region there are many
positive charges and many negative charges on opposite sides of the pn junction. The forces
between the opposite charges form a field of forces called an electric field, as illustrated in
the figure by the red arrows between the positive charges and the negative charges. This
electric field is a barrier to the free electrons in the n region, and energy must be expended to
move an electron through the electric field. That is, external energy must be applied to get the
electrons to move across the barrier of the electric field in the depletion region.
The potential difference of the electric field across the depletion region is the amount of
voltage required to move electrons through the electric field. This potential difference is called
the barrier potential and is expressed in volts. Stated another way, a certain amount of
voltage equal to the barrier potential and with the proper polarity must be applied across a pn
junction before electrons will begin to flow across the junction.
The barrier potential of a pn junction depends on several factors, including the type of
semiconductive material, the amount of doping, and the temperature. The typical barrier
potential is approximately 0.7 V for silicon and 0.3 V for germanium at 25C.

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Forward Bias
To bias a diode, you apply a dc voltage across it. Forward bias is the condition that allows
current through the pn junction. The figure shows a dc voltage source connected by
conductive material (contacts and wire) across a diode in the direction to produce forward
bias. This external bias voltage is designated as VBIAS. The resistor, R, limits the current to a
value that will not damage the pn structure.

Notice that the negative side of VBIAS is connected to the n region of the diode and the
positive side is connected to the p region. This is one requirement for forward bias. A second
requirement is that the bias voltage, VBIAS, must be greater than the barrier potential.
A fundamental picture of what happens when a diode is forward-biased is shown in the
figure. Because like charges repel, the negative side of the bias-voltage source pushes the
free electrons, which are the majority carriers in the n region, toward the pn junction. This
flow of free electrons is called electron current The negative side of the source also provides
a continuous flow of electrons through the external connection (conductor) and into the a
region as shown.

The bias-voltage source imparts sufficient energy to the free electrons for them to overcome
the barrier potential of the depletion region and move on through into the p region. Once in
the p region, these conduction electrons have lost enough energy to immediately combine
with holes in the valence band.

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Now, the electrons are in the valence band in the p region, simply because they have lost too
much energy overcoming the barrier potential to remain in the conduction band. Since unlike
charges attract, the positive side of the bias-voltage source attracts the valence electrons
toward the left end of the p region. The holes in the p region provide the medium or pathway
for these valence electrons to move through the p region. The electrons move from one hole
to the next toward the left. The holes, which are the majority carriers in the p region,
effectively (not actually) move to the right toward the junction, as you can see in the figure.
This effective flow of holes is called the hole current. You can also view the hole current as
the flow of valence electrons through the p region, with the holes providing the only means for
these electrons to flow.
As the electrons flow out of the p region through the external connection (conductor) and to
the positive side of the bias-voltage source, they leave holes behind in the p region; at the
same time, these electrons become conduction electrons in the metal conductor. Recall that
the conduction band in a conductor overlaps the valence band so that it takes much less
energy for an electron to be a free electron in a conductor than in a semiconductor. So, there
is a continuous availability of holes effectively moving toward the pn junction to combine with
the continuous stream of electrons as they come across the junction into the p region.
The Effect of Forward Bias on the Depletion Region
As more electrons flow into the depletion region, the number of positive ions is reduced. As
more holes effectively flow into the depletion region on the other side of the pn junction, the
number of negative ions is reduced. This reduction in positive and negative ions during
forward bias causes the depletion region to narrow, as indicated in the figure.

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Reverse Bias
Reverse bias is the condition that essentially prevents current through the diode. The figure
shows a dc voltage source connected across a diode in the direction to produce reverse bias.
This external bias voltage is designated as VBIAS just as it was for forward bias. Notice that
the positive side of VBIAS is connected to the n region of the diode and the negative side is
connected to the p region. Also note that the depletion region is shown much wider than in
forward bias or equilibrium.

An illustration of what happens when a diode is reverse-biased is shown in the figure.


Because unlike charges attract, the positive side of the bias-voltage source pulls the free
electrons, which are the majority carriers in the n region, away from the pn junction. As the
electrons flow toward the positive side of the voltage source, additional positive ions are
created. This results in a widening of the depletion region and a depletion of majority carriers.

In the p region, electrons from the negative side of the voltage source enter as valence
electrons and move from hole to hole toward the depletion region where they create
additional negative ions. This results in a widening of the depletion region and a depletion of
majority carriers. The flow of valence electrons can be viewed as holes being pulled toward
the positive side.
The initial flow of charge carriers is transitional and lasts for only a very short time after the
reverse-bias voltage is applied. As the depletion region widens, the availability of majority
carriers decreases. As more of the n and p regions become depleted of majority carriers, the
electric field between the positive and negative ions increases in strength until the potential
across the depletion region equals the bias voltage, VBIAS. At this point, the transition current
essentially ceases except for a very small reverse current that can usually be neglected.

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Reverse Current
IR is abbreviation for reverse leakage current.

As learned, majority current very quickly becomes 0 when reverse bias is applied. There is,
however, a very small leakage current produced by minority carriers during reverse bias.
Germanium, as a rule, has a greater leakage current than silicon. This leakage current is
typically in the A or nA range. A relatively small number of thermally produced electron-hole
pairs exist in the depletion region. Under the influence of the external voltage, some electrons
manage to diffuse across the pn junction before recombination. This process establishes a
small minority carrier current throughout the material. The reverse leakage current is
dependant primarily on the junction temperature and not on the amount of reverse biased
voltage. A temperature increase causes an increase in leakage current.
Reverse Breakdown
Normally, the reverse current is so small that it can be neglected. However, if the external
reverse bias voltage is increased to a value called the breakdown voltage, the reverse
current will drastically increase.
This is what happens. The high reverse-bias voltage imparts energy to the free minority
electrons so that as they speed through the p region, they collide with atoms with enough
energy to knock valence electrons out of orbit and into the conduction band. The newly
created conduction electrons are also high in energy and repeat the process. If one electron
knocks only two others out of their valence orbit during its travel through the p region, the
numbers quickly multiply.
As these high energy electrons go through the depletion region, they have enough energy to
go through the n region as conduction electrons, rather than combining with holes.
The multiplication of conduction electrons just discussed is known as avalanche and results
in a very high reverse current that can damage the diode because of excessive heat
dissipation.

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V-I Characteristic for Forward Bias


With 0 V across the diode, there is no forward current. Gradually increase the forward-bias
voltage, the forward current and the voltage across the diode gradually increase, as shown in
the left figure. A portion of the forward-bias voltage is dropped across the limiting resistor.
When the forward-bias voltage is increased to a value where the voltage across the diode
reaches approximately 0.7 V (barrier potential), the forward current begins to increase
rapidly.

V-I Characteristic for Forward Bias


As you continue to increase the forward-bias voltage, the current continues to increase very
rapidly, but the voltage across the diode increases only gradually above 0.7 V, as illustrated
in the right figure. This small increase in the diode voltage above the barrier potential is due
to the voltage drop across the internal dynamic resistance of the semi conductive material.

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Graphing the V-I Curve


If you plot the results of the type of measurements shown previously on a graph, you get the
V-I characteristic curve for a forward-biased diode, as shown in the figure. The diode forward
voltage (VF) increases to the right along the horizontal axis, and the forward current (IF)
increases upward along the vertical axis.
As you can see in the figure, the forward current increases very little until the forward voltage
across the pn junction reaches approximately 0.7 V at the knee of the curve. After this point,
the forward voltage remains at approximately 0.7 V, but IF increases rapidly. As previously
mentioned, there is a slight increase in VF above 0.7 V as the current increases due mainly to
the voltage drop across the dynamic resistance. Normal operation for a forward-bjased diode
is above the knee of the curve. The IF scale is typically in mA, as indicated.

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Dynamic Resistance
Unlike a linear resistance, the resistance of the forward-biased diode is not constant over the
entire curve. Because the resistance changes as you move along the V-I curve, it is called
dynamic or ac resistance. Internal resistances of electronic devices are usually designated by
lowercase italic r with a prime, instead of the standard R. The dynamic resistance of a diode
is designated rd.
Below the knee of the curve the resistance is greatest because the current increases very
little for a given change in voltage (rd = VF / IF ). The resistance begins to decrease in the
region of the knee of the curve and becomes smallest above the knee where there is a large
change in current for a given change in voltage. This characteristic is illustrated in the figure
for equal changes in VF (VF ) on a magnified segment of the V-I curve below and above the
knee.

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Graphing the V-I Curve


When a reverse-bias voltage is applied across a diode, there is only an extremely small
reverse current (IR) through the pn junction. With 0 V across the diode, there is no reverse
current. As you gradually increase the reverse-bias voltage, there is a very small reverse
current and the voltage across the diode increases. When the applied bias voltage is
increased to a value where the reverse voltage across the diode (VR) reaches the breakdown
value (VBR), the reverse current begins to increase rapidly.
As you continue to increase the bias voltage, the current continues to increase very rapidly,
but the voltage across the diode increases very little above VBR. Breakdown, with exceptions,
is not a normal mode of operation for most pn junction devices.

If you plot the results of reverse-bias measurements on a graph, you get the V-I characteristic
curve for a reverse-biased diode. A typical curve is shown in the figure. The diode reverse
voltage (VR) increases to the left along the horizontal axis, and the reverse current (IR)
increases downward along the vertical axis.
There is very little reverse current (usually uA or nA) until the reverse voltage across the
diode reaches approximately the breakdown value (VBR) at the knee of the curve. After this
point, the reverse voltage remains at approximately VBR, but IR increases very rapidly
resulting in overheating and possible damage. The breakdown voltage for a typical silicon
diode can vary, but a minimum value of 50 V is not unusual.

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The Complete V-I Characteristic Curve


Combine the curves for both forward bias and reverse bias, and you have the complete V-I
characteristic curve for a diode, as shown in the figure. Notice that the IF scale is in mA
compared to the IR scale in uA.

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Temperature Effects on the Diode V-I Characteristic


For a forward-biased diode, as temperature is increased, the forward current increases for a
given value of forward voltage. Also, for a given value of forward current, the forward voltage
decreases. This is shown with the V-I characteristic curves in the figure. The blue curve is at
room temperature (25C) and the red curve is at an elevated temperature (25C + T).
Notice that the barrier potential decreases as temperature increases.
For a reverse-biased diode, as temperature is increased, the reverse current increases.
The difference in the two curves is exaggerated on the graph in the figure for illustration.
Keep in mind that the reverse current below breakdown remains extremely small and can
usually be neglected.

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Diode Structure and Symbol


As you have learned, a diode is a single pn junction device with conductive contacts and wire
leads connected to each region, as shown in the figure. Part of the diode is an n-type
semiconductor and the other part is a p-type semiconductor.
There are several types of diodes, but the schematic symbol for a general-purpose or rectifier
diode, such as introduced in this chapter, is shown in the figure. The n region is called the
cathode and the p region is called the anode. The arrow in the symbol points in the direction
of conventional current (opposite to electron flow).

Forward-Bias Connection
A diode is forward-biased when a voltage source is connected as shown in the figure. The
positive terminal of the source is connected to the anode through a current-limiting resistor.
The negative terminal of the source is connected to the cathode. The forward current (IF) is
from cathode to anode as indicated. The forward voltage drop (VF) due to the barrier potential
is from positive at the anode to negative at the cathode.

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Reverse-Bias Connection
A diode is reverse-biased when a voltage source is connected as shown in the figure. The
negative terminal is connected to the anode side of the circuit, and the positive terminal is
connected to the cathode side. A resistor is not necessary in reverse bias but it is shown for
circuit consistency. The reverse current is negligible. Notice that the entire bias voltage
(VBIAS) appears across the diode.

The Ideal Diode Model


The ideal model of a diode is a simple switch. When the diode is forward-biased, it acts like a
closed (on) switch, as shown in the figure. When the diode is reverse-biased, it acts like an
open (off) switch, as shown in the figure. The barrier potential, the forward dynamic
resistance, and the reverse current are all neglected.

In the figure, the ideal V-I characteristic curve graphically depicts the ideal diode operation.
Since the barrier potential and the forward dynamic resistance are neglected, the diode is
assumed to have a zero voltage across it when forward-biased, as indicated by the portion of
the curve on the positive vertical axis.

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The Practical Diode Model
The practical model adds the barrier potential to the ideal switch model. When the diode is
forward biased, it is equivalent to a closed switch in series with a small equivalent voltage
source equal to the barrier potential (0.7 V) with the positive side toward the anode, as
indicated in the figure. This equivalent voltage source represents the fixed voltage drop (VF)
produced across the forward-biased pn junction of the diode and is not an active source of
voltage.

When the diode is reverse-biased, it is equivalent to an open switch just as in the ideal
model, as shown in the figure. The barrier potential does not affect reverse bias, so it is not a
factor.
The characteristic curve for the practical diode model is shown in the figure. Since the barrier
potential is included and the dynamic resistance is neglected, the diode is assumed to have a
voltage across it when forward-biased, as indicated by the portion of the curve to the right of
the origin.
Remember this curve is for a silicon diode; a germanium diode would be offset by 0.3 V

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The Complete Diode Model


The complete model of a diode consists of the barrier potential, the small forward dynamic
resistance (rd), and the large internal reverse resistance (rR). The reverse resistance is
taken into account because it provides a path for the reverse current which is included in this
diode model.
When the diode is forward-biased, it acts as a closed switch in series with the barrier
potential voltage and the small forward dynamic resistance (rd), as indicated in the figure.
When the diode is reverse-biased, it acts as an open switch in parallel with the large internal
reverse resistance (rR), as shown in the figure. The barrier potential does not affect reverse
bias, so it is not a factor.

The characteristic curve for the complete diode model is shown in the figure. Since the barrier
potential and the forward dynamic resistance are included, the diode is assumed to have a
voltage across it when forward-biased. This voltage (VF) consists of the barrier potential
voltage plus the small voltage drop across the dynamic resistance, as indicated by the
portion of the curve to the right of the origin. The curve slopes because the voltage drop due
to dynamic resistance increases as the current increases.

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Typical Diodes
Several common physical configurations of diodes are illustrated in the figure. The anode and
cathode are indicated on a diode in several ways, depending on the type of package. The
cathode is usually marked by a band, a tab, or some other feature. On those packages where
one lead is connected to the case, the case is the cathode. Always check the data sheet.

RECTIFIER DIODE
The term diode and rectifier are often used interchangeably; however, the term diode usually
implies a small signal device with current typically in the milliamp range, whereas a rectifier is
a power device, conducting from1 to 1000 amps or even higher. A semiconductor diode
consists of a PN junction and has two(2) terminals, an anode(+) and a cathode(-). The
cathode of a diode is marked by a band or similar indicating method.
Forward Voltage Drop , Vf
A diode conducts a small current in the forward direction up to the barrier potential, 0.3 for
germanium and 0.7 for silicon ; after that it conducts as we might expect. The forward voltage
drop, Vf, is specified for a given current (If).
Leakage current
In the reverse direction there is a small leakage current up until the reverse breakdown
voltage is reached. This leakage is undesirable, obviously the lower the better, and is
specified at a voltage less the than breakdown; diodes are intended to operate below their
breakdown voltage.
Current Rating
The current rating of a diode is determined primarily by the size of the diode chip, and both
the material and configuration of the package, Average Current is used, not RMS current. A
larger chip and package of high thermal conductivity are both conducive to a higher current
rating.
Switching
The switching speed of a diode depends upon its construction and fabrication. In general the
smaller the chip the faster it switches, other things being equal. The chip geometry, doping
levels, and the temperature at nativity determine switching speeds . The reverse recovery
time, trr, is usually the limiting parameter; trr is the time it takes a diode to switch from on to
off.

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Main uses are as rectifiers and to block DC voltages.
Conclusion
The very minimal diode specifications are:
Maximum reverse voltage
Rated forward current
Maximum forward voltage drop
Maximum leakage current
Package style
Maximum reverse recovery time
HALF-WAVE RECTIFIER
One of the most important uses of a diode is rectification. The normal PN junction diode is
well-suited for this purpose as it conducts very heavily when forward biased (low-resistance
direction) and only slightly when reverse biased (high-resistance direction). If we place this
diode in series with a source of ac power, the diode will be forward and reverse biased every
cycle. Since in this situation current flows more easily in one direction than the other,
rectification is accomplished. The simplest rectifier circuit is a half-wave rectifier which
consists of a diode, an ac power source, and a load resistor.

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FULL WAVE RECTIFIER
A full-wave rectifier is a device that has two or more diodes arranged so that load current
flows in the same direction during each half cycle of the ac supply. The transformer supplies
the source voltage for two rectifier diodes. The connections to the diodes are arranged so
that the diodes conduct on alternate half cycles. During the first alternation current flows
through the top diode, while the bottom one is reversed biased. During the negative half of
the cycle the bottom diode conduct and the top one is reversed biased. The voltage measure
through the output (represented by a resistor) is always in the same direction, and is a series
of rectified AC pulses.

Since both alternations of the input voltage cycle are used, the circuit is called a FULL-WAVE
RECTIFIER.

After rectification the series of AC pulses are smoothed and regulated to produce a flat direct
current without AC ripple.

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THE BRIDGE RECTIFIER


When four diodes are connected as shown the circuit is called a BRIDGE RECTIFIER. The
input to the circuit is applied to the diagonally opposite corners of the network, and the output
is taken from the remaining two corners.

Transformer theory will not be covered here, just assume an AC voltage is coming out of the
secondary winding. During the positive half of the cycle diodes D1 and D2 are forward biased
and current flows through them from earth back to the positive potential of the applied EMF.
During the negative half cycle, D1 and D2 are reverse biased, but current now flows from
earth, up through the load and through D3 and D4 then back to the positive potential of the
EMF. The current is always flowing in one direction through the load so it no longer
alternates, it just pulses. Since current flows through the load during both half cycles of the
applied voltage, this bridge rectifier is a full-wave rectifier.
One advantage of a bridge rectifier over a conventional full-wave rectifier is that with a given
transformer the bridge rectifier produces a voltage output that is nearly twice that of the
conventional fullwave circuit. This may be shown by assigning values to some of the
components. Assume that the same transformer is used in both circuits. The peak voltage
developed is 1000 volts in both circuits. In the conventional full-wave circuit shown in the
previous slide, the peak voltage from the center tap to either X or Y is 500 volts. Since only
one diode can conduct at any instant, the maximum voltage that can be rectified at any
instant is 500 volts. Therefore, the maximum voltage that appears across the load resistor is
nearly but never exceeds 500 volts, as a result of the small voltage drop across the
diode. In the bridge rectifier shown on this slide, the maximum voltage that can be rectified is
the full secondary voltage, which is 1000 volts. Therefore, the peak output voltage across the
load resistor is nearly 1000 volts. With both circuits using the same transformer, the bridge
rectifier circuit produces a higher output voltage than the conventional full-wave rectifier
circuit.

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SERIES CONNECTED DIODES


In many high-voltage applications, one commercially available diode cannot meet the
required voltage rating, and diodes are connected in series to increase the reverse blocking
capabilities. In practice, the characteristics for the same type of diodes differ due to
tolerances in their production process. In the reverse blocking condition, each diode has to
carry the same leakage current, and as a result the blocking voltages will differ significantly.
A simple solution is to connect a resistor across each diode. Due to equal voltage sharing,
the leakage current of each diode would be different. Since the total leakage current must be
shared by a diode and its resistor,
Is = Is1 + IR1 = Is2 + IR2
If the resistances are equal, R = R1 = R2, the two diode voltages should be more or less the
same, depending on the dissimilarities of the two diodes.

In high-power applications, diodes are connected in parallel to increase the current carrying
capability to meet the desired current requirements. The current sharing of diodes would be
in accord with their respective forward voltage drops. Uniform current sharing can be
achieved by connecting current-sharing resistors. It is also possible to minimize this problem
by selecting diodes with equal forward voltage drops or diodes of the same type.
If diodes are connected in series as shown in figure, the combined effect is to increase the
reverse blocking capability. When forward current flows in the forward direction both diodes
conduct the same current and the forward voltage drops are very similar. However, reverse
voltages across each individual diode could vary drastically dependant on the characteristic
of each diode. In figure, it can be seen that the voltage drop across D2 will not cause
breakdown however, avalanche breakdown will occur in diode D1.

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Parallel Connected Diodes


Connecting diodes in parallel will increase the current carrying capability. If it is possible to
match the diodes so that approximately equal current sharing is achieved this should be
done, however, in the event that the exact characteristics are not know sharing resistors (with
associated losses) can to be used. Figure shows exaggerated characteristics to highlight the
variation in current through each diode. Again a simple method of calculating resistance
values can be used if all resistors are set equal.

In the figure: Mismatched parallel connected diodes and a voltage sharing circuit.
Example:
The maximum average current in one leg of a bridge rectifier is 300A.
VR1 = VR2 = VR3 = 1V then R1 = R2 = R3 = 1/100 = 10 m (10 milliohm).
Note that a higher series resistance increases the on-state losses. Select a resistance of the
standard available value that is slightly higher than that calculated.

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The DMM Diode Test Position


Many digital multimeters (DMMs) have a diode test position that provides a convenient way
to test a diode. A typical DMM, as shown in the figure has a small diode symbol to mark the
position of the function switch. When set to diode test, the meter provides an internal voltage
sufficient to forward-bias and reverse-bias a diode. This internal voltage may vary among
different makes of DMM, but 2.5 V to 3.5 V is a typical range of values. The meter provides a
voltage reading or other indication to show the condition of the diode under test.

When the Diode Is Working


In the figure, the red (positive) lead of the meter is connected to the anode and the black
(negative) lead is connected to the cathode to forward-bias the diode. If the diode is good,
you will get a reading of between approximately 0.5 V and 0.9 V, with 0.7 V being typical for
forward bias.
In the figure, the diode is turned around to reverse-bias the diode as shown. If the diode is
working properly, you will get a voltage reading based on the meters internal source. The 2.6
V shown in the figure represents a typical value and indicates that diode has an extremely
high reverse resistance with essentially all of the internal voltage appearing across it.

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When the Diode Is Defective


When a diode has failed open, you get an open circuit voltage reading (2.6 V is typical) or
OL indication for both the forward-bias and the reverse-bias condition, as illustrated in the
figure. If a diode is shorted, the meter reads 0 V in both forward and reverse bias tests, as
indicated in the figure. Sometimes, a failed diode may exhibit a small resistance for both bias
conditions rather than a pure short. In this case, the meter will show a small voltage much
less than the correct open voltage. For example, a resistive diode may result in a reading of
1.1 V in both directions other than the correct readings of 0.7 V for forward bias and 2.6 V for
reverse bias.

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Checking a Diode with the OHMs Function


DMMs that do not have a diode test position can be used to check a diode by setting the
function switch on an OHMs range. For a forward-bias check of a good diode, you will get a
resistance reading that can vary depending on the meters internal battery. Many meters do
not have sufficient voltage on the OHMs setting to fully forward-bias a diode and you may get
a reading of from several hundred to several thousand ohms. For the reverse-bias check of a
good diode, you will get some type of out-of-range indication such as OL on most DMMs
because the reverse resistance is too high for the meter to measure.
Even though you may not get accurate forward- and reverse-resistance readings on a DMM,
the relative readings indicate that a diode is functioning properly, and that is usually all you
need to know. The out-of-range indication shows that the reverse resistance is extremely
high, as you expect. The reading of a few hundred to a few thousand ohms for forward bias is
relatively small compared to the reverse resistance, indicating that the diode is working
properly. The actual resistance of a forward-biased diode is typically much less than 100
ohms.

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SUMMARY OF DIODE BIAS


Forward Bias: Permits Majority-carrier Current
Bias voltage connections: positive to p region; negative to n region.
The bias voltage must be greater than the barrier potential.
Barrier potential: 0.7 V for silicon.
Majority carriers flow toward the pn junction.
Majority carriers provide the forward current.
The depletion region narrows.

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Reverse bias: prevents majority-carrier current


Bias voltage connections: positive to n region; negative top region.
The bias voltage must be less than the breakdown voltage.
Majority carriers flow away from the pn junction during short transition time.
Minority carriers provide the extremely small reverse current.
There is no majority carrier current after transition time.
The depletion region widens.

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LIGHT EMMITING DIODE


The basic operation of the light-emitting diode (LED) is as follows. When the device is
forward-biased, electrons cross the pn junction from the n-type material and recombine with
holes in the p-type material.
When combination takes place, the recombining electrons release energy in the form of heat
and light. A large exposed surface area on one layer of the semiconductive material permits
the photons to be emitted as visible light. This process, called electroluminescence, is
illustrated in the figure. Various impurities are added during the doping process to establish
the wavelength of the emitted light. The wavelength determines the color of the light and if it
is visible or invisible (infrared).

Semconductive Materials
LEDs are made of gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP), or gallium
phosphide (GaP). Silicon and germanium are not used because they are essentially heat-
producing materials and are very poor at producing light. GaAs LEDs emit infrared (IR)
radiation, which is nonvisible. GaAsP produces either red or yellow visible light, and GaP
emits red or green visible light. LEDs that emit e light are also available. Red is the most
common.

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LED Biasing
The forward voltage across an LED is considerably greater than for a silicon diode. Typically
the maximum VF for LEDs is between 1.2 V and 3.2 V, depending on device. Reverse
breakdown for an LED is much less than for a silicon rectifier diode (3V to 10V typical).
The LED emits light in response to a sufficient forward current, as shown in the figure. The
amount of power output translated into light is directly proportional to the forward current, as
indicated in the figure. An increase in IF corresponds proportionally to an increase in light
output.

Light Emission
The wavelength of light determines whether it is visible or infrared. A LED emits light over a
specified range of wavelengths as indicated by the spectral output curves in the figure. The
curves in part (a) represent the light output versus wavelength for typical visible LEDs, and
the curve in part (b) is for a typical infrared LED. The wavelength () is expressed in
nanometers (nm). The normalized output of the visible red LED peaks at 660 nm, the yellow
at 590 nm, green at 540 nm, and blue at 460 nm. The output for the infrared LED peaks at
940 nm.

Typical LEDs are shown in the figure below.

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THE PHOTODIODE
The photodiode is a device that operates in reverse bias, as shown in the figure, where I is
the reverse current. The photodiode has a small transparent window that allows light to strike
the pn junction. Some typical photodiodes are shown in the figure. An alternate photodiode
symbol is shown in the figure.

Recall that when reverse-biased, a rectifier diode has a very small reverse leakage current.
The same is true for a photodiode. The reverse-biased current is produced by thermally
generated electron-hole pairs in the depletion region, which are swept across the pn junction
by the electric field created by the reverse voltage. In a rectifier diode, the reverse leakage
current increases with temperature due to an increase in the number of electron-hole pairs.

A photodiode differs from a rectifier diode in that when its pn junction is exposed to light, the
reverse current increases with the light intensity. When there is no incident light, the reverse
current, I, is almost negligible and is called the dark current. An increase in the amount of
light intensity, expressed as irradiance (mW/cm2), produces an increase in the reverse
current, as shown by the graph.
The figure illustrates that the photodiode allows essentially no reverse current (except for a
very small dark current) when there is no incident light. When a light beam strikes the
photodiode, it conducts an amount of reverse current that is proportional to the light intensity
(irradiance).

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SILICON CONTROLLED RECTIFIERS


Thyristors are in a group of semiconductor devices that act as open or closed switches. An
SCR is one type of thyristor. An SCR is a four-layer semiconductor device, consisting of
alternating P type and N type materials (PNPN). A thyristor usually has three electrodes: an
anode, a cathode, and a gate (control electrode).

When the cathode is negatively charged relative to the anode, no current flows until a pulse is
applied to the gate. Then the SCR begins to conduct, and continues to conduct until the
voltage between the cathode and anode is reversed or the current is reduced below a certain
value value. A common method used to switch off SCRs is to short them out. This reduces
the current through them below the minimum specified value and it switches off. Using this
type of thyristor, large amounts of power can be switched or controlled using a small
triggering current or voltage.
SCRs are used in motor speed controls, light dimmers, pressure-control systems, and liquid-
level regulators. For an overtemp type circuit a bimetallic sensor could trigger an SCR
energising a warning light which would then remain on until cancelled by a reset switch
(remove conducted current) regardless of whether the overtemp remains or dissipates.
Alarm Circuit
An alarm circuit incorporates a thyristor. When the house holder leaves he/she turns on the
alarm. If an intruder is detected the alarm sounds and latches on (stays on) because of the
thyristor.

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VARISTORS
A Varistor is used as a surge protection device that is connected directly across the AC input
or across a component to be protected. They have a very fast response time and low leakage
current. They behave like back to back zener diodes and only conduct when the breakdown
(or clamping) voltage is exceeded. The rest state has a high impedance (several megohms)
in relation to the component to be protected and does not change the characteristics of the
circuit.

When a power surge or voltage spike is sensed, the varistor's resistance rapidly decreases,
creating an instant shunt path for the over-voltage, thereby saving the sensitive components
(hopefully). Because the shunt path creates a short circuit, the circuit protection device
usually operates in the process. The resetting of a circuit breaker or the replacement of a
fuse is much cheaper than the replacement of sensitive components.

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TOPIC 4.1.2.1: SEMICONDUCTORS TRANSISTORS


Invention and Uses of the Transistor
The invention of the transistor by American physicists John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain, and
William Shockley, as part of a post-war effort to replace vacuum tubes with solid-state
devices, was announced by the Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1948. Solid-state rectifiers
were already in use at the time and were preferred over vacuum diodes because of their
smaller size, lower weight and higher reliability. Transistors are very durable, are very small,
have a high resistance to physical shock, and are very inexpensive. At one time, only discrete
devices existed; they were usually sealed in ceramic, with a wire extending from each
segment to the outside, where it could be connected to an electric circuit. Although discrete
transistors are still used significantly, the vast majority of transistors are built as parts of
integrated circuits. Transistors are used in virtually all electronic devices, including radio
receivers, computers, and space vehicles and guided missiles.
This picture (first Transistor) shows the workbench of John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at
Bell Laboratories. They were supposed to be doing fundamental research about crystal
surfaces. The experimental results hadn't been very good, though, and there's a rumor that
their boss, William Shockley, came near to cancelling the project. But in 1947, they switched
to using tremendously pure materials. And it dawned on them that they could build the circuit
in the picture. It was an amplifier!
Bardeen and Brattain continued in research. Shockley quit to start a semiconductor company
in Palo Alto. It folded, but its staff went on to invent the integrated circuit (the "chip") and to
found Intel Corporation.
In 1958, engineers (one of them Intel co-founder Robert Noyce) managed to put two
transistors onto a silicon crystal and create the first integrated circuit, which led to the
microprocessor.
By 1960, all important computers used transistors for logic, and ferrite cores for memory.
Memory chips replaced core in the 1970's.
The bipolar junction transistor was the first solid-state amplifier element and started the solid-
state electronics revolution.

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Transistors
Transistors are semiconductor devices that exhibit the property of amplification, whereby a
small time-varying voltage (or current) can be increased (amplified) to a larger voltage (or
current) that is a replica of the smaller.
There are 2 basic categories of transistor:
Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT), and
Field-Effect Transistor (FET)
These 2 types of devices differ greatly in construction and theory of operation, but their broad
applications are similar.

Classification
Transistors are classified as either NPN or PNP according to the arrangement of their N and
P materials. Their basic construction and chemical treatment is implied by their names,
"NPN" or "PNP." That is, an NPN transistor is formed by introducing a thin region of P-type
material between two regions of N-type material. On the other hand, a PNP transistor is
formed by introducing a thin region of N-type material between two regions of P-type
material. Transistors constructed in this manner have two PN junctions, as shown in figure.
One PN junction is between the emitter and the base; the other PN junction is between the
collector and the base. The two junctions share one section of semiconductor material so that
the transistor actually consists of three elements.

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Transistor Construction
Where a diode has one junction of P & N material, the transistor has two. It is effectively two
diodes back-to-back. This provides additional characteristics upon which the entire
electronics and computer industry has built its foundations.
Now instead of the applied voltage determining whether the semiconductor is forward or
reverse biased, a small current applied to the centre section of semiconductor will switch it on
or off. On or off means whether it is a conductor or an insulator. ON effectively translates to
FWD BIAS, OFF is effectively REVERSE BIAS. FWD BIAS & REVERSE BIAS are not used
with reference to transistors, ON and OFF describes the transistors two states.
The Base was given that name from the way early Bipolar Transistors were made. This
started with a basic piece of semiconductor and then 're-doped' two bits of it to create the
Emitter and Collector. The result of this process is shown in the illustration.
From this picture we can see that the 'Base' was given its name because it is electrically a
part of the large piece of semiconductor material we started with. The name 'Base' reminded
early transistor makers that this was the mechanical and electronic starting point of the
manufacturing process. To build an NPN transistor you start with a lump of P-type material
and re-dope two parts near each other to make them N-type. To build a PNP transistor you
do it the other way around. These days Bipolar Transistors are made lots of different ways,
so the name 'Base' no longer tells us much about how a specific device was made. The
name is a sort of historical legacy.

Ideally, you need to get the thickness of the unmodified Base region just right. Too thin, and
the Base would essentially vanish. The Emitter and Collector would then form a continuous
piece of semiconductor, so current would flow between them whatever the base potential.
Too thick, and electrons entering the Base from the Emitter wouldn't notice the Collector as it
would be too far away. So then, the current would all be between the Emitter and the Base,
and there'd be no Emitter-Collector current. For these reasons the precise design of a Bipolar
transistor is much more complex than we've described here, but it still works in the way we've
seen.

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Illustrations used in this presentation are not to scale they are purely for instructional
purposes.

Parts of a Transistor
The centre section is called the base; outer regions are called the emitter and the collector.

We saw earlier that a purely N type or P type semiconductor was a reasonable conductor.
When a transistor is turned on it behaves in the same manner. Note the emitter and collector
are manufactured from the same type of material.
There are two depletion regions in a transistor, between the base emitter and base collector.
So when an external voltage is applied to the collector and emitter, one junction will always
be reverse biased, regardless of the polarity of the voltage applied (elaborate and provide
additional diagrams explaining this characteristic as necessary). But, if a voltage is applied to
the collector and emitter of an NPN transistor, and a positive voltage is applied to the base,
holes in the P material will be repelled by the applied positive voltage, forcing them towards
the junction with the two N materials which will effectively deplete the two depletion regions.
The voltage applied to the base must be sufficient to overcome the electrostatic attraction
(same as for a diodes barrier potential), so transistors also require a minimum voltage to
switch on. When the base voltage is removed though, a depletion region will again form at
the junction of either the base emitter or base collector, thus open circuiting the
emitter/collector, switching of current in the external circuit.
An NPN transistor is switched ON (short circuited) by applying a positive voltage to the base.
A PNP transistor is turned on by applying a negative voltage to the base.
This gives us the flexibility to design a circuit where an application of power tho the transistor
base, turns on a circuit, or the transistor can have a voltage applied to the base, and the
transistor turns on when the voltage is removed. Depending on the polarity of the voltages in
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the circuit a PNP or NPN transistor can be used to turn on a transistor with either/or the
application or removal of voltage from the base.
This ON/OFF, or binary functionality of transistors enables the processing of information in a
computer. This is the basis of digital (binary) technology ON or OFF

Transistor Symbols
Direction of arrow on Emitter defines transistor type.
Arrow points to N region: just like a compass needle always points North
Like a diode transistors are effected by breakdown voltage and leakage currents
NPN positive EMF for switch ON
PNP negative EMF for switch ON

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Diode Properties
When P and N type material is joined an interesting and useful characteristic is produced.
Without any voltage applied the two materials will attract electrons and holes to the junction.
Electrons will flow from the N-Type material through the junction and fill holes in the P-Type
material. The filling of holes with electrons will produce a band in between the two materials.
The band will be made up of stable material (no holes or electrons), so will form an insulator
blocking the complete transfer of electrons and holes. This region at the junction is called the
depletion region.

The Bipolar Junction Transistor


The n-p-n junction transistor consists of two n-type semiconductors (called the emitter and
collector) separated by a thin layer of p-type semiconductor (called the base).

The transistor action is such that if the electric potentials on the segments are properly
determined, a small current between the base and emitter connections results in a large
current between the emitter and collector connections, thus producing current amplification.
Some circuits are designed to use the transistor as a switching device; current in the base-
emitter junction creates a low-resistance path between the collector and emitter. The PNP
junction transistor, consisting of a thin layer of N-type semiconductor lying between two P-
type semiconductors, works in the same manner, except that all polarities are reversed.
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Transistor Bias
The emitter/base junction is forward biased. The collector/base junction is reversed biased.
The middle diagram shows the two junctions as two diodes. Of course, you can't make a
transistor like this but it helps to understand the forward and reverse biasing. The anodes are
positive with respect to the cathodes for forward biasing. They are negative with respect to
the cathodes for reverse biasing.
The bottom diagram shows the junctions being correctly biased using just one battery.
Note that there is 0.7 volts across the base/emitter junction when it is forward biased, for a
silicon transistor. (0.3 volts for a germanium one).

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Junction Field Effect Transistors


A field effect transistor has only two sections of semiconductor material. JFETs have the
sections arranged as shown in the illustration, with a channel of one type with 2 sections of
the other type positioned near the centre of the channel. Electricity flows through the
channel from the source to the drain. A voltage connected to the gate, interferes with the
current flowing in the channel. Thus, the voltage connected to the gate controls the current
flow through the channel. It works on the same principle as squeezing a garden hose to
restrict the flow of water.

The Gate is always reverse biased with respect to the Source so will always provide some
amount of resistance to the source/drain current. The level of reverse biasing increases the
resistance, thereby restricting the current flow through the channel (like a potentiometer
adjustment knob). The Gate generates and withdraws the depletion region to widen or
narrow the area for current flow from source to drain.

There are two basic varieties of field effect transistors-the junction field effect transistor
(JFET) and the metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET). Most of the
transistors contained in today's integrated circuits are MOSFETS's.

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Three electrodes are attached to the semiconductor crystal: one to the middle positive
section and one to each arm. By applying a voltage to the top and bottom terminals, current
will flow through it. The side where the electrons come in is known as the source, and the
side where the electrons come out is called the drain.
If nothing else happens, current will flow from one side to the other. Due to the way electrons
behave at the junction between N- and P-type semiconductors, however, the current won't
flow particularly close to the base. It travels only through a thin channel down the middle.

The FET can be used in a much more complex manner than a bipolar junction transistor, they
are much better amplifiers. Current traveling through channel gets larger or smaller in perfect
synch with the charge coming into the gate, meaning it has the identical pattern as that
original weak signal. And, since the second current is connected to a different voltage
supply, it can be made to be larger. The current coming through the channel is a perfect
replica of the original, only amplified. The transistor is used this way for stereo amplification
in speakers and microphones, as well as to boost telephone signals as they travel around the
world.
Where a bipolar transistor uses holes and electrons to transfer current internally, a FET uses
either a negative or positive channel to transfer the current, and the other type of matetrial is
utilised to vary the current carrying ability of the channel, thereby only using either electrons
or holes to transfer current internally

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Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor MOSFET


A MOSFET is also a field effect transistor, in that the effect of the voltage applied on the gate
increases and reduces a field which effects the current flow from the source to the drain.
Where a bipolar transistor is simply turned on and off by a voltage applied to the base, a FET
functions in a state of higher or lower resistance, so is far more efficient as an amplifier.

In a MOSFET, the gate is insulated from the channel by a thin film of silicon dioxide.

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The MOSFET works by enhancing or depleting current flow through the gate. Using an N
channel MOSFET in the example, if a negative voltage is applied to the gate, the negative
charge repels current carrying electrons from the channel area. This depletion of current
carrying electrons decreases the conductivity of the channel (increases the resistance). The
greater the negative voltage, the greater the resistance produced in the channel. Sufficient
negative voltage can be applied to deplete the channel completely and the drain current falls
to zero.
With a positive voltage applied, electrons are attracted into the channel, increasing
conductivity.

A MOSFET is more versatile than a JFET because a positive or negative polarity may be
applied to control source/drain current. The JFET works with only one polarity, dependant
upon whether it is N channel or P channel. In the case of the MOSFET, it works with both
polarities, and the polarity of the channel and substrate determine the polarity required to
switch the MOSFET into enhance or deplete mode.
MOSFETs and equipment containing MOSFETs are susceptible to damage from electrostatic
discharge and must be handled with care and with strict adherence to electrostatic handling
precautions. If exposed to a high static charge an arc will jump through the silicon dioxide
insulating layer and either destroy or severely degrade the operation of the MOSFET.

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Transistor Symbols
Bipolar transistor symbol

Arrow head on Emitter


Arrow points to N material
Like a Compass points North or Points iN PNP
Not Pointing iN NPN

JFET Symbols

Arrow head on Gate


Pointing to channel N Channel
Pointing away P Channel

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MOSFET Symbols

Gate not connected to channel


Pointing to channel N Channel
Pointing away P Channel

Transistor Biasing
In order for the transistor to operate effectively as an amplifier, the two PN junctions must be
correctly biased with external voltages. Only the NPN transistor will be used to explain the
theory of operation. PNP operation is the same, but the bias voltages and current directions
are reversed.

The forward bias from base to emitter narrows the BE depletion region and the reverse bias
of the base to collector widens the BC depletion region. The N type emitter is teeming with
free electrons which can easily diffuse across the BE junction into the P type base, just like
forward biasing a diode. The base is only lightly doped and is very thin so it only has a limited
number of holes available for the emitter electrons to fill. So, only a small percentage of the
electrons flowing across the BE junction, actually combine with the available holes in the
base.
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These relatively few electrons flowing from the emitter to the base, filling holes in the base,
form the small base current. Refer to illustration, BE current is only small.
Most of the electrons flowing from the emitter into the base region diffuse into the BC
depletion layer, that is they move into the stable non conductive BC depletion region
(attracted by the positive polarity applied to the collector) and inject it with excess electrons.
The excess electrons injected into the BC depletion region are pulled across the reverse
biased BC junction by the attraction of the positive ions in the collector. The electrons then
flow through the collector region, and out to the positive terminal of the power source. This
forms the collector current. The amount of collector current depends directly on the amount of
base current an is essentially independent of the DC voltage applied to the collector.
Transistor Orientation
The figures used in this example are to explain the concept of amplification, and are not
realistic.

Load

Collector / Emitter Voltage: 20


Base Voltage:
volts
2 volts
This diagram shows a transistor biased with a base voltage Vbb and a collector emitter
voltage Vcc. The amplification (or switching process) functions by applying a small voltage to
the base Vbb and having a larger voltage available between the collector and emitter Vcc.
SO lets say we apply only 2 volts to the base, forward biasing the transistor, but have 20 volts
available between the collector and emitter, we are effectively using 2 volts to control a 20
volt output, thus amplifying the signal from 2 to 20 volts. (eg only put 1 volt on the base, high
resistance through transistor, only 10 v through load; 1.5 volts on base, 15 volts dropped
through load, etc).

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This illustration is the same as the previous circuit except the lines connecting the earth
points have been removed. Electrically, the circuits are identical (the voltages are nearly the
same too, except 3 volts is applied to the base). Anything drawn connected to earth is
considered to be connected to the negative lead of a power source.
This illustration is a realistic circuit showing a transistor connection. Instead of having a
separate power source applied to the base, the main source is simply dropped down to a
lower value, by resistors. In this last diagram, imagine the transistor being biased on, and
then a small AC voltage being applied to the base. When the AC voltage goes positive, the
transistor is turned on, and when it goes negative, the transistor is turned off. This bias
configuration with an AC voltage applied to the base is the basis of an AC amplifier.

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Transistor Orientation
In the illustration below, the transistor is an amplifier. The resistor network provides the base
bias voltage then when a small AC signal is applied to the base the transistor will forward and
reverse bias permitting a much greater flow of current through the collector and emitter, thus
amplifying the signal.

In the illustration below, the transistor is a switch. With no voltage applied to the base, the
transistor is open circuit (high resistance) so no current flows.

With a positive voltage applied (NPN Transistor) the transistor is switched on permitting
current to flow between collector and emitter.

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TOPIC 4.1.3.1: SEMICONDUCTORS INTEGRATED CIRCUITS


Integrated Circuits Construction
Up to now the various semiconductors, resistors, capacitors, etc., in our discussions have
been considered as separately packaged components, called DISCRETE COMPONENTS. In
this section we will introduce some of the more complex devices that contain complete
circuits packaged as a single component. These devices are referred to as INTEGRATED
CIRCUITS and the broad term used to describe the use of these devices to miniaturize
electronic equipment is called MICROELECTRONICS.

With the advent of the transistor and the demand by the military for smaller equipment,
design engineers set out to miniaturize electronic equipment. In the beginning, their efforts
were frustrated because most of the other components in a circuit such as resistors,
capacitors, and coils were larger than the transistor. Soon these other circuit components
were miniaturized, thereby pushing ahead the development of smaller electronic equipment.
Along with miniature resistors, capacitors, and other circuit elements, the production of
components that were actually smaller than the space required for the interconnecting wiring
and cabling became possible. The next step in the research process was to eliminate these
bulky wiring components. This was accomplished with the PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARD
(PCB).
After the printed circuit boards were perfected, efforts to miniaturize electronic equipment
were then shifted to assembly techniques, which led to MODULAR CIRCUITRY. In this
technique, printed circuit boards are stacked and connected together to form a module. This
increases the packaging density of circuit components and results in a considerable
reduction in the size of electronic equipment.
Since the module can be designed to perform any electronic function, it is also a very
versatile unit. However, the drawback to this approach was that the modules required a
considerable number of connections that took up too much space and increased costs. In
addition, tests showed the reliability was adversely affected by the increase in the number of
connections. A new technique was required to improve reliability and further increase
packaging density. The solution was INTEGRATED CIRCUITS.

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An integrated circuit is a device that integrates (combines) both active components


(transistors, diodes, etc.) and passive components (resistors, capacitors, etc.) of a complete
electronic circuit in a single chip (a tiny slice or wafer of semiconductor crystal or insulator).
Integrated circuits (ICs) have almost eliminated the use of individual electronic components
(resistors, capacitors, transistors, etc.) as the building blocks of electronic circuits. Instead,
tiny CHIPS have been developed whose functions are not that of a single part, but of dozens
of transistors, resistors, capacitors, and other electronic elements, all interconnected to
perform the task of a complex circuit. Often these comprise a number of complete
conventional circuit stages, such as a multistage amplifier, logic circuits linear circuits and
operational amplifiers (in one extremely small component). These chips are frequently
mounted on a printed circuit board which plugs into an electronic unit.
Integrated circuits have several advantages over conventional wired circuits of discrete
components. These advantages include (1) a drastic reduction in size and weight, (2) a large
increase in reliability, (3) lower cost, and (4) possible improvement in circuit performance.
However, integrated circuits are composed of parts so closely associated with one another
that repair becomes almost impossible. In case of trouble, the entire circuit is replaced as a
single component.
Integrated circuits are being used in an ever increasing variety of applications. Small size and
weight and high reliability make them ideally suited for use in airborne equipment, missile
systems, computers, spacecraft, and portable equipment. They are often easily recognized
because of the unusual packages that contain the integrated circuit. These tiny packages
protect and help dissipate heat generated in the device. One of these packages may contain
one or several stages, often having several hundred components.

This integrated circuit was produced in about 1960 by Fairchild Semiconductor. It is a


bistable RS (Reset/Set) Flip-Flop constructed using four NPN bipolar transistors and two
resistors diffused into a single monolithic chip of silicon. The maximum operating clock speed
is 1 megahertz and the delay is 50 nanoseconds

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Logic Circuits
Have you ever wondered how a computer can do something like balance a check book, or
play chess, or spell-check a document? These are things that, just a few decades ago, only
humans could do. Now computers do them with apparent ease. How can a "chip" made up of
silicon and wires do something that seems like it requires human thought? It does it by using
pure logic.
Every question can be broken down ito a yes/no or on/off answer, and this is how digital
computers function. The correct name for this logic is Boolean Logic and it was developed by
George Boolean in the mid 1800s. Boolean logic is very simple, but will not be explained in
this lesson. The basis of Boolean logic is a series of logic circuits which are commonly called
gates. The basic logic circuits or gates include
AND
OR
NAND
NOR
EXCLUSIVE OR
NOT
LOGIC GATES
Logic gates represent digitally controlled binary circuits and microprocessors. A gate symbol
is simply a representation of a transistorised circuit. In the circuit shown, the base of the
transistor have the input signals applied to them. A digital input is nominally 5 volts DC. This
is plenty of voltage to turn on the transistor.

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AND Gates
At rest, both transistors are switched off, that is they are open circuit. No current will flow
through the light bulb so it will be off.

When 5 volts or a 1 is supplied to the top transistor it will turn on, but the bottom one will still
be off, so the light will remain off. When a 1 is also provided to the base of the bottom
transistor, both transistors will be conducting, current will flow through them and the light will
turn on.
The logic of this circuit is that input A and input B must both be on (or a 1) for the light to turn
on (output a 1).This is called an AND Gate. Elaborate on the truth table and explain the
combinations of inputs to produce an output.

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OR Gates
At rest, both transistors are switched off, that is they are open circuit. No current will flow
through the light bulb so it will be off. When 5 volts or a 1 is supplied to transistor input A it
will turn on, providing a current path from the battery through the light bulb and turn it on.
When a 1 is provided to transistor input B, both transistors will be conducting, current will flow
through them and the light will still be on. If the input to transistor A is removed, transistor B
will still be on, so the light will still be on.

The logic of this circuit is that input A or input B may be a 1 to turn on the light (output a
1).This is called an OR Gate. Elaborate on the truth table and explain the combinations of
inputs to produce an output.

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Inverter
An inverter changes a 1 to a zero. Or a zero to a 1. This can be accomplished in several
ways, but a simple method is shown here. The transistor is a PNP. This means it needs a
negative voltage on the base to turn it on. The negative voltage doesnt have to be -5 volts,
as long as the base is negative with respect to the emitter voltage, the transistor will turn on.
So this transistor will be on with a 0 applied to the base, and will switch off when a 1 is on the
base.

The output will therefore be a 1 (light on) when the input is 0 and a 0 (light off) when the input
is a 1. Inverters are also often called NOT Gates

Exclusive OR Gate -EXOR


Functions pretty much like an OR gate, except when both inputs are 1, the output is zero.

This is all we will cover on gates. Remember, the gate is simply a symbol representing a
transistorised circuit. The gate symbols are used to simplify circuit diagrams, and are also
commonly used in standard wiring diagrams to represent a decision making point, eg weight
off wheels and handle Up before undercarriage will be raised this would be the same as an
AND Gate function.

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NAND Gate
This symbol shows an AND Gate connected to an inverter. The AND gate output will only be
a 1 when both the inputs are 1s. When the AND gate puts a 1 on the inverter it outputs a
zero. In this configuration the AND gate output is reversed and the truth table will look like the
one illustrated.

This configuration is called a NAND Gate (NOT AND Gate) and is represented as shown.

NOR Gate
This symbol shows an OR Gate connected to an inverter. The OR gate output will be a 1
when either of the inputs are 1s. When the OR gate puts a 1 on the inverter it outputs a zero.
In this configuration the OR gate output is reversed and the truth table will look like the one
illustrated.

This configuration is called a NOR Gate (NOT OR Gate) and is represented as shown.

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Inverter Symbol
The inverter symbol is used as required, but more commonly the NOT symbol is used on the
leg of the device indicating the signal to be inverted.
Inverted input on OR gate produces the truth table as shown.

Inverted input and output on AND gate produces the truth table shown
Both truth table are the same both circuits represented by these symbols would be the same

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IEEE Gate Symbols


Together with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Institute of ANSI
Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) has developed a standard set of logic IEEE
symbols. The most recent revision of the standard is ANSI/IEEE Std 91-1984, IEEE Standard
Graphic Symbols for Logic Functions. It is compatible with standard 617 of the International
Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and must be used in all logic diagrams drawn for the
U.S. Department of Defense. These symbols are being used more and more as time
progresses.

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Integrated Circuits Logic Circuits


An IC Chip full of NAND Gates is typical of some of the simple chips available. This
illustration provides a good example of an integrated circuit, because if the same
circuitry were constructed using discrete components you would need about 16
resistors and 8 transistors, plus a printed circuit board.

This is a very simple IC:

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Linear Integrated Circuits


The linear IC is an analogue type of circuit, as opposed to the digital type. An analogue
function has continuous values within a specified range, whereas a digital function has
discrete values or steps. Linear circuits can be broken down into several main categories:
Operational Amplifiers
Voltage regulators
Communication circuits
Interface circuits
Comparators
Sense Amplifiers
Line drivers and receivers
Analogue to Digital (A to D) and Digital to Analogue (D to A) converters
There is a multitude of types of linear integrated circuits and these will not be covered at this
stage. An example of such is a basic IC linear voltage regulator, as following.

Voltage Regulators
The purpose of a voltage regulator is to provide a constant output voltage independent of
input supply voltage, output load current, and temperature. One basic type of linear
integrated circuit regulator is known as the three-terminal regulator. It has an input, an output,
and a ground connection.

The L7800 series of three-terminal positive regulators is available in TO-220 ISOWATT220


TO-3 and D2PAK packages and several fixed output voltages, making it useful in a wide
range of applications. These regulators can provide local on-card regulation, eliminating the
distribution problems associated with single point regulation. Each type employs internal
current limiting, thermal shut-down and safe area protection, making it essentially
indestructible. If adequate heat sinking is provided, they can deliver over 1A output current.
Although designed primarily as fixed voltage regulators, these devices can be used with
external components to obtain adjustable voltages and currents.

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Operational Amplifier
An Op Amp is a very high gain amplifier whose performance and type of operation is
determined by various external arrangements. Op Amps are represented by a triangle,
pointing in the direction of signal flow. Typically, Op Amps have two inputs and one output.

All Op Amps also require power to operate, a positive and negative terminal, but because
these are common in all cases, they are usually omitted from the circuit symbology.
By varying the coupling of signals provided to the Op Amp, it can perform many useful
functions. Two of the most common uses are:
as comparators
as amplifiers (either NON-INVERTING or INVERTING amplifiers)

An op amp has TWO inputs:


one non-inverting (called the "+" input)
one inverting (called the "-" input).

The voltage at the output depends on the DIFFERENCE between the voltage at the non-
inverting input (V+) and the voltage at the inverting input (V-).
The term operational amplifier or "op-amp" refers to a class of high-gain DC coupled
amplifiers with two inputs and a single output. The modern integrated circuit version is
typified by the famous 741 op-amp. Gain is determined by the feedback network.
Typical values of Basic Parameters of 741 op amp:
Rail voltages : +/- 15V dc (+/- 5V min, +/- 18V max)
Input impedance: Around 2MegOhms
Low Frequency voltage gain: approx 200,000
Input bias current: 80nA
Slew rate: 0.5V per microsecond
Maximum output current: 20mA
Recommended output load: not less than 2kilOhms

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Op Amp Outputs
This represents how the signal strength is amplified when differential signals are applied. The
outputs are the same phase and strength if single out of phase signals are applied to each
input separately. When combined the outputs are combined or added, so the signal strength
is much higher. Therefore, differential signals increase output signal strength.
Even if the phase were not 180 out of phase, the differential between the signals is the
portion which is amplified. In the examples above earth is used as the reference, but a signal
can be used as the reference, and the Op Amp would amplify only the difference between the
two. For example and LVDT output is referenced to a set phase and amplitude signal. Any
movement of a control surface (for example) causing the LVDT phase and output to change
would register as an output from the Op Amp, measuring the control surface deflection. This
is the basis of Flight Controls Fly-by-Wire systems.

Note that there is no output when common signals are applied. The outputs are the same
amplitude, but of opposite phase when common signals are applied to each input separately.
When combined the outputs cancel each other out, therefore output is zero. Common signals
produce zero output.
For example noise or interference would effect both inputs equally. If the desired signal were
applied to only one input, the only signal present on the other leg would be the induced
interference. The interference signal on its own would cancel the interference signal induced
into the desired signal leg, thus filtering any noise or interference from the output.

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Operational Amplifier Function


Link back to the description of amplifiers in the transistor lesson. These are simply two
transistor amplifiers face to face. If they had separate emitter connections to earth, they
would operate independently and only amplify a signal applied to their own base, but
because their emitters are connected, the two outputs (one in phase and 1 out of phase) are
as described for an input to either base. The theory to explain how and why is beyond the
scope of this lesson, but it does work.

It is not necessary to explain how it happens, but here is a very basic explanation:
Its because of the common emitter connection. The base voltage applied to one transistor
will be felt at the emitter of the other transistor (because the base emitter junction is simply a
diode and will pass a voltage straight through when forward biased). The voltage felt at the
second transistors emitter, will cause it to react as if a signal of opposite polarity were applied
to its base (due to polarity of the base with respect to polarity of the emitter).

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Operational Amplifier Negative Feedback


Typically the gain of a good Op Amp may be from 50 000 to 200 000. This means that any
small signal detected on the input is amplified >50 000 times its original amplitude. Of course
the applied circuit voltage would probably not support this range of amplification, but the Op
Amp would be driven into saturation, meaning maximum voltage would be applied to the
output (saturation). An Op Amp operating like this would be termed to be operating in Open
Loop, that is it has no feedback to limit or null-out the input signal.
For Example, if only 1 millivolt were applied to the input, 0.01volts x 50 000 gain = 500 volts.
In the above example the circuit is limited to a maximum of 28 volts (applied voltage), so
would output 28V for even the tiniest of inputs. We must be able to control the amplification of
the signal, to keep it within the capability of the circuit. This is achieved by providing
feedback. The most common feedback method used in op amps is negative feedback.

By sending the inverted output back onto the input leg, the output signal will oppose the input
signal and null it out. The Op Amp will still be providing an output to our speaker, or whatever,
because the input signal is still present, its just that it is opposed and nulled by the output. For
example, If the output were to disappear, there would be no opposition to the input signal,
hence the amplifier would produce an output. In reality the amplifier will continue to produce
an amplified output until the input signal varies. If the input drops the negative feedback is the
stronger signal and will cause the output to drop. If the input increases the Op Amp will
amplify the increased signal, until the feedback amplitude nulls out the now higher input.
If a fixed resistor is used in the feedback loop, the amplifier will have a fixed gain. For a fixed
input the output will remain the same, the only way to vary the output is to vary the input. To
construct a variable gain Op Amp, we fit a variable resistor. Then for a fixed input, if the
variable resistor is changed the Op Amp gain will increase and decrease in proportion.

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Operational Amplifier Variable Feedback


In these illustrations the input signal remains constant therefore the opposing feedback signal
must remain constant to oppose it. If the resistance on the feedback line is varied, the
feedback signal will vary and apply an opposing signal (180 out of phase) to the input of the
Op Amp, thus reducing the output until the feedback and input signals are again matched.
If there is no resistance in the feedback loop the output signal will equal the input, therefore
the amplifier will not be performing any amplification, therefore, no gain.

The feedback type used is referred to as negative feedback, and this produces closed loop
operation.

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Voltage Follower
Most analogue applications use an Op-Amp that has some amount of negative feedback. The
Negative feedback is used to tell the Op-Amp how much to amplify a signal. In Figure 2, this
Op-Amp will not amplify at all, it operates at Unity Gain, also known as a gain of 1. Unity Gain
arrangements are also called Voltage Followers since they track the input voltage at the
exact same level at output. Sometimes, you will want an output that is Inverting, and
sometimes you want one that is Non-Inverting.

If you apply an input to either the - (Inverting) or the + (Non-Inverting) input, the Op-Amp
output basically maintains the input level, but in the case of applying an input to the Inverting
(-) input - Figure 3, the output signal will be 180 degrees out of phase with the input. In Figure
4, you see that the signal comes thru unchanged.
If an Op-Amp is an amplifier, how hard is it to get it to amplify the signal? The following
schematic shows a basic configuration used to amplify a signal.

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Non-inverting Amplifier
In a non-inverting amplifier, the way that you define the gain is by setting the ratio of R1 to
R2. Neither of these resistors will ever have much power going thru them, so these can be
very tiny - often 1/4 or 1/8 watt resistors are used. To keep power consumption down, as well
as noise introduced by cheap carbon resistors, we will use resistors in a range of 10,000
Ohms thru 1 Meg Ohm.

If R2 is equal to R1, then we have Unity Gain, or a 1X Amplifier - This is a 1:1 ratio. if R2 is
twice the resistance of R1, we have an Amplifier with a gain of 2 - a 2:1 ratio. To build the 2X
gain amplifier, lets pick resistor values that will set the 2:1 ratio - R2 = 20,000 ohms and R1 =
10,000 ohms (20000:10000 = 2:1). That really wasn't that hard to do.
Figure 7 shows the results of a 2X gain Non-Inverting power amplifier. To make it a gain of
10X, set the ratio to 10:1. That would equate to R2 = 100,000 ohms and R1 = 10,000 ohms.
To make it gain of 100:1, set R2 = 1,000,000 (1 Meg) ohms and R1 = 10,000 ohms. This is
probably easier than you thought.

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Linear Operation
The resistors in the feedback loop permit us to keep the Op Amp from saturation point, where
an increase in input will have no effect, because the Op Amp is would be already outputting
its maximum signal. When the amplifier nears saturation it will not provide a linear gain.
Amplifier gain is the multiplication factor between input and output. Gains can be stated for
current, voltage or power. Gain is an indication of how many times an input signal is amplified
to achieve the output amplitude. The method for accurately calculating gain will not be
covered in this lesson.
A transistor functions by forward biasing the base emitter junction with a small current which
stimulates a much larger flow of current through the Emitter Collector. If sufficient
base/emitter current is flowing the transistor will be fully forward biased, or on. This is how a
switching transistor works, a reasonably high voltage input to the base saturates the
emitter/collector junction resulting in maximum current flow.
In an amplifying transistor, saturation is to be avoided. At saturation, any addition signal input
to the base will have minimal effect on transistor conductance, so will be lost. The loss of
signal, so the output waveshape no longer duplicates the input waveshape is called
distortion. At the turn-on point of the transistor, the resistance of the collector/emitter junction
is also non-linear.

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Linear Operating Region


Transistor linear gain region. The region where a change in base/emitter current will result in
a linear change in emitter/collector current.
Above and below this region the transistor output is not linear, and when the base signal
causes the transistor to operate in the saturation or cut-off regions, the output signal is
distorted, that is, it is not a duplicate waveshape when compared to the input (although
amplitude has increased due to amplification).

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Bias Voltage
To design an efficient amplifier, the linear region of the transistors characteristic curve is
determined, and the base voltage bias is typically in the center of the linear region.
This bias voltage keeps the transistor turned on so that a varying signal may be applied to
the base and amplified. The alternating signal could be AC or more likely variable DC, like
that which would carry an audio signal from a microphone.
The lowest point of the linear region is where collector emitter current flow is at its lowest the
transistor can provide before the output signal becomes distorted in the cut-off region. The
highest point is the highest collector emitter current flow before reaching saturation.
Usually, a signal is amplified then passed onto a second and third amplifier until the desired
power output is attained. If a single transistor were operated at too high a gain large input
signals would be readily distorted. Transistor amplifiers have greater fidelity (less distortion)
when operating within their linear region.

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DC Bias Voltage with a Varying Input Signal


The DC bias should effectively turn the transistor on so that positive and negative pulses of
the input signal do not drive the transistor into cut-off or saturation. An varying signal applied
to the biased transistor base will be amplified without distortion if it does not drive the
transistor into cut-off or saturation.

Saturation and Cut-off


When the input signal is too large, the output signal is distorted. The peaks of the input signal
are not amplified linearly so are distorted at the output. To achieve amplification of this signal,
it should be decreased and applied through two amplifier stages, or simply applied to a more
powerful amplifier.

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Improper DC Bias
The varying input signal is amplified, but is distorted because the bias voltage is too low, and
the input signal is driving the transistor into cut-off. The peak of the opposite polarity is
amplified without distortion (because the transistor is not driven into saturation).

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TOPIC 4.2: PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS


Printed Circuit Boards
A printed circuit board is a flat insulating surface upon which printed wiring and miniaturized
components are connected in a predetermined design, and attached to a common base.
Figure shows a typical printed circuit board. Notice that various components are connected to
the board and the printed wiring is on the reverse side. With this technique, all
interconnecting wiring in a piece of equipment, except or the highest power leads and
cabling, is reduced to lines of conducting material (copper, silver, gold, etc.) deposited
directly on the surface of an insulating "circuit board." Since printed circuit boards are readily
adapted as plug-in units, the elimination of terminal boards, fittings and tie points, not to
mention wires, results in a substantial reduction in the overall size of electronic equipment.
Printed Circuit Board Construction
A basic printed circuit board has the copper circuit pattern or foil on one side of the board.
Holes are drilled through pads or terminals in the foil and board. The component leads are
pushed through the holes from the other side of the board. The leads are then soldered to the
copper foil to complete the circuit connections.
A PCB is found in almost every electronic device. If you have electronic components in a
device, they are mounted on a PCB, big or small. Besides keeping the components in place,
its purpose of a PCB is to provide electrical connections between the components mounted
on it. As electronic devices have become more complex, and require more components, the
PCB has become more populated, and dense with wiring and components.
Conductor Pattern
The substrate of the board itself is an insulating and non-flexible material. The thin wires that
are visible on the surface of the board are part of a copper foil that initially covered the whole
board. In the manufacturing process this copper foil is partly etched away, and the remaining
copper forms a network of thin wires. These wires are referred to as the conductor pattern or
the tracks and provide the electrical connections between the components mounted on the
PCB.

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Component Mounting
To fasten the components to the PCB their legs are soldered to the conductor pattern. On the
most basic PCBs (single-sided boards) the components are located on one side of the board
and the conductor pattern on the opposite side. This requires holes in the PCB for the
component legs to penetrate the board. Hence, the legs are soldered to the PCB on the
opposite side of where the components are mounted. The top and bottom side of a PCB is
therefore respectively referred to as the 'Component Side' and 'Solder Side.'
Component Sockets
If a component needs to be removable from the PCB after it is manufactured, it is mounted
on the board with the use of a Socket. The socket is soldered to the board while the
component can be inserted and taken out of the socket without the use of solder.

Edge Connector
To connect a PCB to another PCB an edge connector is often used. The edge connector
consists of small uncovered pads of copper located along one side of the PCB. These copper
pads are actually part of the conductor pattern on the PCB. The edge connector on one PCB
is inserted into a matching connector (often referred to as a Slot) on the other PCB. In a PC,
graphic cards, sound cards and other similar products are connected to the main board with
the use of edge connectors.

Solder Mask and Silk Screen


What gives the PCB its green or brown colour is the solder mask. This is an insulating and
protective coat that protects the thin copper wires and prevents solder from attaching outside
the connection points for the components. On top of this coloured mask a silk screen is
printed. This is text and symbols (often white) printed on the board to label the locations for
the different components that are to be mounted. The silk screen is also referred to as the
legend.

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Types Of PCBs
Single-Sided Boards
Most basic boards have the components mounted on one side of the board and the
conductor pattern on the opposite side. Since there only is a conductor pattern on one side,
this type of PCB is called 'Single-sided.' This type of board has severe limitations when it
comes to routing the wires in the conductor pattern (since there is only one side no wires can
cross, and they have to be routed around each other), it is only used in very primitive circuits.

Double-Sided Boards
These types of boards have a conductor pattern on both sides of the board. Having two
separate conductor patterns requires some kind of electrical connection between them. Such
electrical 'bridges' are called 'vias'. A via is simply a hole in the PCB that is filled or plated
with metal and touches the conductor pattern on both sides. Since the surface available for
the conductor pattern is twice as large compared to a single-side board, and that wires now
can cross (by routing them on opposite sides of the board), double sided PCBs are much
more suited for complex circuits than the single-sided.

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Multi-Layer Boards
To increase the area available for the wiring even more these boards have one or more
conductor pattern inside the board. This is achieved by gluing (laminating) several double-
sided boards together with insulating layers in between. The number of layers is referred to
as the number of separate conductor patterns. It is usually even and includes the two outer
layers. Most main boards have between 4 and 8 layers, but PCBs with almost 100 layers can
be made. Large super computers often contain boards with extremely many layers, but since
it is becoming more efficient to replace such computers with clusters of ordinary PCs, PCBs
with a very high layer count are less and less used. Since the layers in a PCB are laminated
together it is often difficult to actually tell how many there are, but if you inspect the side of
the board closely you might be able count them.

In multi-layer PCBs whole layers are almost always dedicated to Ground and Power. We
therefore classify the layers as Signal, Power or Ground planes. Sometimes there is more
than one of both Power and Ground planes, especially if the different components on the
PCB require different supply voltages.

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TECHNOLOGIES FOR COMPONENT PACKING


Through Hole Technology
The components that are mounted on one side on the board while its legs are soldered on
the opposite side are called 'Through Hole' (THT: Through Hole Technology). Such
components takes up a large amount of space and require one hole to be drilled in the PCB
for every leg. Hence, their legs occupy space on both sides of the board, and the connection
points for them are also fairly large. On the other hand, THT components are fairly good
mechanically connected to the PCB compared to Surface Mounted devices, which will be
discussed below. Connectors for cables and similar devises also have to withstand
mechanical stress and are usually THT.
Surface Mounted Technology
The legs of components that are made using 'Surface Mounted Technology' are soldered to
the conductor pattern on the same side of the PCB as the component is mounted. This
technology does therefore not require a hole in the PCB for every leg of the component.
Surface Mounted Components could even be mounted on both sides of the PCB directly
underneath each other.
SMT components are also much smaller than THT components. This makes PCBs with SMT
components much more dense compared to similar PCBs with THT components. Today SMT
components are also cheaper than THT components. It is therefore no surprise that most
components on main boards nowadays are SMT. Since the connection points and
component legs are so small it becomes very hard to solder on a SMT component manually.
Considering that machines do almost all assembly, this issue only becomes important when
repairs have to be done.
Printed Circuit Labels
The foil pattern takes various shapes, depending on the function of the circuit. Figure shows
an example of the shapes of circuit elements. Heat sinks are used to dissipate heat from
components and require large areas. Voltage and ground lines or planes to which
components are attached are long and slender in length and will follow a path so as to
provide power to all components on the board. Terminals or pads are the points that are
drilled with holes to accommodate the component leads. Conductors or runs are thin foil
strips between components. Edge connectors are part of the foil that connects the circuits of
the board to a special plug, which in turn connects to other boards to form a system.

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Base or Substrate Material


The base material of a printed circuit board, referred to as the substrate or laminate. It is an
Insulator & is typically made of phenolic paper, epoxy paper, and epoxy glass. The metal foil,
referred to as the cladding, is usually made of copper, but other types of metal may be used.
The substrate board is produced first and then the cladding is bonded to it.

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Photoresist
There are several methods for producing the conductive pattern on a printed circuit board.
The circuit pattern connecting the components must be placed on the copper foil. The pattern
may be drawn with a chemical, applied with special circuit tape, then produced by silk-
screening or photographic means. Photographic methods are normally employed where
many of the same types of board must be produced. Figure illustrates a general method for
producing a printed circuit board.

The copper side of the board must first be cleaned of the oxide layer with chemical cleaners
and then rinsed in water. A clear- to-amber-colored material that resembles and handles
similar to varnish or lacquer is then painted or sprayed on top of the copper. When exposed
to light of the proper wavelength, this material, called photoresist or simply resist, is
chemically changed in its solubility to certain solvents or developers. The next step is to
photo-expose the circuit pattern onto the board.
With a negative-acting resist the portions beneath the pattern that are not exposed to light
become hardened and are not soluble in the developing solution. Positive-acting resist is also
available, where the portion exposed to light will be soluble in solutions.
Etchant Solution
The exposed board is now placed into a solution called the etchant, which dissolves the
copper and resist exposed to light. The etchant solution used most often is ferric chloride
(FeCI3). This solution removes the exposed areas of the copper, leaving the substrate
material underneath. The copper under the hardened resist remains, producing the circuit
pattern. The board is then placed into a cleaning solution to remove any traces of resist that
may interfere with soldering.

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Finished Printed Circuit Board


The copper pattern surfaces are usually covered with a thin coating of solder (a tin-lead
composition) to reduce the effects of oxidation and improve the soldering process of
components. The finished printed circuit board is then dried and ready for assembly.

From circuit design to printed circuit board design depends largely on the complexity of the
circuit. It could be done manually or, for complex circuits, with CAD programs specifically for
printed circuit board track layout.

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TOPIC 4.3.1: SERVOMECHANISMS


Capacitance Transmitters
A capacitance transmitter has a rotor and stator of intermeshing plates which is shown in
Figure below. The relative position of the rotor and the stator plates determines the
capacitance value.

Therefore if you vary the plate area, you are varying the capacitance. The anode and cathode
of a capacitance transmitter is the rotor and stator. The amount of stator and rotor
intermeshing is controlled by the rotation of a shaft by a mechanical input. When the stator
and rotor plates are fully intermeshed the capacitance is high. When the stator and rotor
plates are partly meshed the capacitance is low.

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Inductance Transmitters
An inductive transmitter has a coil supplied with alternating current set against two vanes. A
portion of this voltage will be induced into the secondary coil depending on the inductance of
the vane next to the coils. The amount of inductance depends on the type of vane material
used. An example of an inductive transmitter is shown in Figure below.

A common inductive transmitter is made of aluminium and a ferrite material. The null position
is when the inductive coil is positioned on the join between the ferrite and the aluminium
vanes. A displacement of the inductor from the join either increases or decreases the
inductance.
In the centre position you can see that the coil is centered over the join between the
aluminium and the ferrite vanes. If the vane is moved so that more of the aluminium vane is
beside the coils, less inductance results due to the vane's properties.

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E and I Bar Transformer


This device is so called by the shapes of the components. The transformer coils are wound
on the legs of the E core with the primary on the centre core and the secondaries on the outer
cores.

The I bar may be pivoted at the centre. It is generally actuated by linear devices, although it
can be adapted to limited circular movement. When it is moved toward one end, the reduced
air gap will create a stronger magnetic linkage with that end, giving an output signal relative
to the end in contact. The amplitude of the error signal will depend on the amount of rotation
of the I bar.

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E and I Bar Acceleration Sensor


An application of the E and I bar is in an acceleration and side slip sensor. When an aircraft
maintains an attitude change which is less than one which can be sensed by the gyros, an
acceleration sensor can provide an output in a direct relationship to the attitude change.

An I bar, suspended on springs in the sensing axes, is able to sense acceleration in that
plane. Under constant velocity, the I bar will maintain its position giving a zero output from the
secondary. If acceleration or deceleration forces are detected, the I bar will be displaced as a
function of the acceleration forces acting upon it. This will induce an EMF in the secondary in
the way we have already described. This EMF will be a signal, which will carry details of the
displacement. After application to an amplifier, it will provide power to the relevant
servomotor to correct for the change of attitude.

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Linear Variable Differential Transformer LVDT


The LVDT has one primary and two secondary windings. The two secondary windings are
connected so that the voltages induced in each coil are in opposition. The LVDT has a
magnetic core (also called an armature) that is positioned by a linear motion. When the
armature is in the central position, the secondary windings have an equal voltage induced in
each coil. The LVDT output is sum of both coils. As the coils are wired in opposition, one coil
will be in phase with the primary voltage and the other coil will be 180 degrees out of phase.
With the voltage in each coil being equal. the result is that they cancel each other out, giving
an output of zero. This is shown in Figure below.

With the two coils in opposition, the smaller voltage is cancelled out leaving the residual of
the higher voltage. The phase would be that of the higher voltage. If the armature is moved
the same amount in the opposite direction the output voltage would be the same magnitude,
however the phase of the output would be opposite. Therefore the direction of the armature
movement detem1ines the phase of the output and the amount of movement determines the
magnitude of the output.

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SYNCHROS
Purpose
The use of synchros in position sensing and data transmission, is very common in aircraft,
especially in automatic pilot systems. It is a fast accurate method of transmission and control,
and provides an accuracy of approximately 0.5%. The synchro is essentially a rotary
transformer whose secondary output voltage depends upon the primary input voltage, and
upon the position of the rotor. The simplest system consists of two synchros connected
together electrically, one is called a transmitter, the other a receiver. The purpose of the
receiver is to take up the same position as the transmitter.
Null point
If the transmitter and receiver rotor position are identical the rotor fields produced are
identical both in magnitude and direction. The voltages induced in the corresponding stator
coils will be equal in both magnitude and phase, and zero current will flow through the stator
coils. No current flow, no stator field produced, no torque developed, null point.
Torque synchro system
To convert a mechanical movement into electrical signals and then transmit the signals to
another location, a system of torque syncros is used. The system consists of two items, a
torque transmitter (TX) and a torque receiver (TR). Both items are similar except that the
receiver will contain some form of damping to prevent oscillations in the rotor. The markings
on the terminals are the same for both, S for stator R for rotor and the symbols used in
electrical drawings are the same for both. Sometimes the word indicator is used instead of
torque receiver.

A circuit will be created if the three stator windings of a TX synchro are connected to the
same connections of a TR synchro. When a voltage is applied to the TX rotor, the magnetic
field generated by the current in the rotor, will induce a voltage in each of the stator windings
by transformer action. The current flowing in the three windings will create three magnetic
fields which will combine to produce one field. The TR rotor and the TX rotor are now
connected in parallel, creating magnetic fields in both rotors which are in phase, therefore
their fields will always be in the same direction. If the TX rotor is turned 30 degrees clockwise,
the stator field of the TR will follow it and move 30 degrees away from its rotor field. The two
magnetic fields in the TR will be out of line, and an attraction will exist between the two. This
will cause the TR rotor to turn and bring the two fields into line

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Symbols
Synchro transmitters and receivers are virtually the same, and so the schematic symbols for
them are the same. Figure shows three examples of the way in which synchros are drawn,
(a) is the most commonly used, (b) is usually used when the operation is explained, and (c) is
usually on wiring diagrams.

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Differential transmitter (TDX)


A torque differential synchro can be used to transmit either:
an electrical signal which is the sum or the difference of two inputs, one mechanical, the
other electrical
a mechanical signal which is either the sum or the difference of electrical inputs from two
synchro transmitters
a corrective signal to compensate for errors in various parts of a system.

This means that they can be either a transmitter TDX or a torque receiver TDR.The principle
of operation is the same as the torque transmitter, however the rotor is designed with three
separate windings which are placed electrically 120 degrees apart. In this case the stator
acts as the primary of the transformer, and the rotor the secondary.

Figure shows a three component synchro system, it consists of a torque transmitter, a


differential synchro, and a torque receiver. The stator leads of the torque transmitter are
connected to the stator leads of the differential synchro. The rotor leads of the differential
synchro are connected to the stator leads of the torque receiver.
The differential synchro is not directly connected to the AC supply
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Differential transmitter (TDX) Symbols

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Control Synchro Systems


It should be clear to you from our discussion of torque synchro systems that, since they
produce a relatively small mechanical output, they are suitable only for very light loads. Even
when the torque system is moderately loaded, it is never entirely accurate because the
receiver rotor requires a slight amount of torque to overcome its static friction.
When large amounts of power and a higher degree of accuracy are required, as in the
movement of heavy radar antennas and gun turrets, torque synchro systems give way to the
use of CONTROL SYNCHROS. Control synchros by themselves cannot move heavy loads.
However, they are used to "control" servo systems, which in turn do the actual movement.
Servo systems are covered in depth in the next chapter in this module.

There are three types of control synchros: the CONTROL TRANSMITTER (CX), the
CONTROL TRANSFORMER (CT), and the CONTROL DIFFERENTIAL TRANSMITTER
(CDX). The control transmitter (CX) and the control differential transmitter (CDX) are identical
to the TX and the TDX we discussed previously except for higher impedance windings in the
CX and CDX. The higher impedance windings are necessary because control systems are
based on having an internal voltage provide an output voltage to drive a large load. Torque
systems, on the other hand, are based on having an internal current provide the driving
torque needed to position an indicator.
Since we discussed the theory and operation of the TX and the TDX earlier, we will not
discuss their counterparts, the CX and CDX. However, we will cover the third control synchro,
the CT, in depth during this discussion.
In the previously described torque transmission system, the output element exerts a torque
which tends to align its rotor with the angular position of the input shaft. When positioning
heavy loads, for example a radar antenna, the torque synchro is inadequate, and a system
which provides an output in the form of an electrical signal is used.
This signal is then passed to an amplifier whose output can control a motor capable of
producing the correct amount of torque. The synchro system is still used, but the normal
synchro receiver is replaced by a unit called a control transformer, which takes the signal
from the transmitter and turns it into a control voltage.

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Synchro control transmitter (CX)


The synchro control transmitter, like the torque transmitter is wound with a three phase output
winding in the stator and a moveable rotor winding. When an AC voltage is applied to the
rotor winding a voltage will be induced into the stator winding, the phase and value being
dependant on the rotor position.

The stator of the control transformer is very similar to stators of other synchros, with one
exception. The windings of the control transformer's stator are made up of many more turns
of finer wire. The object of the increased number of turns is to make the impedance of the
stator high. This limits the flow of current through the stator increasing the accuracy of the
synchro.

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Synchro control transformer (CT)


In Torque synchro system, TX/TR rotors are connected to same AC source.
In Control synchro systems, ONLY the rotor of CX is connected to AC supply.
CT rotor is the secondary, and provides an output to an amplifier for control.

Figure shows the circuit of a synchro control transmitter (CX) connected to a synchro control
transformer (CT). The rotor of both units are at electrical zero. The axis of the transmitter
rotor winding is aligned with the axis of S2 winding of its stator, the control transformer rotor
winding is at right angles to the axis of the S2 stator winding. In this situation the magnetic
field created by the current in the transmitter rotor winding gives rise to magnetic fields in the
two stators, the axis of these fields being in line with the axis of the S2 winding of each stator.
Rotating the transmitter rotor in either direction from the electrical zero position will produce a
corresponding angular movement of the axis of the magnetic field of both stators. The axis of
the transformer rotor winding and the axis of the transformer stator magnetic field are no
longer at right angles to each other. The flux of the stator field begins to induce an EMF
within the turns of the rotor winding.

The magnetic field of the stator induces an EMF in the rotor winding, the amplitude of which
will increase as the transmitter rotor is moved further away from the electrical zero position.
When the transmitter rotor has traveled through 90 degrees from electrical zero, the axis of
the transformer rotor winding and the axis of the transformer stator field are parallel. At this
point maximum flux transfer is achieved and so maximum EMF is induced in the rotor
winding

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Control Synchro System Operation

A control synchro system consisting of a control transmitter and a control transformer is


illustrated in figure. The stator windings of the CX are connected to the stator windings of the
CT and both synchros are shown on 0. Notice, that at 0, the CT rotor is perpendicular to its
S2 winding. This is contrary to what we have learned so far about synchros, but it is just
another peculiarity of the CT. When the rotor of the CX is on 0, the rotor's magnetic field
points straight up as shown (the black arrow).
The voltages induced in the CX stator windings, as a result of this field, are impressed on the
CT stator windings through the three leads connecting the S1, S2, and S3 terminals. Exciting
currents proportional to these voltages flow in the CT stator windings and establish a
magnetic field in the CT in the same direction (white arrow) as the magnetic field (black
arrow) in the CX. Observe that the rotor of the CT is perpendicular to the stator magnetic field
and, therefore, the induced voltage in the rotor is zero, as indicated by the straight line on the
oscilloscope presentation.

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When the CT rotor is rotated 90, as shown in figure above, the rotor is parallel to the
resultant stator field Maximum magnetic coupling occurs between the rotor and stator fields
at this point. As a result of this coupling, the stator windings induce a maximum into the rotor
winding.

The phase of this voltage depends upon the direction in which the CT rotor is turned. The
rotor of the CT is wound so that clockwise rotation of the stator magnetic field induces a
voltage across the rotor which is proportional to the amount of rotation and in phase with the
ac supply voltage. Counterclockwise rotation of the stator magnetic field produces a voltage
that is still proportional to the amount of rotation, but 180 out of phase with the supply
voltage.
Keep in mind that the clockwise rotation of the CT stator magnetic field is the same as the
counterclockwise rotation of the CT rotor.
When the rotor of the CX in view A of figure is turned 60 clockwise, the magnetic field in the
CX (black arrow) and the magnetic field in the CT (white arrow) also rotate 60 clockwise.
This action induces a voltage in the CT rotor that is in phase with the ac supply, as indicated
by the oscilloscope presentation.

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If the rotor of the CX in view B is turned 60 in a counterclockwise direction from its 0


position, the magnetic field (white arrow) in the CT also rotates counterclockwise through the
same number of degrees as the CX. Since the magnetic field in the stator of the CT cuts
through the rotor in the opposite direction, the induced voltage in the rotor is now out of
phase with the ac supply to the CX, as shown in the oscilloscope presentation.

At times it is necessary, because the CT is used to control servo systems, to have the CT
output reduced to zero volts to prevent any further movement of a load. To accomplish this, it
is necessary to turn the rotor of the CT through the same number of degrees and in the same
direction as the rotor of the CX. This places the CT rotor perpendicular to its own stator field
and reduces its output to zero volts as illustrated in view C.

The CT output voltage discussed throughout this section is commonly referred to as an


ERROR SIGNAL. This is because the voltage represents the amount and direction that the
CX and CT rotors are out of correspondence. It is this error signal that eventually is used in
moving the load in a typical servo system.

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Now that we have covered the basic operation of the control synchro system, let us see how
this system works with a servo system to move heavy equipment. Figure shows a block
diagram of a typical servo system that uses a control synchro system.

Assume the shaft of the CX in this system is turned by some mechanical input. This causes
an error signal to be generated by the CT because the CX and the CT rotors are now out of
correspondence. The error signal is amplified by the servoamplifier and applied to the
servomotor. The servomotor turns the load, and through a mechanical linkage called
RESPONSE, also turns the rotor of the CT. The servomotor turns the rotor of the CT so that it
is once again in correspondence with the rotor of the CX, the error signal drops to zero volts,
and the system comes to a stop

The output from CT rotor is sent to the servo amplifier and a signal from that drives the motor.
The motor drives a load. Simultaneously, via mechanical feedback, the CT rotor is rotated
and will be rotated until the amp no longer drives the motor. This occurs when both the CX
and CT rotors are in correspondence. (that is 90 degrees apart)

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Control Transformer Symbols

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Resolver Synchro
Resolvers resemble small rotors and are essentially rotary transformers designed so the
coefficient of coupling between rotor and stator varies with the shaft angle. Fixed windings
are placed on a laminated iron stack to form the stator, and movable windings are placed on
a laminated iron stack to form the rotor. Usually resolvers have a pair of windings on a rotor
and a second pair on the stator, positioned at right angles to each other. When a rotor
winding is excited with an ac reference signal, stator windings produce ac voltage outputs
that vary in amplitude according to the sine and cosine of shaft position.

A resolver is a device that uses known facts (angles, distances etc.) in the form of
representative voltages, to obtain an answer that is also in the form of electrical voltages.
Synchro resolvers are generally employed in analogue computers and modem electronic
navigation systems as co-ordinate converters. That is, they are used to convert known polar
co-ordinates to Cartesian co- ordinates, or vice versa.
Connection to the rotor is made by the brushes and slip rings, or inductive coupling.
Resolvers using the inductive method are referred to as brushless types. The inductive
(brushless) resolvers offer up to 10 times the life of brush types and are insensitive to
vibration and dirt, therefore they are used in the majority of industrial applications.
The stator signals from a resolver are routed to a specialized type of analog-to-digital
converter system known as a resolver-to-digital (R/D) converter. Commercially available
models include both tracking and multiplexed types.

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Conversion from polar to cartesian coordinates


When converting polar to cartesian coordinates, the known facts are the polar coordinates
which is the known distance r and the angle q, which is the angle between the induced
voltage and the mechanical axis of the rotor field to which the voltage is applied. The required
facts are cartesian coordinates X and Y, which give the location of point P.

A voltage proportional to the known distance r is applied to one rotor winding, which will
produce a magnetic field in the rotor with its axis in line with the mechanical axis of the
winding. This field will induce voltages into the stator windings.
In the Figure above the winding S1/S2 will have a maximum induced voltage because it is
parallel to the rotor field, but S3/S4 will have zero voltage induced because it is 90 degrees to
the rotor field. If the rotor is turned at a constant speed, the voltage across S1/S2 will fall to
zero after the rotor has turned 90 degrees. The voltage is in phase with the voltage applied to
R1 to R2 during the first 90 degrees of displacement, and anti-phase from 90 degrees to 270
degrees, and then back to in-phase from 270 degrees to 360 degrees. It is the measure of
the cosine of the displacement. At electrical zero, the windings S3/S4 will have zero voltage
induced, but at 90 degrees displacement of rotor winding R1/R2 maximum in phase voltage
will be induced and will vary sinusoidally throughout 360 degrees. The S3/S4 voltage is
directly proportional to the sine of the rotor displacement.

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The phase depends on the angle of displacement of the rotor, the angle being identified by
the amplitude and phase of the voltages in the stator winding S3/S4. The sum of the outputs
from both stators gives the input voltage and rotor movement in cartesian coordinates.
In the Figure below, the voltmeters are converted to give an instantaneous reading of
cartesian coordinates X and Y, in miles. This reading will be:
the known distance r X cosine of angle q = VX
the known distance r X sine of angle q = VY.

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Resolver Use - Lift Compensation for Bank Angle


The figure below shows a common way of developing the required lift compensation voltage.
When the wings are in the level position the sine winding signal is null and the cosine winding
signal, of the resolver, is maximum. The calibrated voltage fed into the summing point is a
voltage equal but opposite in phase to the maximum output of the cosine winding. When the
wings are level, the output of the summing point is a null, since no compensation is required
when the wings are level.
When the aircraft is in a 30 degree bank as depicted and the resolver rotor has rotated
through 30 degrees also. The voltage of the cosine winding has been diminished, so now the
calibrated voltage predominates, producing output from the summing point. The amplitude of
that voltage from the summing point is mathematically the versine of the bank angle, since it
represents one minus the cosine. This voltage becomes an input to the pitch channel to raise
the elevators the required amount to compensate for the loss of lift.

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Resolver Schematic Symbols

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Open Loop Control


Open loop control is one where the control action is independent of the output. The open loop
control does not self-correct when the PV (Process Variable) drifts , and this may result in
large deviations from the optimum value of the PV.Full manual control. NO system feedback.

An open loop control system does not use a comparison of the actual result and the desired
result to determine the control action. The primary advantage of open loop control is that it is
simpler to implement and less expensive than closed loop control. The disadvantage of open
loop control is that errors caused by unexpected disturbances are not corrected. This error
may be corrected by the intervention of a human operator.
Closed Loop Control
Closed loop control differs from open loop control in that feedback is added to the system.
Feedback consists of measuring the difference between the actual result and the desired
result. By using the difference, the closed loop control system will drive the actual result
toward the desired result.
The advantage of a closed loop control system is that it gives more accurate control over the
process.

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SERVOMECHANISM
Many of the closed loop control systems in aircraft require more power than is available from
command or error detector sources. Amplification of the error signal is then necessary.
Closed loop control systems in which an error corrector positions something in response to
an amplified error signal are known as servomechanisms.
Automatic device for the control of a large power output by means of a small power input or
for maintaining correct operating conditions in a mechanism. It is a type of feedback control
system. The constant speed control system of a DC motor is a servomechanism that
monitors any variations in the motor's speed so that it can quickly and automatically return
the speed to its correct value. Servomechanisms are also used for the control systems of
guided missiles, aircraft, and manufacturing machinery.
Typical Servomechanism System
For the following discussion of a servo system, refer to figure, view (A), view (B), view (C)
and view (D). This closed-loop servo system is the most common type in use today. It is
normally made up of electromechanical parts and consists basically of a synchro-control
system, servo amplifier, servo motor, and some form of feedback (response).
The synchro-control system provides a means of controlling the movement of the load, which
may be located in a remote space. The servo amplifier and servo motor are the parts of the
system in which power is actually developed (to move the load).
As you remember, the controlling signal from a CT is relatively weak, too weak to drive an
electric motor directly. In views A through D, assume that the control signal will be initiated by
hand to the synchro transmitter (CX). The dials located on the CX and the CT indicate the
positions of the synchro's rotors, while the dial on the load indicates the position of the load.
In view A, the dials of both the CX and the load indicate that the load is in the desired
position. Because the load is where it should be, there will be no error signal present at the
servo amplifier and no power to the servo motor.

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In view B, the rotor of the CX has been moved by hand to 90. (This indicates that it is
ordered to move the load by 90.) Notice that the rotor of the CT is still at 0. The CT now
develops a signal, called the ERROR SIGNAL, which is proportional in amplitude to the
amount the CT rotor is out of correspondence with the CX rotor. The phase of the error signal
indicates the direction the CT rotor must move to reduce the error signal to zero or to "null
out." The error signal is sent to the servo amplifier.

In view C, the error signal has been amplified by the servo amplifier and sent on to the servo
motor. The motor starts to drive in the direction that will reduce the error signal and bring the
CT rotor back to the point of correspondence. In this case the motor is turning clockwise. The
mechanical linkage attached to the servo motor also moves the rotor of the CT. This
feedback causes the amplitude of the error signal to decrease, slowing the speed at which
the load is moving.

In view D, the servo motor has driven both the load and the rotor of the CT, so that the CT is
now in correspondence with the CX rotor. As a result, the error signal is reduced to zero
(nulled). The load stops at its new position. Note that in this servo system, we moved a heavy
load to a predetermined position through the simple turning of a handcrank. In responding to
the handcrank, the servo system performed a basic positioning function.
The original error (movement of the CX rotor) was "detected" by the CT. For this reason the
CT is called an ERROR DETECTOR. The servo motor, in addition to moving the load, also
provides mechanical feedback to the CT to reduce the error signal. For this reason the servo
motor is also called an ERROR REDUCER.

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Feedback
The dictionary definition for feedback is The return of part of the output of any system, as
input, for correction or control purposes.
EMD is the error measuring device.
Summing point
Most modern systems will have a summing point. Here the output from the EMD, damping
and other feedback signals are summed, and the output is then supplied to the amplifier
Servo device
A power driving device usually electric, hydraulic or pneumatic, which can produce motion or
forces at a higher level of energy than the input level and be used to move a heavy part of the
aircraft structure.

Position feedback
A signal sent from the output of the servo or the moveable component, back to the amplifier
which will oppose the error signal to halt the movement of the servo at the required position.
Rate feedback
A signal proportional to the speed of the servo motor, which is summed at the summing point
and modifies the command error signal to control the rate at which the servo drives.
Acceleration feedback
A signal proportional to the rate of acceleration of the servo, which is summed at the
summing point and reduces the command error signal to control the rate at which the servo
can accelerate the load, reducing stress of mechanical components and the tendency to
overshoot.

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Follow Up
The feedback common to most servomechanisms is position feedback which is also known
as follow-up. Essential to all closed loop control systems is an action called follow-up. This is
the feeding back of what is happening at the output of the system for comparison with what
the command input wants the system to do. Whenever an output differs from what the
command input wants, a closed loop control system takes or maintains an action to reduce
the difference to zero.

In the figure, the permanent magnet motor can rotate in either direction depending on the
polarity applied to its A and B terminals. The bridge circuit controls the polarity and
magnitude of voltage applied to the motor dependant on the relative position of the two wiper
arms in the 2 potentiometer transmitters. The LH is the command transmitter and the RH is
the follow-up transmitter. The bridge circuit formed by the 2 transmitters is the error
detector and the motor with its reduction gearbox is the error corrector.
The basic operation of a simple electro-mechanical follow-up system is as follows:
Initially when input equals output, there is no motor movement. System at null.
When command transmitter is moved (eg. Power lever internal potentiometer)
Error detector (always comparing input to output) detects a difference and
applies an applicable voltage to motor. Polarity dependant on which way
command transmitter is adjusted, and Voltage dependant on how large the
difference (between input and output) is. The greater the difference , the
higher the voltage.
As the error corrector (motor with reduction gearbox) moves, the follow-up
transmitter moves with it as it is mechanically connected to error corrector
output.
The closer the output gets to where it should be (by command transmitter), the
smaller and smaller is the voltage to the motor.
When both input and output are equal motor no longer turns as no voltage
(potential difference is present)

Note that the motor (error corrector) does not respond directly to the command transmitter
voltage, but to the difference between the command and follow-up transmitters.

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Displacement and Rate Controls


The servomechanisms discussed so far are positioning systems in which the displacement or
movement at the output is proportional to the displacement or movement at the input. These
are displacement/displacement systems.
Other systems may require that the rate of change at the output be proportional to the rate of
change at the input. These are rate/rate systems.
There are also rate/displacement systems that have an amount of displacement at the output
proportional to the rate of change at the input, and displacement/rate systems that have a
rate of change at the output proportional to the amount of displacement at the input.
A common arrangement on aircraft is to have both displacement and rate control of a system.
Such a system has displacement feedback (follow-up), plus rate feedback. The rate feedback
is proportional to the velocity at the output, and it opposes the error signal. Its purpose is to
eliminate overshoot by reducing output velocity when the system is close to null.
Error Detection Systems
Servo mechanism systems are used for the measurement and/or control of such aircraft
systems as cabin temperatures, fluid pressures, fuel flow rates, radar antenna positions and
many more. In its simplest form, the detector monitors two positions or two voltages, one of
which is usually a control and the other variable. The output is either the sum or difference of
the two measured positions and becomes the error signal which can be applied to an
amplifier, creating an output signal to drive a servo of some type.

This error signal can be applied to an amplifier, creating an output signal to drive a servo of
some type.
The error detecting devices can take many forms, among them being:
differential transformers
inductive transducers
capacitive transducers

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Analogue Transducers
Closed loop control systems must include the means to measure the variables being
monitored or controlled in the system. These variables are many in number and might include
one or more of the following types:
Force
Level
Pressure
Flow rate
Temperature
Velocity
Displacement
They are analogue devices in that their outputs in terms such as voltage, current, frequency,
pressure etc., are varying indications of the conditions they represent such as mechanical
displacement, volume, weight, speed, flow, temperature, pressure etc. Devices capable of
translating physical variables into an equivalent electrical variable are called electrical
transducers, or for ease just transducers. Most transducers are of the passive variety,
requiring an external source of electrical excitation for their operation. Active transducer
develop an output without external excitation. The thermocouple is such a device and is used
for temperature measurement. Most transducers are inherently analogue in nature.
Commonly used analogue signals used in industry are:
4 20 mA
0 10 volt

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AC servomechanism operation
When the load is in the required position, there will be zero voltage induced into the windings
of the control transformer CT. The position of the rotor of the control transmitter CX is at 90
degrees to the rotor of CT by moving the mechanical input to a new setting, the rotor of CX
will also move inducing a voltage into the rotor of CT. This signal will now be fed to the
amplifier, where it will be amplified and then sent to the servomotor to not only turn the load
but also turn the rotor of CT until it is again at 90 degrees to the rotor of CX. Now the rotor of
CT will have no voltage induced into its windings, and the drive to the servo motor will be
zero and the load will be in the new position.
The output from the rate generator is used to achieve velocity feedback and is antiphase to
the error signal from the CT rotor windings. The voltage required from the rate generator to
achieve the required damping is set by RI and sent to the amplifier. Figure shows the circuit
of an AC servomechanism which uses a control transformer as the error detecting device.

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