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Fazril Irfan
Faculty of Chemical Engineering
Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam
Tel: 017-259 1731

Week 5
Chapter 3: Electronic
Devices and Transducers
Lesson Outcome

At the end of class, students should be able to:

 Describe the concept of semiconductors and its

 Explain the principle of diode, bipolar and field effect
transistors, thyristors and triacs operation and identify
their function in various applications.
 Describe Transducer application in electric circuit

TOPIC 1: Semiconductors

measures a material's ability
to conduct an electric current

 What is Semiconductor?

Glass: Copper: Silicon:

10-16 and 10-13 S/cm 0.59 x 106 S/cm 10-8 x 10-1 S/cm


 Materials that permit flow of electrons are

called conductors (e.g., gold, silver, copper,
 Materials that block flow of electrons are
called insulators (e.g., rubber, glass, Teflon,
mica, etc.).
 Materials whose conductivity falls between
those of conductors and insulators are
called semiconductors.
 Semiconductors are “part-time” conductors
whose conductivity can be controlled.

 Common elements such as carbon,

silicon, and germanium are
 Silicon is the best and most widely
used semiconductor.


 Silicon is the most common material used

to build semiconductor devices.
 Si is the main ingredient of sand and it is
estimated that a cubic mile of seawater
contains 15,000 tons of Si.
 Si is spun and grown into a crystalline
structure and cut into wafers to make
electronic devices

 The main characteristic of a

semiconductor element is that it has
four electrons in its outer or valence


 The unique capability of

semiconductor atoms is their
ability to link together to form a
physical structure called a crystal
 The atoms link together with one
another sharing their outer
 These links are called covalent

3D Crystal Lattice Structure

 Atoms in a pure silicon wafer contains 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.
Semiconductors in our Daily Life

Examples of Semiconductors


 A pure silicon crystal is nearly an insulator - very little electricity will

flow through it
 To make the semiconductor conduct electricity, other atoms called
impurities must be added.
 “Impurities” are different elements.
 This process is called doping.
 Intrinsic Semiconductor – based on temperature increment (no
 Extrinsic Semiconductor – based on doping with impurities.

 An impurity, or element like
arsenic, has 5 valence
 Adding arsenic (doping) will
allow four of the arsenic
valence electrons to bond
with the neighboring silicon
 The one electron left over for
each arsenic atom becomes
available to conduct current

Doping: Different Approach
 You can also dope a semiconductor
material with an atom such as boron
that has only 3 valence electrons.
 The 3 electrons in the outer orbit do
form covalent bonds with its
neighboring semiconductor atoms
as before. But one electron is
missing from the bond.
 This place where a fourth electron
should be is referred to as a hole.
 The hole assumes a positive charge
so it can attract electrons from some
other source.
 Holes become a type of current
carrier like the electron to support
current flow.

Doping Effect

 If you use lots of arsenic atoms for doping, there will be

lots of extra electrons so the resistance of the material
will be low and current will flow freely.
 If you use only a few boron atoms, there will be fewer
free electrons so the resistance will be high and less
current will flow.
 By controlling the doping amount, virtually any
resistance can be achieved.

Types of Semiconductor

Semiconductors - N-Type Silicon
 The silicon doped with extra electrons is called an “N type” semiconductor.
“N” is for negative, which is the charge of an electron.
 In N-type doping, phosphorus or arsenic is added to the silicon in small
 Phosphorus and arsenic each have five outer electrons, so they're out of place
when they get into the silicon lattice. The fifth electron has nothing to bond to,
so it's free to move around.
 It takes only a very small quantity of the impurity to create enough free
electrons to allow an electric current to flow through the silicon.
 N-type silicon is a good conductor. Electrons have a negative charge, hence the
name N-type.
N:Current Flow

 The DC voltage source has a

positive terminal that attracts the
free electrons in the
semiconductor and pulls them
away from their atoms leaving the
atoms charged positively.
 Electrons from the negative
terminal of the supply enter the
semiconductor material and are
attracted by the positive charge of
the atoms missing one of their
 Current (electrons) flows from the
positive terminal to the negative

Semiconductors - P-Type Silicon
 Silicon doped with material missing electrons that produce locations called holes is
called “P type” semiconductor.
 “P” is for positive, which is the charge of a hole.
 In P-type doping, boron or gallium is the dopant. Boron and gallium each have only three
outer electrons.
 When mixed into the silicon lattice, they form "holes" in the lattice where a silicon
electron has nothing to bond to.
 The absence of an electron creates the effect of a positive charge, hence the name P-
type. Holes can conduct current.
 A hole happily accepts an electron from a neighbor, moving the hole over a space. P-
type silicon is a good conductor.
P:Current Flow

 Electrons from the negative supply

terminal are attracted to the positive
holes and fill them.
 The positive terminal of the supply
pulls the electrons from the holes
leaving the holes to attract more
 Current (electrons) flows from the
negative terminal to the positive
 Inside the semiconductor current
flow is actually by the movement of
the holes from positive to negative.

N vs P Semiconductor

Video 1
TOPIC 2: Diodes

 The diode is the simplest and most fundamental nonlinear

circuit element.
 Just like resistor, it has two terminals.
 Unlike resistor, it has a nonlinear current-voltage
 Its use in rectifiers is the most common application.
 Ideal and practical diodes.


 The most important

region, which is called p-n
junction, is the boundary
between n-type and p-
type semiconductor.

 A diode is a 2 lead semiconductor that acts as a one way
gate to electron flow.
– Diode allows current to pass in only one direction.
 A pn-junction diode is formed by joining together n-type
and p-type silicon.
 In practice, as the n-type Si crystal is being grown, the
process is abruptly altered to grow p-type Si crystal.
Finally, a glass or plastic coating is placed around the
joined crystal.
 The p-side is called anode and the n-side is called cathode.
 When the anode and cathode of a pn-junction diode are
connected to external voltage such that the potential at
anode is higher than the potential at cathode, the diode
is said to be forward biased.
–In a forward-biased diode current is allowed to flow
through the device.
 When potential at anode is smaller than the potential at
cathode, the diode is said to be reverse biased. In a
reverse-biased diode current is blocked. 29
Diodes – Water Analogy
When water pressure on left overcomes the restoring force of spring, the
gate is opened and water is allowed to flow.
• When water pressure is from right to left, the gate is pressed against the
solid stop and no water is allowed to flow.
• Spring restoring force is analogous to 0.6V needed to forward bias a Si

How diode works?

 When a diode is
connected to a battery as
shown, electrons from
the n-side and holes from
the p-side are forced
toward the center by the
electrical field supplied by
the battery.
 The electrons and holes
combine causing the
current to pass through
the diode.
 When a diode is arranged
in this way, it is said to be
forward biased.
How diode works?

 A diode’s one-way gate feature does not work all the time.
 Typically for silicon diodes, an applied voltage of 0.6V or greater
is needed, otherwise, the diode will not conduct.
 This feature is useful in forming a voltage-sensitive switch.
 I-V characteristics for silicon and germanium diodes is shown
How diode doesn’t works?

 When a diode is connected to a battery as

shown, holes in the n side are forced to the
left while electrons in the p-side are forced
t0 the right. This results in an empty zone
around the pn- junction that is free of charge
carries creating a depletion region.
 This depletion region acts as an insulator
preventing current from flowing through
the diode. When a diode is arranged in
this way, it is said to be reverse biased.
Diodes Characteristics

 Rule 1 : When no voltage is applied, it acts like an open

 Rule 2 : When an inversed voltage is applied, its
continues to act as an open switch (reversed-biased).
 Rule 3 : When a forward voltage is applied, it acts like a
closed switch and current flow (forward-biased).
 Rule 4 : If current stop flowing, the diode returns to its
original open states.

Diodes Characteristics

 Conducting in one direction and not in the other is the

I-V characteristic of the diode.
 The arrow-like circuit symbol shows the direction of
conducting current.
 Forward biasing voltage makes it turn on (ideal).
 Reverse biasing voltage makes it turn off (non-ideal).

Load-line Analysis-Diode Circuit

 In order to solve a circuit with the presence of non-linear

elements such as diode, graphical method is one of the
approach. Consider the figure below:

We assume that the value of Vss and R are

known and that we wish to find iD and vD

From KVL: Vss = RiD + vD

Load-line Analysis-Diode Circuit

• We can obtain a solution by plotting the i-v characteristic

of the diode.

• A simple method is to assume that iD=0, the Vss=vD @ x-


• Next assume vD=0, iD=Vss/R @ y-axis

• Then draw load line that connecting point A and point B

• The operating point is the intersection of the load line and

the diode characteristicdetermination of iD and vD

Load-Line Analysis for the circuit

Exercise 1

By using the same figure, determine the iD and

vD for the diode with the following
characteristic: ix=[exp (vx)-1]/5

Assume Vss=5 V and R=2 Ω

Types of Diodes

PN Junction
Diodes: A K
Are used to allow
current to flow in one Schematic Symbol for a PN
Junction Diode
direction while blocking
current flow in the
opposite direction. The
pn junction diode is the P N
typical diode that has
been used in the Representative Structure for a
previous circuits. PN Junction Diode

Types of Diodes

Zener Diodes:

Schematic Symbol for a Zener

Are specifically designed to operate Diode
under reverse breakdown conditions.
These diodes have a very accurate and
specific reverse breakdown voltage.

Types of Diodes

Schottky Diodes:

These diodes are designed to have a very
fast switching time which makes them a
Schematic Symbol for a great diode for digital circuit applications.
Schottky Diode They are very common in computers
because of their ability to be switched on
and off so quickly.

Types of Diodes

Shockley Diodes:

The Shockley diode is a four-layer diode
Schematic Symbol for a four- while other diodes are normally made
layer Shockley Diode
with only two layers. These types of
diodes are generally used to control the
average power delivered to a load.

The “Traitorous Eight”

Types of Diodes
Diodes: The arrows in the LED
representation indicate
emitted light.

Light-emitting diodes are designed with a

very large bandgap so movement of carriers
A K across their depletion region emits photons
of light energy. Lower bandgap LEDs (Light-
Emitting Diodes) emit infrared radiation,
Schematic Symbol for a Light- while LEDs with higher bandgap energy emit
Emitting Diode visible light. Many stop lights are now
starting to use LEDs because they are
extremely bright and last longer than regular
bulbs for a relatively low cost.

Types of Diodes

-While LEDs emit light, Photodiodes are

sensitive to received light. They are
A K constructed so their pn junction can be
exposed to the outside through a clear
window or lens.
-In Photoconductive mode the saturation
current increases in proportion to the

intensity of the received light. This type of
diode is used in CD players.
A K -In Photovoltaic mode, when the pn junction
is exposed to a certain wavelength of light,
the diode generates voltage and can be used
as an energy source. This type of diode is
used in the production of solar power.
Schematic Symbols for
Application of Diodes

 Radio demodulation
The first use for the diode was the demodulation of amplitude
modulated (AM) radio broadcasts. The history of this discovery
is treated in depth in the radio article. In summary, an AM signal
consists of alternating positive and negative peaks of voltage,
whose amplitude or “envelope” is proportional to the original
audio signal. The diode rectifies the AM radio frequency signal,
leaving an audio signal which is the original audio signal, minus
atmospheric noise. The audio is extracted using a simple filter
and fed into an audio amplifier or transducer, which generates
sound waves.

Application of Diodes

 Power conversion
We can construct rectifiers from diodes. They are used to
convert alternating current (AC) electricity into direct
current (DC).
Example : Automotive alternators, where the diode, which
convert AC into DC, provides better performance than the
commutator of earlier dynamo.

Application of Diodes

 Over-voltage protection
Diodes are used to conduct damaging high voltages away from
sensitive electronic devices. They are usually reverse-biased
(non-conducting) under normal circumstances. When the
voltage rises, the diodes become forward-biased (conducting).
For example, diodes are used in motor controller and relay
circuits to de-energize coils rapidly without the damaging
voltage spikes that would otherwise occur. Many integrated
circuits also incorporate diodes on the connection pins to
prevent external voltages from damaging their sensitive
transistors. Diodes are used to protect from over-voltages at
higher power.

Application of Diodes

 Logic gates
Diodes can be combined with other components to construct AND
and OR logic gates. This is referred to as diode logic
 Temperature measurements
A diode can be used as a temperature measuring device, since the
forward voltage drop across the diode depends on temperature, as
in a Silicon bandgap temperature sensor. From the Shockley ideal
diode, it appears the voltage has a positive temperature coefficient
(at a constant current) but depends on doping concentration and
operating temperature. The temperature coefficient can be
negative as in typical thermistors or positive for temperature sense
diodes down to about 20 kelvins. Typically, silicon diodes have
approximately −2 mV/˚C temperature coefficient at room

 New York University