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Introduction to Electronics

What is Electronics?
Electronics is the study of the flow of charge (electron )
through various materials and devices such as
semiconductors, resistors, inductors, capacitors,
nanostructure etc. All applications of electronics involve
the transmission of power and possibly information.
A branch of engineering that deals with the design and
practical applications of machinery and equipments for
efficient communication.
Electronics is the science of controlling electrical
energy electrically. The science of electronics is
considered to be a branch of physics. The study of
semiconductor devices and related technology is
considered a branch of solid-state physics, whereas the
design and construction of electronic circuits to solve
practical problems come under electronics engineering.
Electronics is the branch of science that deals with the
study of flow and control of electrons (electricity) and the
study of their behavior and effects in vacuums, gases, and
semiconductors, and with devices using such electrons.
This control of electrons is accomplished by devices that
resist, carry, select, steer, switch, store, manipulate, and
exploit the electron.
The word electronics is derived from electron mechanics,
which means to study the behavior of an electron under
different conditions of applied electric field.
Study of electronic devices and technologies.
Examples: Mobiles/TVs/DVDs, Computers/Laptops, Home
Security Systems, Intelligence Systems
Some of the present and emerging Technologies are:
Information processing, Telecommunication, Signal
processing, Wireless Communication, Satellite
Communication, Internet Communication, Microwave
Communication, Nanotechnology, Embedded Systems,
Display Techniques, Robotics, Radar, Remote Sensing,
Advanced Processing, Automation, PLCC, Lighting
Other Specialized Electronics fields
Mechatronics, Bio Medical Instrumentation, Agrionics,
Advanced Materials & Sensors, Computational
Instrumentation, Instruments Design, PLC, Electro Optics,
Scientific Instruments, Metrology, Coal Mineral Extraction,
Weather Monitoring, Design, Development & Fabrication
Some of Govt. Sector Electronics Labs/Companies
CSIR-42 Labs, CSIO- Chandigarh, CEERI- Pilani, DRDO,
BSNL, BEL, BHEL, C-DAC, ISRO, DOORDARSHAN, IITs,
Pollution Control Boards
Some of Private Sector Electronics Companies
Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Phillips, Toshiba, Videocon,
Onida, LG Electronics, Hitachi, Wipro, Sanyo
Important Fact: Without Electronics knowledge, No
Engineering wing can work, whether it is Chemical,
Electrical, Mechanical, Computer, Civil, Aeronautical,
Automobile Sector etc.
What Is Electricity?
Electricity, a form of energy, occurs from the flow of
electrons, or negatively charged particles. The number of
electrons in an atom usually equals the number of protons,
or positively charged particles. When this balance is upset,
such as when two distinct surfaces are rubbed together,
an atom may gain or lose an electron. The resulting free
movement of a "lost" electron is what creates an electric
current.

Signal
Signal can be defined as a physical quantity, which
contains some information. It is a function of one or more
than one independent variables. Signals are of two types.
 Analog Signal
 Digital Signal
Analog Signal
An analog signal is defined as the signal having
continuous values. Analog signal can have infinite number
of different values. In real world scenario, most of the
things observed in nature are analog. Examples of the
analog signals are following.
 Temperature
 Pressure
 Distance
 Sound
 Voltage
 Current
 Power
Graphical representation of Analog Signal (Temperature)

The circuits that process the analog signals are called as


analog circuits or system. Examples of the analog system
are following.
 Filter
 Amplifiers
 Television receiver
 motor speed controller

Introduction to Passive components


Passive components can be used to process signals with
regard to amplitude and frequency response. They cannot
amplify the power of a signal.
Which does not have any internal capacity to change
energy format from one form to another?
Resistors, Capacitor, Inductor are examples of Passive
components
Active Components which have internal capacity to
change energy format from one form to another hence
require an external source, whose operation can be
controlled.
Diodes, Transistor, Integrated Circuits (IC) are examples
of active components
Introduction to Resistors
Resistors are passive electronic components designed
specifically to provide resistance.
Opposition to the flow of current is termed resistance.
The practical unit of resistance is the ohm designated by
the Greek letter omega: Ω
The amount of current in a circuit is dependent on its
resistance and the applied voltage.
A component that follows that V = R x I (OHM’s LAW)
Current is directly Proportional to Voltage for a
Constant Resistance.
Current is inversely Proportional to Resistance for a
Constant Voltage.

Resistors are the most commonly used component in


electronics and their purpose is to create specified values
of current and voltage in a circuit.
Resistance means opposition to the flow of electrons
through a conductor.
All materials exhibit some resistance, even the best of
conductors.
Two parameters associated with resistors are resistance
value in OHMS and power handling capabilities in WATTS
The symbol for a resistor

The unit for measuring resistance is the OHM.


Higher resistance values are represented by “k” (kilo-
ohms) and M (meg ohms).
Resistor Markings

Resistance value is marked on the resistor body. Most


resistors have 4 bands. The first two bands provide the
numbers for the resistance and the third band provides the
number of zeros. The fourth band indicates the tolerance.
Tolerance values of 5%, 2%, and 1% are most commonly
available.
The following table shows the colors used to identify
resistor values:

COLOR DIGIT MULTIPLIER TOLERANCE


Black 0 x1W
Brown 1 x 10 W ±1%
Red 2 x 100 W ±2%
Orange 3 x 1 kW
Yellow 4 x 10 kW
Green 5 x 100 kW ±0.5%
Blue 6 x 1 MW ±0.25%
Violet 7 x 10 MW ±0.1%
Grey 8 x 100 MW
White 9 x 1 GW
Gold x 0.1 W ±5%

Silver x 0.01 W ±10%


RESISTORS LESS THAN 10 OHMS
When the third band is gold, it indicates the value of the
“colors” must be divided by 10.
When the third band is silver, it indicates the value of the
“colors” must be divided by 100.
The letters “R, k and M” take the place of a decimal point.
The letter “E” is also used to indicate the word “ohm.”
e.g: 1R0 = 1 ohm 2R2 = 2 point 2 ohms 22R = 22
ohms
2k2 = 2,200 ohms 100k = 100,000 ohms
2M2 = 2,200,000 ohms
Common resistors have 4 bands. First two bands indicate
the first two digits of the resistance, third band is the
multiplier (number of zeros that are to be added to the
number derived from first two bands) and fourth
represents the tolerance.
Resistor Dissipation
If the flow of current through a resistor increases, it heats
up, and if the temperature exceeds a certain critical value,
it can be damaged. The wattage rating of a resistor is the
power it can dissipate over a long period of time.
Wattage rating is not identified on small resistors.
Most commonly used resistors in electronic circuits have a
wattage rating of 1/2W or 1/4W. There are smaller
resistors (1/8W and 1/16W) and higher (1W, 2W, 5W, etc).

Types of Resistor
1) FIXED: The fixed resistances are those whose values
cannot be changed. Fixed types of resistor are Color Code
Resistor, Wire Wound Resistor and Fusable Resistor etc.
2) VARIABLE: Value of the resistance can be changed
within specific range. Types of variable resistor are
Trimmer, Sliding Potentiometer, Rotatory Potentiometer,
Preset, Cermat, Trimpot, Rheostat etc.
Nonlinear resistors
We know that, nonlinear resistors are those resistors,
where the current flowing through it does not change
according to Ohm’s Law but, changes with change in
temperature or applied voltage.
In addition, if the flowing current through a resistor
changes with change in body temperature, then these
kinds of resistors are called Thermisters. If the flowing
current through a resistor change with the applied
voltages, then it is called a Varistors or VDR (Voltage
Dependent Resistors).
Following are the dependent types of Non Linear
Resistors.
1. Thermisters or Temperature dependent Resistors
2. Varisters (VDR) or Voltage dependent Resistors
3. Photo Resistor or Photo Conductive Cell or LDR or
Light dependent Resistors
4. Magneto resistor
5. Humistor or resistive humidity sensors or humidity
sensitive resistors.
6. Force sensitive resistors or force sensors, pressure
sensor, force-sensing resistors, or FSR.
There are several types of nonlinear resistors, but the
most commonly used include : NTC resistors (Negative
Temperature Co-efficient) – their resistance lowers with
temperature rise. PTC resistors (Positive Temperature
Co-efficient) – their resistance increases with the
temperature rise. LDR resistors (Light Dependent
Resistors) – their resistance lowers with the increase in
light. VDR resistors (Voltage dependent Resistors) – their
resistance critically lowers as the voltage exceeds a
certain value. The resistance of the magneto resistor
changes when the magnetic field is applied to it . The
resistance of the humistor changes with the slight change
in the humidity of the surrounding air
Uses / Application of Resistors
Resistors are used:
I. For Current control and limiting
II. To change electrical energy in the form of heat energy
III. As a shunt in Ampere meters
IV. As a multiplier in a Voltmeter
V. To control temperature
VI. To control voltage or Drop
VII. For protection purposes, e.g. Fusible Resistors
VIII. In laboratories
IX. In home electrical appliances like heater, iron,
immersion rod etc.
X. Widely used in the electronics: Voltage divider Circuit,
Feed back Circuit, Phase shift circuit, Biasing Circuits,
timer circuit, Attenuators, Power supply section etc.
Introduction to Capacitors
The capacitor is a passive element that stores energy in
an electric field. A capacitor is a component that stores
electricity and then discharges it into the circuit when there
is a drop in electricity.
Current-voltage relationship

Note that for DC (constant in time) signals ( dv/dt =0 ) the


capacitor acts as an open circuit (i=0).
Capacitors are passive electrical components to store
electric energy. In the past they were referred to as
condenser.
Symbol for fixed:

Symbol for Variable:

A capacitor is made from electrical conductors that are


separated by an insulator. The insulating layer is called a
dielectric. Although all capacitors share the same basic
principle components, the material choice and
configuration can vary widely. They are common elements
in electrical circuits. A few examples are to allow only AC
current and block DC current, or to smooth a power supply
output.
A capacitor is able to store energy in an electrostatic field
that is generated by a potential difference across the
conductors. So when a conductor is subject to a voltage,
one plate of the capacitor will collect positive charge while
the other will be negatively charged. The ratio of this
electric charge and the potential difference (voltage) is
called the capacitance in farads. This is the main
parameter to describe a capacitor.
The current going through a capacitor and the voltage
across the capacitor are 90 degrees out of phase. It is said
that the current leads the voltage by 90 degrees.
Capacitors are used to lag the voltage by 90 degrees
compared to the current, in the time domain. Alternatively,
it can be said that the capacitor current leads capacitor
voltage by 90 degrees, so the phase difference is 900

There is a simple technique to remember this voltage,


current relationship, without any confusion. That technique
is C I V I L
The first 3 letters C I V represents that, in a capacitor, I
(current) leads V (voltage).
The last 3 letters V I L represents that, in an inductor, V
(voltage) leads I (current).
The main property of a capacitor is that the voltage ‘on’ it
(i.e. the potential difference between its leads) is
proportional to the charge it has stored.
Electric capacitance is the ability of a capacitor to
accumulate charge. The capacitance value of a capacitor
is obtained by using the formula:
C=Q / V
A capacitor has two plates. Q = CV calculates the amount
of charge on each plate of a capacitor. Since both plates
of a capacitor always have equal and opposite charges,
they cancel each other and the net charge stored in a
capacitor is zero. (+Q -Q = 0). The charge in the capacitor
is proportional to the voltage, the constant of
proportionality or the Capacitance is expressed in units of
farads (F)
Also Capacitance is expressed by
C = €A/d
where A is the area of the plates, d, is their spacing, and
€ is the dielectric constant of the material
Since Charge= current×time so Q=IT
so capacitance can be expressed by C=IT/V
A capacitor stores energy in the form of an electric field
In DC the capacitor acts as an open circuit
The capacitance C represents the efficiency of storing
charge.
The unit of capacitance is the Farad (F).
1 Farad=1Coulomb/1Volt
If we take the ratio of the peak voltage to the peak current
we obtain the quantity
XC =1/ωC
XC has the units of Volts/Amperes or Ohms and thus it
represents some type of resistance.
Capacitors do not like to pass current at low frequencies
as the frequency ω → 0 the quantity XC goes to infinity
which implies that the capacitor resembles an open circuit.
Capacitors like to pass current at high frequencies as the
frequency becomes very large ω → ∞ the quantity Xc
goes to zero which implies that the capacitor resembles a
short circuit.
Capacitors connected in parallel combine like resistors in
series
Capacitors in series combine like resistors in parallel
Practical Capacitors

The resistance Rp is typically very large and it represents


the resistance of the dielectric material. Resistance Rs is
typically small and it corresponds to the lead and plate
resistance as well as resistance effects due to the
operating conditions (for example signal frequency)
In practice we are concerned with the in series resistance
of a capacitor called the Equivalent Series Resistance
(ESR). ESR is a very important capacitor characteristic
and must be taken into consideration in circuit design.
Therefore the non-ideal capacitor model of interest to us is
shown on

Typical values of ESR are in the mΩ-Ω range.


The energy stored in a capacitor is E = 1/2xCV2
The charging and discharging of an RC circuit
RC Charging Circuit

Time constant

The time constant of an RC circuit is the product of its


resistance and capacitance. For R in ohms and C in
farads, the time constant is in seconds.
The RC time constant specifies the time required to
charge the capacitor, through a resistor, by approximately
63.2% through a resistor and is given by

5RC Rule of Thumb: A capacitor charges or decays to


within 1% of its final value in 5 time constants.

This RC time constant only specifies a rate of charge.


RC Charging Circuit Curves
RC Discharging Circuit

Time constant

Just like the previous RC Charging circuit, we can say that


in a RC Discharging Circuit the time required for a
capacitor to discharge itself down to one time constant is
given as:

During discharge the voltage will FALL by 63.2% to 36.8%


of its maximum value in one time constant period T.
So a RC circuit’s time constant is a measure of how
quickly it either charges or discharges.
RC Discharging Circuit Curves

When used in a direct current or DC circuit, a capacitor


charges up to its supply voltage but blocks the flow of
current through it because the dielectric. However, when a
capacitor is connected to an alternating current or AC
circuit, the flow of the current appears to pass straight
through the capacitor with little or no resistance.
Energy stored on a capacitor
When we apply a voltage sine wave across a capacitor
then current variation is also a sine wave, oscillating at the
same frequency as the applied voltage. However, the
current is 90 out of phase with the voltage variations.
Capacitors are devices which are used to store electrical
energy in a circuit. The energy supplied to the capacitor is
stored in the form of an electric field which is created
between the plates of a capacitor. The potential energy in
a capacitor is stored in the form of electric field When the
voltage is applied across a capacitor, a certain amount of
charge accumulates on the plates. The energy stored on
the capacitor is:
W=CV2/2
Where W is the energy stored, C is the capacitance and V
is the voltage applied across the capacitor.
Impedance and Reactance
Impedance is resistance to current flow in AC circuits and
its symbol is  and measured in ohms.
In AC circuits the impedance of an element is a measure
of how much the element opposes current flow when an
AC voltage is applied across it. It is basically a voltage to
current ratio, expressed in the frequency domain.
Impedance is a complex number, which consists of a real
and an imaginary part:
Z=R+jX
where Z is the complex impedance. The real part R
represents resistance, while the imaginary part X
represents reactance. Resistance is always positive, while
reactance can be either positive or negative. Resistance in
a circuit dissipates power as heat, while reactance stores
energy in the form of an electric or magnetic field
Capacitor is a variable resistor like Rheostat. In
Rheostat the Resistance is manually changed but in
Capacitor , the resistance ( reactance ) is varied using
frequency of the signal. In Capacitor the resistance
(Reactance) is equal to 1/2πfC When value of f is 0 (DC)
the resistance is ∞. When the value f reaches high value
(i.e. High frequency AC signal) the value of resistance
reaches 0.
Q Factor
The Q factor of a capacitor, also known as the quality
factor, or simply Q, represents the efficiency of a given
capacitor in terms of energy losses. It is defined as:
Q=Xc/R=1/wcRC=1/2πfRC
the Q factor represents the ratio of energy stored in the
capacitor to the energy dissipated
The Q factor is not a constant value. It changes
significantly with frequency
Types
Different capacitor types are:
AluminumElectrolytic,Tantalum,Air,Ceramic,Mica,Polymer,
Polyester,Polypropylene,Polystyrene,Polycarbonate,Silver
Mica, Paper etc.

Electrolytic Capacitor or Polarized Capacitor:

An electrolytic capacitor is a polarized capacitor which


uses an electrolyte to achieve a larger capacitance than
other capacitor types. An electrolyte is a liquid or gel
containing a high concentration of ions. Almost all
electrolytic capacitors are polarized, which means that the
voltage on the positive terminal must always be greater
than the voltage on the negative terminal.
There is a special type of electrolytic capacitors for AC
use, which is designed to withstand reverse polarisation.
This type is called the non-polarized or NP type
Tantalum Capacitor: Tantalum capacitors are electrolytic
capacitors which use tantalum metal for the anode. They
are polarized capacitors with superior frequency and
stability characteristics
Tantalum capacitors are a subtype of electrolytic
capacitors. They are made of tantalum metal which acts
as an anode, covered by a layer of oxide which acts as the
dielectric, surrounded by a conductive cathode
Applications using tantalum capacitors take advantage of
their low leakage current, high capacity and long term
stability and reliability
Air Capacitor:
Air capacitors are capacitors which use air as the dielectric
medium located between conductive plates
They are used in radio tuning applications, antenna tuning
and so on
Since air capacitors are made of aluminum, which is non-
magnetic, they work great in strong magnetic fields.
Ceramic Capacitor: A ceramic capacitor is a capacitor
which uses a ceramic material as the dielectric. The two
most common types are multi-layer ceramic capacitors
and ceramic disc capacitors.
Ceramic disc capacitors have a capacitance value of 10pF
to 100μF with a wide variety of voltage ratings, between
16 volts to 15 kV and more.

Mica Capacitor: Silver mica capacitors use mica as the


dielectric. They have great high-frequency properties due
to low resistive and inductive losses, and are very stable
over time. Mica minerals are very stable electrically,
chemically and mechanically
Silver mica capacitors are used in applications which call
for low capacitance values and high stability, while
exhibiting low losses. Their main use is in power RF
circuits where stability is of utmost importance
Polymer Capacitor: Polymer capacitors are capacitors
which use conductive polymers as the electrolyte. They
use solid polymer electrolytes instead of liquid or gel
electrolytes that are found in ordinary electrolytic
capacitors
Applications
Capacitors, like other electrical elements, can be
connected to other elements either in series or in parallel
Coupling and Decoupling :
Decoupling capacitors are connected in parallel to the
signal path and are used to filter out the AC component,
coupling capacitors, on the other hand, are connected in
series to the signal path and are used to filter out the DC
component of a signal. They are used in both analog and
digital circuit applications.
Energy Storage:
Capacitors are devices which store electrical energy in the
form of electrical charge accumulated on their plates.
Battery uses electrochemical processes to store energy,
while a capacitor simply stores charge. The stored energy
can be quickly released from the capacitor due to the fact
that capacitors have low internal resistance
Filter capacitor:
Capacitors are reactive elements, which make them
suitable for use in analog electronic filters. The reason for
this is that the impedance of a capacitor is a function of
frequency, This means that the effect of a capacitor on a
signal is frequency-dependent, a property that is
extensively used in filter design
A special subset of electronic filters are line filters. They
are used to suppress electrical noise coming from the
power supply line
Motor starting capacitor:
AC induction motors, also known as asynchronous
motors, use a rotating magnetic field to produce torque.
single-phase AC motors require external circuitry which
creates the phase angle offset in order to produce a
rotating magnetic field. This circuitry can be realized using
advanced power electronics, or more simply using a motor
capacitor
Capacitor is used for phase shifting.
Capacitor is used for creating a delay in time
In fact a capacitor works as a water tank. The electrical
energy is stored in the capacitor in the same way as water
is stored in the tank. It is known as charging of capacitor.
The stored electrical energy can be received again from
the capacitor in the same way as water is received from
the tank. It is known as discharging of the capacitor
Capacitor codes

Picofarad Nanofarad Microfarad Picofarad Nanofarad Microfarad


Code Code
(pF) (nF) (uF) (pF) (nF) (uF)

1 0.001 0.000001 010 1500 1.5 0.0015 152

1.5 0.0015 0.0000015 1R5 2000 2.0 0.002 202

2.2 0.0022 0.0000022 2R2 2200 2.2 0.0022 222

3.3 0.0033 0.0000033 3R3 3300 3.3 0.0033 332

3.9 0.0039 0.0000039 3R9 4700 4.7 0.0047 472

4.7 0.0047 0.0000047 4R7 5000 5.0 0.005 502

5.6 0.0056 0.0000056 5R6 5600 5.6 0.0056 562

6.8 0.0068 0.0000068 6R8 6800 6.8 0.0068 682


8.2 0.0082 0.0000082 8R2 10000 10 0.01 103

10 0.01 0.00001 100 15000 15 0.015 153

15 0.015 0.000015 150 22000 22 0.022 223

22 0.022 0.000022 220 33000 33 0.033 333

33 0.033 0.000033 330 47000 47 0.047 473

47 0.047 0.000047 470 68000 68 0.068 683

100 0.1 0.0001 101 100000 100 0.1 104

120 0.12 0.00012 121 150000 150 0.15 154

130 0.13 0.00013 131 200000 200 0.2 254

150 0.15 0.00015 151 220000 220 0.22 224

180 0.18 0.00018 181 330000 330 0.33 334


220 0.22 0.00022 221 470000 470 0.47 474

330 0.33 0.00033 331 680000 680 0.68 684

470 0.47 0.00047 471 1000000 1000 1.0 105

560 0.56 0.00056 561 1500000 1500 1.5 155

680 0.68 0.00068 681 2000000 2000 2.0 205

750 0.75 0.00075 751 2200000 2200 2.2 225

820 0.82 0.00082 821 3300000 3300 3.3 335

1000 1.0 0.001 102 4700000 4700 4.7 475


Introduction to Inductors
An inductor is a coil of wire through which electrons move,
and energy is stored in the resulting magnetic field.
Inductors store energy in a magnetic field, not an electric
field. When the source of electrons is removed, the
magnetic field collapses immediately.
The current-voltage relationship

The parameter L is called the inductance of the inductor. It


has the unit of Henry (H). The inductance L represents the
efficiency of storing magnetic flux.
The circuit symbol and associated electrical variables for
the inductor is

For DC signals ( di/dt =0 ) the inductor acts as a short


circuit (v=0).
The general plot of the voltage and current of an inductor
is

The current going through an inductor and the voltage


across the inductor are 90 degrees out of phase. Here the
voltage leads the current by 90 degrees.
Inductor is simply a coil and it stores energy as a magnetic
field when an electric current passing through it.
Inductance is a measure of an inductor’s capability to
store energy. Inductance is measured in unit Henry (H).
When an alternative current is passing through an
inductor, a voltage across the device is observable due to
changing magnetic field.
Inductors in parallel combine like resistors in parallel
Inductor in series combines like resistor in series
The energy stored in an inductor is the integral of the
instantaneous power delivered to the inductor.

Practical Inductor

There are two contributions to the non-ideal behavior of


inductors.
1) The finite resistance of the wire used to wind the coil
2) The cross turn effects which become important at high
frequencies
Factors influencing inductance
The amount of inductance is influenced by a number of
factors:
-Number of coil turns.
-Diameter of coil.
-Spacing between turns.
-Size of the wire used.
-Type of material inside the coil.
Applications:
-Resonant Circuits
-Tuned Circuits in Radio Reception & Broadcasting
-Antenna
-Electric Transmission
-Filter in Power supplies
-Energy storage devices in SMPS
-Audio Frequencies
Difference between Capacitor and Inductor:
1.Capacitor stores an electric field, whereas inductor
stores a magnetic field.
2. Capacitor is open circuit for DC, and inductor is short
circuit for DC.
3. In an AC circuit, for capacitor, voltage ‘lags’ current,
whereas for inductor, current ‘lags’ voltage.
4. Energy stored in a capacitor is calculated in terms of
voltage (1/2 x CV2), and this is done in terms of current for
inductor (1/2 x LI2)
Transformer is a static device which transfers the electrical
energy from primary winding to secondary winding and
works on the principle of mutual Induction.
Based on the formula:

Where: Vs is induced voltage in secondary winding: Vp is


induced voltage in primary winding: Ns is number turns in
Secondary winding: Np is number turns in Primary winding
Thus transformer allows only Alternating current.
Basic Type of transformer are: Step Down, Step Up
Step Down: When Secondary winding will be less than
Primary winding,
Step Up: When Secondary winding will be more than
Primary Winding.
Types of transformers
-Auto transformers
-Audio transformers
-Leakage Transformers
-Resonant Transformers, IFT
-Isolation transformers or Instruments Transformers
-Pulse Transformers
-Current Transformer
-Voltage Transformer
Introduction to Semiconductor
What Is A Semiconductor?
A semiconductor is a substance which has resistivity in
between conductors and insulators, e.g. germanium,
silicon, selenium, carbon etc.
The materials can be classified by the energy gap
between their valence band and the conduction band. The
valence band is the band consisting of the valence
electron, and the conduction band remains empty.
Conduction takes place when an electron jumps from
valence band to conduction band and the gap between
these two bands is forbidden energy gap.
In the case of conductors, this energy gap is absent or in
other words conduction band, and valence band overlaps
each other. Thus, electron requires minimum energy to
jump from valence band. So Conductors - keep loose grip
on their electrons and allow electrons to move freely.
Metals are usually good conductors The typical examples
of conductors are Silver, Copper, and Aluminium.
In insulators, this gap is vast. Therefore, it requires a
significant amount of energy to shift an electron from
valence to conduction band. Insulators - keep close hold
of their electrons and do not allow free movement of
electrons. Thus, insulators are poor conductors of
electricity. Glass, wood, plastic, mica, fiberglass, ceramics
and air are good insulators. Semiconductors, on the other
hand, have an energy gap which is in between that of
conductors and insulators. This gap is typically more or
less 1 eV, and thus, one electron requires energy more
than conductors but less than insulators for shifting
valence band to conduction band. Material whose
conductivity lies in between conductor & insulator is called
semiconductor.
Materials that permit free flow of electrons are called
conductors (e.g., gold, silver, copper, etc.). Have 1
valence electron and electrons can move freely from atom
to atom are called conductors.
Materials that block flow of electrons are called insulators
(e.g., rubber, glass, Teflon, mica, etc.). Have 8 valence
electrons and electrons do not flow easily from atom to
atom are termed insulators. Insulating materials such as
glass, rubber, or plastic are also called dielectrics,
meaning they can store charges.
Materials whose conductivity falls between those of
conductors and insulators are called semiconductors.
Have 4 valence electrons and Common semi conductor
materials are carbon, germanium and
silicone.Semiconductors are “part-time” conductors whose
conductivity can be controlled.
Another classification is based on temperature coefficient
of resistivity. Metals have positive temperature coefficient
of resistivity. Semiconductors have small negative
temperature coefficient of resistivity and insulators have
large negative temperature coefficient of resistivity.
The distinction between conductors, insulators and
semiconductors is largely concerned with the relative
width of the forbidden energy gaps in their energy band
structures. There is a wide forbidden gap (more than 5eV)
for insulators, narrow forbidden gap (about 1eV) in case of
semiconductors and no forbidden gap in case of
conductors.
The energy gap between the valence band and
conduction band is known as forbidden energy gap. It is a
region in which no electron can stay as there is no allowed
energy state. Magnitude of forbidden energy gap in
germanium and silicon is 0.72 eV and 1.12 eV respectively
at 300 K and 0.785 eV and 1.21 eV respectively at
absolute zero temperature.
When energy is supplied to a semiconductor a valence
electron is lifted to a higher energy level. The departing
electron leaves a vacancy in the valence band. The
vacancy is called a hole. Thus, a vacancy left in the
valence band because of lifting of an electron from the
valence band to conduction band is known as a hole. Hole
is not a fundamental particle in an atom. Holes may be
thought of as positive particles, and as such they move
through an electric field in a direction opposite to that of
electrons.
The movement of the hole (positively charged vacancy in
the valence band) from positive terminal of the supply to
negative terminal through semiconductor constitutes hole
current.
Properties of Semiconductor
1) The resistivity of a semiconductor is less than an
insulator but more than a conductor.
2) It has negative temperature co-efficient of resistance.
That means the resistance of a semiconductor decreases
with increase in temperature and vice-versa.
3) When a suitable metallic impurity is added to a
semiconductor, its current conducting properties change
appreciably.

Advantage of Semiconductor material:


-Less space consumption
-Power consumed is less
-Heat dissipated is less
-Low Cost
Commonly Used Semiconductors
The two most frequently used semiconductors are (i)
germanium (Ge) and (ii) silicon (Si).
It is because the energy required to break their co-valent
bonds is very small; being 0.7 eV for Ge and 1.1 eV for Si.

Atomic structure of silicon and germanium


Atomic number of silicon is 14. So it has 14 protons and
14 electrons. Atomic number of germanium is 32. So it has
32 protons and 32 electrons.
Two electrons are in the first orbit, eight electrons are in
the second, eighteen electrons in the third and four
electrons in the outer or valence orbit of Ge atom. So
germanium atom has four valence electrons i.e. it is a
tetravalent element.
Similarly, Si atom has two electrons in the first orbit; eight
electrons are in the second orbit and four electrons in the
third orbit. So silicon atom has four valence electrons i.e. it
is a tetravalent element.

Above fig. shows how the various germanium atoms are


held through co-valent bonds.
Above fig shows how various silicon atoms are held
through co-valent bonds.

The outermost shell of atom is capable to hold up to eight


electrons. The atom which has eight electrons in the
outermost orbit is said to be completely filled and most
stable. But the outermost orbit of silicon has only four
electrons. Silicon atom needs four more electrons to
become most stable. Silicon atom forms four covalent
bonds with the four neighboring atoms. In covalent
bonding each valence electron is shared by two atoms.
The outermost orbit of germanium has only four electrons.
Germanium atom needs four more electrons to become
most stable. Germanium atom forms four covalent bonds
with the four neighboring atoms. In covalent bonding each
valence electron is shared by two atoms.
The outermost shell of silicon and germanium is
completely filled and valence electrons are tightly bound to
the nucleus of atom because of sharing electrons with
neighboring atoms. In intrinsic semiconductors free
electrons are not present at absolute zero temperature.
Therefore intrinsic semiconductor behaves as perfect
insulator.
At room temperature resistivity of semiconductor is in
between insulators and conductors. Semiconductors show
negative temperature coefficient of resistivity that means
its resistance decreases with increase in temperature.
Both Si and Ge are elements of IV group i.e. both
elements have 4 valence electrons. Both form the covalent
bond with the neighboring atom. At absolute zero
temperature both behave as insulator i.e. the valence
band is full while conduction band is empty but as the
temperature is raised more and more covalent bonds
break and electrons are set free and jump to the
conduction band.
Atoms in a pure silicon wafer contain four electrons in
outer orbit (called valence electrons).
Germanium is another semiconductor material with four
valence electrons.
In the crystalline lattice structure of Si, the valence
electrons of every Si atom are locked up in covalent bonds
with the valence electrons of four neighboring Si atoms.
In pure form, Si wafer does not contain any free charge
carriers.
An applied voltage across pure Si wafer does not yield
electron flow through the wafer.
A pure Si wafer is said to act as an insulator. In order to
make useful semiconductor devices, materials such as
phosphorus (P) and boron (B) are added to Si to change
Si’s conductivity.
Covalent Bond: Crystal is a solid material in which the
atoms are arranged in a symmetrical pattern. The bonds
that hold a crystal together are called covalent bonds
Energy Band Description of Semiconductor
A semiconductor can be defined much more
comprehensively on the basis of energy bands as under:
Below Figs. shows the energy band diagrams of
germanium and silicon respectively.
A semiconductor is a substance which has almost filled
valence band and nearly empty conduction band with a
very small energy gap (nearly equal to 1 eV ) separating
the two.
As the forbidden gap is very small; being 0.7 eV for Ge
and 1.1 eV for Si, therefore, relatively small energy is
needed by their valence electrons to cross over to the
conduction band.
Even at room temperature, some of the valence electrons
may acquire sufficient energy to enter into the conduction
band and thus become free electrons.
However, at this temperature, the number of free electrons
available is very small. Hence, at room temperature, a
piece of Ge or Si is neither a good conductor nor an
insulator. For this reason, such substances are called
semiconductors.
Effect of Temperature on Semiconductors
The electrical conductivity of a semiconductor changes
appreciably with temperature variations.
(i) At absolute zero:
At absolute zero temperature, all the electrons are tightly
held by the semiconductor atoms. The inner orbit
electrons are bound whereas the valence electrons are
engaged in co-valent bonding.
At this temperature, the co-valent bonds are very strong
and there are no free electrons. Therefore, the
semiconductor behaves as a perfect insulator.
In terms of energy band description, the valence band is
filled and there is a large energy gap between valence
band and conduction band.
Therefore, no valence electrons can reach the conduction
band to become free electron.
Hence, the semiconductor behaves as an insulator due to
the non-availability of free electrons.
(ii) Above absolute zero:
When the temperature is raised, some of the co-valent
bonds in the semiconductor break due to the thermal
energy supplied.
The breaking of bonds set those electrons free which are
engaged in the formation of these bonds.
These free electrons constitute a tiny electric current if
potential difference is applied across the semiconductor.

This shows that the resistance of a semiconductor


decreases with the increase in temperature i.e. it has
negative temperature co-efficient of resistance
As the temperature is raised, some of the valence
electrons acquire sufficient energy to enter into the
conduction band and thus become free electrons.
Under the influence of electric field, these free electrons
will constitute electric current.
It may be noted that each time a valence electron enters
into the conduction band; a hole is created in the valence
band.
Hole Current
At room temperature, some of the co-valent bonds in pure
semiconductor break, setting up free electrons. Under the
influence of electric field, these free electrons constitute
electric current.
At the same time, another current; hole current, also flows
in the semiconductor.
When a covalent bond is broken due to thermal energy,
the removal of one electron leaves a vacancy i.e. a
missing electron in the covalent bond. This missing
electron is called a hole which acts as a positive charge.
For one electron set free, one hole is created. Therefore,
thermal energy creates hole-electron pairs. That means
number of free electrons is equal to number of holes.
The current conduction by holes can be explained as
follows:

Suppose the valence electron at L, in above fig. has


become free electron due to thermal energy.
This creates a hole in the co-valent bond at L.
The hole is a strong centre of attraction for the electron.
A valence electron at M from nearby co-valent bond
comes to fill in the hole at L.
This results in the creation of hole at M.
Another valence electron at N in turn may leave its bond to
fill the hole at M, thus creating a hole at N.
Thus the hole having a positive charge has moved from L
to N i.e. towards the negative terminal of supply.
This constitutes hole current.
Energy Band Description:
The hole current can be explained in terms of energy
bands.
Suppose due to thermal energy, an electron leaves the
valence band to enter into the conduction band as shown
in below fig.

This leaves a vacancy at L. Now the valence electron at M


comes to fill the hole at L. The result is that hole
disappears at L and appears at M.
Next, the valence electron at N moves into the hole at M.
Consequently, hole is created at N.
It is now clear that valence electrons move along the path
PNML whereas holes move in the opposite direction i.e.
along the path LMNP.
Generation of carriers (free electrons and holes)
The process by which free electrons and holes are
generated in pair is called generation of carriers.
When electrons in a valence band get enough energy,
then they will absorb this energy and jumps into the
conduction band. The electron which is jumped into a
conduction band is called free electron and the place from
where electron left is called hole. Likewise, two type of
charge carriers (free electrons and holes) gets generated.
Recombination of carriers (free electrons and holes)
The process by which free electrons and the holes get
eliminated is called recombination of carriers. When free
electron in the conduction band falls in to a hole in the
valence band, then the free electron and hole gets
eliminated.
Drift current
The flow of charge carriers, which is due to the applied
voltage or electric field is called drift current.
Diffusion current
The process by which, charge carriers (electrons or holes)
in a semiconductor moves from a region of higher
concentration to a region of lower concentration is called
diffusion.
Both drift and diffusion current occurs in semiconductor
devices. Diffusion current occurs without an external
voltage or electric field applied. Diffusion current does not
occur in a conductor. The direction of diffusion current is
same or opposite to that of the drift current.
Intrinsic Semiconductors:
A semiconductor in an extremely pure form is known as an
intrinsic semiconductor.
As per theory of semiconductor, semiconductor in its pure
form (ideally 100% pure material) is called as intrinsic
semiconductor or Undoped Semiconductor or i-type
Semiconductor.
(i) At absolute zero:
For a pure semiconductor at a temperature of absolute
zero (-273.15oC)the valence band is usually full and there
are may be no electron in the conduction band and it is
difficult to provide additional energy required for lifting
electron from valence band to conduction band by
applying electric field. Hence the conductivity of a pure
semiconductor at absolute zero temperature is zero and it
behaves like an insulator.
(ii) Above absolute zero:
However, in an intrinsic semiconductor, at room
temperature, hole-electron pairs are created. When
electric field is applied across an intrinsic semiconductor,
the current conduction take place by free electrons and
holes.
The free electrons are produced due to the breaking up of
some co-valent bonds by thermal energy. At the same
time holes are created in the covalent-bonds.
Under the influence of electric field, conduction takes
place by both free electrons and holes.

Therefore, the total current inside the semiconductor is the


sum of currents due to free electrons and holes.
It can be noted that current in the external wire is fully due
to electrons.
Referring to above fig., holes being positively charged
move towards the negative terminal of supply.
As the holes reach the terminal B, electrons enter the
semiconductor crystal near the terminal and combine with
holes, thus cancelling them.
At the same time, the loosely held electrons near the
positive terminal A are attracted away from their atoms
into the positive terminal.
This creates new holes near the positive terminal which
again drift towards the negative terminal.
Effect of Temperature on Pure Silicon

At 0K, no bonds are broken. Si is an insulator.

As temperature increases, a bond can break, releasing a


valence electron and leaving a broken bond (hole).
Current can flow.
With the increase in the temperature, concentrations of
free electrons and holes increase and the rate of
recombination is proportional to the product of
concentration of free electrons and holes and also the rate
of production of electron-hole pairs (thermal generation)
increases with the rise in temperature.
Effect of Temperature on conductivity of intrinsic
semiconductors
With the increase in temperature, the concentration of
charge carriers increases resulting in increase in
conductivity of semiconductors. The conductivity of metal
decreases with the increase in temperature.
With the increase in temperature, the concentration of
charge carriers (electrons and holes) increases. As more
charge carriers are made available, the conductivity of a
pure semiconductor increases i.e. resistivity of a pure
semiconductor decreases with the rise in temperature i.e.
semiconductors have negative temperature coefficient of
resistance.
Movement of Holes

A valence electron in a nearby bond can move to fill the


broken bond, making it appear as if the ‘hole’ shifted
locations.
Intrinsic concentration
Intrinsic Concentration of semiconductor is the number of
charges at certain temperature.

Extrinsic Semiconductors (Doped Semiconductors)


As per theory of semiconductor, impure semiconductors
are called extrinsic semiconductors. Extrinsic
semiconductor is formed by adding a small amount of
impurity. The conducting properties of an intrinsic
semiconductor can be increased by adding small amount
of suitable impurities to it. It is then called impurity or
extrinsic semiconductor.
Depending on the type of impurity added we have two
types of semiconductors: N-type and P-type
semiconductors. In 100 million parts of semiconductor one
part of impurity is added.
Adding small amounts of suitable impurity atom can
drastically alter number of electrons and holes in a
semiconductor.
Addition of a group V element impurity to Silicon should
increase electrons while addition of group III element
impurity should increase number of holes.
Doping:
The process of adding impurities to a semiconductor is
known as doping.
-Pentavalent impurities such as phosphorus, arsenic,
antimony, and bismuth have 5 valence electrons.
-When phosphorus impurity is added to Si, every
phosphorus atom’s four valence electrons are locked up in
covalent bond with valence electrons of four neighboring
Si atoms. However, the 5th valence electron of
phosphorus atom does not find a binding electron and
thus remains free to float. When a voltage is applied
across the silicon-phosphorus mixture, free electrons
migrate toward the positive voltage end.
-When phosphorus is added to Si to yield the above
effect, we say that Si is doped with phosphorus. The
resulting mixture is called N-type silicon (N: negative
charge carrier silicon).
-The pentavalent impurities are called donor impurities as
such impurities donate electrons to the lattice.
-Trivalent impurities e.g., boron, aluminum, indium, and
gallium have 3 valence electrons.
-When boron is added to Si, every boron atom’s three
valence electrons are locked up in covalent bond with
valence electrons of three neighboring Si atoms. However,
a vacant spot “hole” is created within the covalent bond
between one boron atom and a neighboring Si atom. The
holes are considered to be positive charge carriers. When
a voltage is applied across the silicon-boron mixture, a
hole moves toward the negative voltage end while a
neighboring electron fills in its place.
-When boron is added to Si to yield the above effect, we
say that Si is doped with boron. The resulting mixture is
called P-type silicon (P: positive charge carrier silicon).
-The trivalent impurities are called acceptor impurities
because such impurities accept electrons from the lattice.
N type Semiconductor: n > p
When a small amount of pentavalent impurity is added to
a pure semiconductor, it is known as n-type
semiconductor. The addition of pentavalent impurity
provides a large number of free electrons in the
semiconductor crystal.
A Semiconductor such as Silicon doped with a donor
impurity such as Phosphorous or Arsenic from group V of
periodic table. The donor impurity donates an electron to
conduction band thereby increasing their concentration.
Such impurities which produce n-type semiconductor are
known as donor impurities as they donate free electrons to
the semiconductor crystal.
In this type of semiconductor majority carriers are
electrons and minority carriers are holes. N - type
semiconductor is formed by adding pentavalent (five
valence electrons) impurity in pure semiconductor crystal,
e.g. P. As, Sb
Pentavalent impurity donates electron to Si that’s why N-
type impurity atoms are known as donor atoms. This
enhances the conductivity of pure Si. Majority carriers are
electrons therefore conductivitry is due to these electrons
only.
For intrinsic semiconductor the ratio of majority and
minority carriers is Unity.
For extrinsic semiconductor the ratio of majority and
minority carriers is Very large.
Energy band description of n-type semiconductor
The addition of pentavalent impurity has produced a
number of conduction band electrons i.e. free electrons.
The four valence electrons of pentavalent atom form co-
valent bonds with four neighbouring germanium atoms.
The fifth left over valence electron of the pentavalent atom
can not be accommodated in the valence band and travels
to the conduction band.
The following two points may be noted carefully:
(i) Many new free electrons are produced by the addition
of pentavalent impurity.
(ii) Thermal energy at room temperature still generated a
few hole-electron pairs. However, the number of free
electrons provided by the pentavalent impurity far exceeds
the number of holes. Hence it is called n-type
semiconductor (n stands for negative)
N-type Conductivity
The current conduction in an n-type semiconductor is
predominantly by free electrons i.e. negative charges and
is called n-type or electron type conductivity.
When a potential difference is applied across the n-type
semiconductor, the free electrons, donated by the impurity
in the crystal, will be directed towards the positive
terminal, constituting electric current.
As the current flow through the crystal is by free electrons
which are carriers of negative charge, therefore, this type
of conductivity is called negative or n-type conductivity.
P type Semiconductors: p > n
When a small amount of trivalent impurity is added to a
pure semiconductor, it is called p-type semiconductor. The
addition of trivalent impurity provides a large number of
holes in the semiconductor. Such impurities which produce
p-type semiconductor are known as acceptor impurities as
the holes created can accept electrons.
A Semiconductor such as Silicon doped with a Acceptor
impurity such as Boron from group III of periodic table.
The acceptor impurity increases number of holes in
valence band.
In this type of semiconductor majority carriers are holes
and minority carriers are electrons. P- type semiconductor
is formed by adding trivalent ( three valence electrons)
impurity in pure semiconductor crystal, e.g. B, Al Ba. P-
type impurity accepts electron and is called acceptor atom.
Majority carriers are holes and therefore conductivity is
due to these holes only.
Boron is trivalent i.e. its atom as three valence electrons.
Each atom of Boron fits into the silicon crystal but now
only three co-valent bonds can be formed. It is because
three valence electrons of Boron atom can form only three
single co-valent bonds with three silicon atoms as shown
in above fig.
In the fourth co-valent bond only silicon atom contributes
one valence electron while Boron has no valence electron
to contribute as its three valence electrons are already
engaged in the co-valent bonds with neighbouring silicon
atoms.
In other word, fourth bond is incomplete; being short of
one electron. This missing electron is called a hole.
Therefore, for each Boron atom added, one hole is
created.
Very small amounts of impurity atoms can cause a drastic
change in electrical property of a semiconductor.
Energy band diagram of p-type semiconductor
The addition of trivalent impurity has produced a large
number of holes. However, there are a few conduction
band electrons due to thermal energy at room
temperature. But the number of holes far exceeds the
number of conduction band electrons.
It is due to the predominance of holes over free electrons
that it is called p-type semiconductor (p stands for
positive).
P-type Conductivity
The current conduction in p-type semiconductor is
predominantly by holes i.e. positive charges and is called
p-type or hole-type conductivity.

When a potential difference is applied to the p-type


semiconductor, the holes, donated by the impurity, are
shifted from one co-valent bond to another.
As the holes are positively charged, therefore, they are
directed towards the negative terminal, constituting hole
current.
Charges on n-type and p-type Semiconductor
In n-type semiconductor, current conduction is due to
excess of electrons whereas in a p-type semiconductor,
conduction is due to holes.
One may think that n-type material has a net negative
charge and p-type has a net positive charge. But this
conclusion is wrong. It is true that n-type semiconductor
has excess of electrons but these extra electrons were
supplied by the atoms of donor impurity and each atom of
donor impurity is electrically neutral. When the impurity
atom is added, the term excess electrons refer to an
excess with regard to the number of electrons needed to
fill the co-valent bonds in the semiconductor crystal. The
extra electrons are free electrons and increase the
conductivity of the semiconductor.
This situation with regard to p-type semiconductor is also
similar.
Hence, n-type as well as p-type semiconductor is
electrically neutral.
Majority and Minority Carriers
Due to the impurity, n-type semiconductor has a large
number of free electrons whereas p-type semiconductor
has a large number of holes.
However, at room temperature, some of the co-valent
bonds break, thus releasing equal number of free
electrons and holes.
So, an n-type semiconductor has its share of electron-hole
pairs due to breaking of co-valent bonds and in addition
has a much larger quantity of free electrons due to the
effect of impurity. Consequently, an n-type semiconductor
has a large number of free electrons and a small number
of holes as shown in below fig

The free electrons in this case are known as majority


carriers, since the majority portion of current in n-type
material is by the flow of free electrons. And the holes are
known as minority carriers.
Similarly, in a p-type semiconductor, holes outnumber the
free electrons as shown in below fig.
Therefore, holes are the majority carriers and free
electrons are the minority carriers.
Fermi Level
The maximum energy that an electron in a material has at
the absolute zero temperature is called the Fermi level of
energy.
Energy band diagram of silicon shows the levels of
energies of electrons in the material. In intrinsic silicon, the
Fermi level lies in the middle of the conduction and
valence bands. When the intrinsic silicon is doped with
donor atoms, it becomes n-type and then Fermi level
moves higher i.e. closer to the conduction band. When
intrinsic silicon is doped with acceptor atoms, it becomes
p-type and Fermi level moves towards valance band.
Fermi level in Intrinsic Silicon
Fermi level in Extrinsic Silicon
P N Junction Theory
The N-type semiconductor is formed by adding
pentavalent impurities to the intrinsic semiconductor while
p-type semiconductor is formed by adding trivalent
impurities to the intrinsic semiconductor.
Also, in N-type semiconductors electrons are the majority
carriers while holes are the minority carriers. On the other
hand, in P-type semiconductors holes are the majority
carriers while electrons are the minority carriers. The p-
type and n-type semiconductors are not used separately
for practical purpose because the overall charge of p-type
and n-type semiconductors is electrically neutral.
However, when p-type and n-type semiconductor
materials are joined they behave differently.

P-N junction is formed by joining n-type and p-type


semiconductor materials. This junction has a typical
voltage-current characteristic which is the basis of all
semiconductor elements.
Phenomena which occurs during formation of a PN
junction
Diffusion: N-type semiconductor contains majority of
negative charge carriers or electrons. P-type
semiconductor contains majority of holes or positive
charge carriers. When a PN- junction is formed in a doped
silicon, a difference in carrier concentration in PN junction
cause electrons to move from n side to p side and holes
move from p side to n side. As electron leave the n-side
region, it leaves behind an ionized donor (a positive
charge) at the n-side. Similarly as hole is diffused to n-
side, it leaves behind an ionized acceptor (a negative
charge) at the p-side. This movement of electrons from n-
side to p-side and the movement of holes from p-side to n-
side is called DIFFUSION and the resultant current is
called DIFFUSION CURRENT.
Depletion region: Moving electrons from n- side region to
p-side region leave behind a positive charge at n-side of
the junction. Similarly, moving holes from p-side to n-side
region leave behind a negative charge at p-side of the
junction. As the number of electrons leaving the n- side
region increases and the number of holes leaving the p-
side region increases, a region of positive and negative
charge i.e. uncompensated ions is formed at the junction.
The positive charges and negative charges are left out at
the interface of n-side and p-side junction. Hence, the
region formed is called as DEPLETION REGION. The
depletion region acts like a wall between p-type and n-type
semiconductor and prevents further flow of free electrons
and holes.
The width of depletion region depends on the amount of
impurities added to the semiconductor.
Recombination Process
In Recombination electrons merge with holes. But still free
electrons exist due to the continuing kinetic energy inside
the covalent bounds of the semiconductor material.
Recombination process occurs at the depletion region and
net average charge at depletion becomes zero.
Depletion width : P-type and N-type semiconductors is
heavily doped

Depletion width: P-type and N-type semiconductors is


lightly doped
-Formation of depletion region take place because of the
diffusion of charge carriers.
-The depletion region results in formation of an electric
field and this electric field results in drift.
-Initially the diffusion current will be the highest and drift
current will be very small and as the depletion region
widen, drift current increases while diffusion current
decreases. There comes a particular point of time, when
diffusion current is exactly equal and opposite to drift
current due to which junction comes to a state of
equilibrium.
-At the state of equilibrium, there is no net current flow and
hence the PN junction formation completes.
Positive and negative barrier voltage at the p-n junction

A net positive charge is built at the n-side of the p-n


junction due to the positive ions at the n-side; similarly a
net negative charge is built at the p-side of the p-n junction
due to the negative ions at the p-side.
This net negative charge at the p-side of the p-n junction
prevents the further flow of free electrons crossing from n-
side to p-side because the negative charge present at the
p-side of p-n junction repels the free electrons.
Similarly, the net positive charge at n-side of the p-n
junction prevents the further flow of holes crossing from p-
side to n-side. Hence, positive charge present at n-side
and negative charge present at p-side of p-n junction acts
as barrier between p-type and n-type semiconductor.
Thus, a barrier is build near the junction which prevents
the further movement of electrons and holes.
The negative charge formed at the p-side of the p-n
junction is called negative barrier voltage while the positive
charge formed at the n-side of the p-n junction is called
positive barrier voltage. The total charge formed at the p-n
junction is called barrier voltage, barrier potential or
junction barrier.
The barrier voltage for silicon diode is 0.7 volts and for
germanium is 0.3 volts.
The barrier voltage at the p-n junction opposes only the
flow of majority charge carriers. Which means it prevents
the flow of electrons from n-side and flow of holes from p-
side. the barrier voltage allows the flow of minority carriers
(.I.e. free electrons at p-side and holes at n-side) to cross
the junction.
P-N Junction semiconductor diode
A p-n junction diode is two-terminal semiconductor device,
which allows the electric current in only one direction while
blocks the electric current in opposite or reverse direction.
If the diode is forward biased, it allows the electric current
flow. On the other hand, if the diode is reverse biased, it
blocks the electric current flow.
The diode is two terminal non linear device whose I-V
characteristic besides exhibiting non-linear behavior is
also polarity dependent.
In n-type semiconductors, free electrons are the majority
charge carriers whereas in p-type semiconductors, holes
are the majority charge carriers. When the n-type
semiconductor is joined with the p-type semiconductor, a
p-n junction is formed. The p-n junction, which is formed
when the p-type and n-type semiconductors are joined, is
called as p-n junction diode.
A p–n junction is formed at the boundary between a p-type
and n-type semiconductor created in a single crystal of
semiconductor by doping. Term diode means two
electrodes. Arrow indicates direction of conventional
current through it.
After joining p-type and n-type material electrons near the
junction tend to diffuse into the p region and leave
positively charged ions (donors) in the n region. Vice a
versa, holes leave fixed ions (acceptors) with negative
charge. The regions nearby the p–n junction gets charged,
forming the space charge region or depletion layer , Thus
in p-n junction without an external applied voltage, under
thermal equilibrium ,a p. d. is formed across the junction.
This is known as barrier potential or junction potential
Formation of Depletion region
Biasing of diode
With no external voltage applied to diode, the depletion
region available at junction prevents the current to flow
through it, thus required to be externally biased to make
current flow.
There are two types of biasing 1) forward Bias 2) Reverse
Bias
Forward Biasing: +ve terminal of battery is connected to
the P-type material and - ve terminal to the N-type material
+ve potential repels holes toward the junction where they
neutralize some of the negative ions. Vice a versa by –ve
potential • In case of f/w biased condition, conduction is by
MAJORITY current carriers.

Reversed Biasing: in case of reverse biasing, the –ve


terminal connected to the P-type material, and +ve to the
N-type .The -ve potential attracts the holes away from the
edge of the junction barrier on the P side, while the +ve
potential attracts the electrons away from the edge of the
barrier on the N side. This action increases the barrier
width. This prevents current flow across the junction by
majority carriers. However, the current will not exact zero
because of the minority carriers crossing the junction.
There are minority current carriers in both regions, holes in
the N material and electrons in the P material. With
reverse bias, the electrons in the P-type material are
repelled toward the junction by the negative terminal. As
the electron moves across the junction, it will neutralize a
positive ion in the N-type material. vice a versa, the holes
in the N-type material. This movement of minority carriers
is called as reverse saturation current. It increases with
the temperature. It is nA for Si diode and μA for Ge diode.

V-I characteristics of diode


V-I characteristics for forward bias: The VI characteristics
of PN junction diode in forward bias are non linear, that is,
not a straight line. Point A corresponds to zero-bias
condition. Point B corresponds to where the forward
voltage is less than the barrier potential of 0.7 V. Point C
corresponds to where the forward voltage approximately
equals the barrier potential and the external bias voltage
and forward current have continued to increase.
The p-n junction diode is made from the semiconductor
materials such as silicon, germanium, and gallium
arsenide.
Diode Ratings
Maximum average forward current: This is the maximum
amount of average current that can be permitted to flow in
the forward direction without damaging. If this rating is
exceeded, structure breakdown can occur.
Peak reverse voltage (PRV) / Peak Inverse voltage: It is
one of the most important ratings and indicates the
maximum reverse-bias voltage that can be applied to a
diode without causing junction breakdown.
Maximum power rating: This is maximum power that can
be dissipated at the junction without damaging.

Diode Symbol:
Biasing of PN junction semiconductor diode
The process of applying the external voltage to a p-n
junction semiconductor diode is called biasing. External
voltage to the p-n junction diode is applied in any of the
two methods: forward biasing or reverse biasing.

If the p-n junction diode is forward biased, it allows the


electric current flow. Under forward biased condition, the
p-type semiconductor is connected to the positive terminal
of battery whereas; the n-type semiconductor is connected
to the negative terminal of battery.

If the p-n junction diode is reverse biased, it blocks the


electric current flow. Under reverse biased condition, the
p-type semiconductor is connected to the negative
terminal of battery whereas; the n-type semiconductor is
connected to the positive terminal of battery.

Forward biased p-n junction diode

The process by which, a p-n junction diode allows the


electric current in the presence of applied voltage is called
forward biased p-n junction diode.
In forward biased p-n junction diode, the positive terminal
of the battery is connected to the p-type semiconductor
material and the negative terminal of the battery is
connected to the n-type semiconductor material.
Under no voltage or unbiased condition, the p-n junction
diode does not allow the electric current. If the external
forward voltage applied on the p-n junction diode is
increased from zero to 0.1 volts, the depletion region
slightly decreases. Hence, very small electric current flows
in the p-n junction diode. However, this small electric
current in the p-n junction diode is considered as
negligible. Hence, they not used for any practical
applications.
If the voltage applied on the p-n junction diode is further
increased, then even more number of free electrons and
holes are generated in the p-n junction diode. This large
number of free electrons and holes further reduces the
depletion region (positive and negative ions). Hence, the
electric current in the p-n junction diode increases. Thus,
the depletion region of a p-n junction diode decreases with
increase in voltage. In other words, the electric current in
the p-n junction diode increases with the increase in
voltage.
Electron current
If the p-n junction diode is forward biased with
approximately 0.7 volts for silicon diode or 0.3 volts for
germanium diode, the p-n junction diode starts allowing
the electric current. Under this condition, the negative
terminal of the battery supplies large number of free
electrons to the n-type semiconductor and attracts or
accepts large number of holes from the p-type
semiconductor. In other words, the large number of free
electrons begins their journey at the negative terminal
whereas the large number of holes finishes their journey at
the negative terminal.

The free electrons, which begin their journey from the


negative terminal, produce a large negative electric field.
The direction of this negative electric field is apposite to
the direction of positive electric field of depletion region
(positive ions) near the p-n junction.
Due to the large number of free electrons at n-type
semiconductor, they get repelled from each other and try
to move from higher concentration region (n-type
semiconductor) to a lower concentration region (p-type
semiconductor). However, before crossing the depletion
region, free electrons finds the positive ions and fills the
holes. The free electrons, which fills the holes in positive
ions becomes valence electrons. Thus, the free electrons
are disappeared.
The positive ions, which gain the electrons, become
neutral atoms. Thus, the depletion region (positive electric
field) at n-type semiconductor near the p-n junction
decreases until it disappears.

The remaining free electrons will cross the depletion


region and then enters into the p-semiconductor. The free
electrons, which cross the depletion region finds the large
number of holes or vacancies in the p-type semiconductor
and fills them with electrons. The free electrons which
occupy the holes or vacancies will becomes valence
electrons and then these electrons get attracted towards
the positive terminal of battery or terminates at the positive
terminal of battery. Thus, the negative charge carriers
(free electrons) that are crossing the depletion region carry
the electric current from one point to another point in the
p-n junction diode.
Hole current
The positive terminal of the battery supplies large number
of holes to the p-type semiconductor and attracts or
accepts large number of free electrons from the n-type
semiconductor. In other words, the large number of holes
begins their journey at the positive terminal whereas the
large number of free electrons finishes their journey at the
positive terminal.

The holes, which begin their journey from the positive


terminal, produce a large positive electric field at p-type
semiconductor. The direction this positive electric field is
opposite to the direction of negative electric field of
depletion region (negative ions) near the p-n junction.

Due to the large number of positive charge carriers (holes)


at p-type semiconductor, they get repelled from each other
and try to move from higher concentration region (p-type
semiconductor) to a lower concentration region (n-type
semiconductor). However, before crossing the depletion
region, some of the holes finds the negative ions and
replaces the electrons position with holes. Thus, the holes
are disappeared.

The negative ions, which lose the electrons, become


neutral atoms. Thus, the depletion region or negative ions
(negative electric field) at p-type semiconductor near the
p-n junction decreases until it disappears.
The remaining holes will cross the depletion region and
attracted to the negative terminal of battery or terminate at
the negative terminal of battery. Thus, the positive charge
carriers (holes) that are crossing the depletion region carry
the electric current from one point to another point in the
p-n junction diode.

Reverse biased p-n junction diode

The process by which, a p-n junction diode blocks the


electric current in the presence of applied voltage is called
reverse biased p-n junction diode.

In reverse biased p-n junction diode, the positive terminal


of the battery is connected to the n-type semiconductor
material and the negative terminal of the battery is
connected to the p-type semiconductor material.

When the external voltage is applied to the p-n junction


diode in such a way that, negative terminal is connected to
the p-type semiconductor and positive terminal is
connected to the n-type semiconductor, holes from the p-
side are attracted towards the negative terminal whereas
free electrons from the n-side are attracted towards the
positive terminal.

In reverse biased p-n junction diode, the free electrons


begin their journey at the negative terminal whereas holes
begin their journey at the positive terminal. Free electrons,
which begin their journey at the negative terminal, find
large number of holes at the p-type semiconductor and fill
them with electrons. The atom, which gains an extra
electron, becomes a charged atom or negative ion or
motionless charge. These negative ions at p-n junction (p-
side) oppose the flow of free electrons from n-side.
On the other hand, holes or positive charges, which begin
their journey at the positive terminal, find large number of
free electrons at the n-type semiconductor and replace the
electrons position with holes. The atom, which loses an
electron, becomes a charged atom or positive ion. These
positive ions at p-n junction (n-side) oppose the flow of
positive charge carriers (holes) from p-side.

If the reverse biased voltage applied on the p-n junction


diode is further increased, then even more number of free
electrons and holes are pulled away from the p-n junction.
This increases the width of depletion region. Hence, the
width of the depletion region increases with increase in
voltage. The wide depletion region of the p-n junction
diode completely blocks the majority charge carriers.
Hence, majority charge carriers cannot carry the electric
current.
However, p-n junction diode allows the minority charge
carriers. The positive terminal of the battery pushes the
holes (minority carriers) towards the p-type
semiconductor. In the similar way, negative terminal of the
battery pushes the free electrons (minority carriers)
towards the n-type semiconductor.
The positive charge carriers (holes) which cross the p-n
junction are attracted towards the negative terminal of the
battery. On the other hand, the negative charge carriers
(free electrons) which cross the p-n junction are attracted
towards the positive terminal of the battery. Thus, the
minority charge carriers carry the electric current in
reverse biased p-n junction diode.

The electric current carried by the minority charge carriers


is very small. Hence, minority carrier current is considered
as negligible.
Testing Procedure for Diode
To check a diode, select “diode check” on a digital multi
meter. The display will indicate the voltage drop
(difference) between the meter leads. The meter itself
applies a low-voltage signal (usually about 3 volts) and
displays the difference on the display.
(a) When the diode is forward biased, the meter should
display a voltage between 0.500 and 0.700 V (500 to 700
mV).
(b) When the meter leads are reversed, the meter should
read OL (over limit) because the diode is reverse biased
and blocking current flow
V-I characteristics of P-N junction diode

Forward V-I characteristics of p-n junction diode


If the positive terminal of the battery is connected to the p-
type semiconductor and the negative terminal of the
battery is connected to the n-type semiconductor, the
diode is said to be in forward bias. In forward biased p-n
junction diode, VF represents the forward voltage whereas
IF represents the forward current.
Forward V-I characteristics of silicon diode
If the external voltage applied on the silicon diode is less
than 0.7 volts, the silicon diode allows only a small electric
current. However, this small electric current is considered
as negligible.
When the external voltage applied on the silicon diode
reaches 0.7 volts, the p-n junction diode starts allowing
large electric current through it. At this point, a small
increase in voltage increases the electric current rapidly.
The forward voltage at which the silicon diode starts
allowing large electric current is called cut-in voltage. The
cut-in voltage for silicon diode is approximately 0.7 volts.

Forward V-I characteristics of germanium diode


If the external voltage applied on the germanium diode is
less than 0.3 volts, the germanium diode allows only a
small electric current. However, this small electric current
is considered as negligible.
When the external voltage applied on the germanium
diode reaches 0.3 volts, the germanium diode starts
allowing large electric current through it. At this point, a
small increase in voltage increases the electric current
rapidly. The forward voltage at which the germanium diode
starts allowing large electric current is called cut-in
voltage. The cut-in voltage for germanium diode is
approximately 0.3 volts.

Reverse V-I characteristics of p-n junction diode


If the negative terminal of the battery is connected to the
p-type semiconductor and the positive terminal of the
battery is connected to the n-type semiconductor, the
diode is said to be in reverse bias. In reverse biased p-n
junction diode, VR represents the reverse voltage whereas
IR represents the reverse current.
If the external reverse voltage applied on the p-n junction
diode is increased, the free electrons from the n-type
semiconductor and the holes from the p-type
semiconductor are moved away from the p-n junction. This
increases the width of depletion region.
The wide depletion region of reverse biased p-n junction
diode completely blocks the majority charge carrier
current. However, it allows the minority charge carrier
current. The free electrons (minority carriers) in the p-type
semiconductor and the holes (minority carriers) in the n-
type semiconductor carry the electric current. The electric
current, which is carried by the minority charge carriers in
the p-n junction diode, is called reverse current.
In n-type and p-type semiconductors, very small number
of minority charge carriers is present. Hence, a small
voltage applied on the diode pushes all the minority
carriers towards the junction. Thus, further increase in the
external voltage does not increase the electric current.
This electric current is called reverse saturation current. In
other words, the voltage or point at which the electric
current reaches its maximum level and further increase in
voltage does not increase the electric current is called
reverse saturation current.

The reverse saturation current depends on the


temperature. If temperature increases the generation of
minority charge carriers increases. Hence, the reverse
current increases with the increase in temperature.
However, the reverse saturation current is independent of
the external reverse voltage. Hence, the reverse
saturation current remains constant with the increase in
voltage. However, if the voltage applied on the diode is
increased continuously, the p-n junction diode reaches to
a state where junction breakdown occurs and reverse
current increases rapidly.

Depletion region breakdown

A diode that is reverse biased does not conduct. This is


because of the presence of a depletion layer at the
junction. The depletion layer does not contain any free
charge carriers, which is why current flow cannot occur
across a reverse biased diode. However, it is seen that
there will be a certain amount of minimum current flowing
through the p-n junction under the reverse bias condition.
This current is referred to as the reverse saturation current
and is due to the minority charge carriers in the
semiconductor device.
If there was some way to generate free charge carriers in
the depletion region, current would be able to flow across
the junction.
The process by which a depletion region at the p-n
junction is destroyed and allows a large reverse current is
called depletion region breakdown.
The breakdown voltage depends upon the width of
depletion layer. The width of depletion layer depends upon
the doping level.
The p-n junction diodes with wide depletion region have
high breakdown voltage whereas the p-n junction diodes
with narrow depletion region have low breakdown voltage.
The depletion region breakdown or junction breakdown
occurs in two different methods. Those two different
methods are zener breakdown and avalanche breakdown

Avalanche breakdown
The avalanche breakdown occurs in lightly doped p-n
junction diodes. Lightly doped p-n junction diodes have the
wide depletion region. it is seen that there will be a certain
amount of minimum current flowing through the p-n
junction under the reverse bias condition. This current is
referred to as the reverse saturation current and is due to
the minority charge carriers in the semiconductor device.
Moreover, this reverse current is almost independent of
the applied reverse bias voltage at its initial stage.
However after reaching a particular point, the junction
breaks-down leading to the heavy flow of reverse current
through the device. This is because, as the magnitude of
the reverse bias voltage increases, the kinetic energy of
the minority charge carriers also increases. These fast
moving electrons collide with the other atoms in the device
to knock-off some more electrons from them. The
electrons so released further release much more electrons
from the atoms by breaking the covalent bonds. This
process is termed as carrier multiplication and leads to a
considerable increase in the flow of current through the p-
n junction.
The high-speed minority carriers, which causes the
depletion breakdown or junction breakdown, is called
avalanche breakdown.

Zener breakdown

The zener breakdown occurs in the heavily doped p-n


junction diodes. Heavily doped p-n junction diodes have a
narrow depletion region. The electric field across the
junction increase, when the reverse bias voltage is
increased. A high value of electric field causes a covalent
bond to break from the crystal structure. Due to this a
large number of minority carriers are generated and a
large current flows through the junction. This mechanism
of breakdown is known as zener breakdown. In zener
breakdown, the breakdown voltage depends on the
temperature of P-N junction. The breakdown voltage
decreases with increase in the junction temperature.

Difference between the Avalanche and the Zener


breakdown is that the Avalanche breakdown occurs
because of the collision of the electrons, whereas the
Zener breakdown occurs because of the high electric field.

So, in summary, both breakdown mechanisms release


free charge carriers in the depletion region, which allows
the diode to conduct when reverse biased
APPLICATION OF DIODE
- used as a rectifier in DC power supply.
- used as a voltage doublers, Tripler, quadrupler in voltage
multiplier circuits.
- used as switch in logic circuits.
- used for wave shaping In clipping and clapping circuits.
- used as signal diode in communication circuits.
- used as a detector In demodulation circuits
- used as zener diodes in voltage stabilizing circuits.

PN Junction Diode
Diode as a rectifier
Diodes are also known as rectifiers. They can be used to
change alternating current (ac) to direct current (dc)
through a process called rectification.
Diode converts AC voltage of mains supply into DC
voltage

Half wave rectifier


These circuits convert AC voltage to DC voltage. The
output obtained only in positive half cycle.
-During positive half- cycle of the input voltage, the polarity
of the voltage across the secondary coil make the diode
forward biased leading the diode in conduction state ( i.e.
maximum current flow, no voltage drop take place). In
positive half cycle, all the voltage drop take place across
the load resistor. Hence, getting approximately the same
output voltage as the given input
-During negative half- cycle of the input voltage, the
polarity of the voltage across the secondary coil make the
diode reverse biased leading the diode in non-conduction
state ( i.e. maximum voltage drop take place, no current
flows). Therefore no voltage drop take place across the
load resistor. As all the input voltage drop take place
across the diode itself, no output voltage is obtained.
The no-load output DC voltage of an ideal half wave
rectifier for a sinusoidal input voltage is:
Vdc=Vpeak / π =0.318 Vpeak =0.45 Vrms
The no-load output AC voltage of an ideal half wave
rectifier for a sinusoidal input voltage is:
Vrms =Vpeak /2
Where:
Vdc, Vav - DC or average output voltage,
Vpeak,Vmax - Peak value of the phase input voltages,
Vrms – the root-mean-square value of output voltage.
Full wave rectifier
These circuits also convert AC voltage to DC voltage. The
output is obtained both in positive and negative half cycle.
Centre-tap rectifier
-During positive half-cycle of voltage across the secondary
coil of the transformer, the diode D1 is forward biased
(conducting) and D2 is reverse biased (non-conducting).
The current flows through the diode D1and load resistor
RL
-During negative half-cycle of voltage across the
secondary coil of the transformer, the diode D1 is reverse
biased (non-conducting) and D2 is forward
biased(conducting). The current flows through the diode
D2 and load resistor RL
The no-load output DC voltage of an ideal full wave
rectifier for a sinusoidal input voltage is:
The no-load output AC voltage of an ideal full wave
rectifier for a sinusoidal input voltage is:
Vrms =0.707Vpeak

Bridge rectifier

-During positive half cycle of voltage across the secondary


coil of the transformer, the diode D2 and D4 are forward
biased (conducting) and the diode D1 and D3 are reverse
biased (non- conducting). Therefore, current flow through
diode D2, load resistor RL and diode D4
-During negative half cycle of voltage across the
secondary coil of the transformer, the diode D1 and D3
are forward biased (conducting) and the diode D2 and D4
are reverse biased (non- conducting). Therefore, current
flow through diode D1, load resistor RL and diode D3
The no-load output DC voltage of an ideal full wave bridge
rectifier for a sinusoidal input voltage is:

The no-load output AC voltage of an ideal full wave bridge


rectifier for a sinusoidal input voltage is:
Vrms =0.707Vpeak

Ripple: Rectifiers are used to convert AC to DC, but not a


pure DC. There would be considerable AC component in
their output, called ‘ripple’, in addition to the desired d.c.
component.
Ripple Factor (r): It is the ratio of root mean square (rms)
value of AC component to the DC component in the output
and is given by
R.F(r) = VAC (rms) / VDC
Filter circuit : A filter circuit is used to remove the A.C
components of the rectified output, but allows the D.C
components to reach the load. so a filter convert the
pulsating D.C into pure D.C . Reactive elements like
capacitor and inductors are used to do this work.We
already know that
-An inductor allows dc and blocks ac.
-A capacitor allows ac and blocks dc.
Most commonly used filter types are:
- Shunt Capacitor filter
- Series Inductor filter
- LC filter
- CLC or π-filter
- RC π-filter or RC filter
Series Inductive Filter : As an inductor allows dc and
blocks ac, a filter called Series Inductor Filter can be
constructed by connecting the inductor in series, between
the rectifier and the load.
The rectified output when passed through this filter, the
inductor blocks the ac components that are present in the
signal, in order to provide a pure dc.
Shunt Capacitor Filter As the capacitor allows AC through
it and blocks DC, so the capacitor can be connected in
parallel to the power supply so that the AC is filtered out
and DC will reach the load.

The rectified output when passed through this filter, the


AC components present in the signal are grounded
through the capacitor which allows AC components. The
remaining DC components present in the signal are
collected at the output.
LC Filter : A filter circuit can be constructed using both
inductor and capacitor in order to obtain a better output
where the efficiencies of both inductor and capacitor can
be used.
The rectified output when given to this circuit, the inductor
allows DC components to pass through it, blocking the AC
components in the signal. Now, from that signal, few more
AC components if any present are grounded so that we
get a pure DC output. This filter is also called as a Choke
Input Filter as the input signal first enters the inductor.
CLC or π filter ( Pi Filter ) : Here, two capacitors and one
inductor are connected in the form of π shaped network. A
capacitor in parallel, then an inductor in series, followed by
another capacitor in parallel makes this circuit. It has
capacitor at its input and hence it is also called as a
Capacitor Input Filter.

Working of a Pi filter
Capacitor C1 − This filter capacitor offers high reactance
to DC and low reactance to AC signal. After grounding the
AC components present in the signal, the signal passes to
the inductor for further filtration.
Inductor L − This inductor offers low reactance to DC
components, while blocking the AC components if any got
managed to pass, through the capacitor C1.
Capacitor C2 − Now the signal is further smoothened
using this capacitor so that it allows any AC component
present in the signal, which the inductor has failed to
block.
Thus we, get the desired pure DC output at the load.
RC π-Filter The RC filter consists of an input filter
capacitor (C1), a series resistor (R), and an output filter
capacitor (C2). Here, two capacitors and one resistor are
connected in the form of π shaped network. A capacitor in
parallel, then a resistor in series, followed by another
capacitor in parallel makes this circuit.
C1 performs exactly the same functions as in single
Capacitor Filter described above. Resistance R, load
resistance RL and reactance X2 of the capacitor C2
represent a voltage divider. Since the resistance of R is
higher than X2, most of the ripple voltage drops across R.
Any remaining ripple voltage is shunted by X2 to ground.
The RC filter has some disadvantages, however. First, the
voltage drop across R lowers the output voltage of the
power supply ie poor voltage regulation. Second, power is
wasted in R and is dissipated in the form of heat. Thus R-
C filter is suitable only for light loads (small load current or
large load resistance).