Electronic Devices and Circuits, Basic Electronic Engineering, Semiconductor Devices and Circuits.
What you will learn
able to learn Basics of semiconductor devices
able to learn the diode characteristics and applications
able to learn special semiconductor devices
able to learn Rectifiers, Clippers and Clamping Circuits, Zener Diode characteristics
A diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts current primarily in one direction. It has low (ideally zero) resistance in one direction, and high (ideally infinite) resistance in the other.
A semiconductor diode, the most commonly used type today, is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material with a p–n junction connected to two electrical terminals. Semiconductor diodes were the first semiconductor electronic devices. The discovery of asymmetric electrical conduction across the contact between a crystalline mineral and a metal was made by German physicist Ferdinand Bra-un in 1874. Today, most diodes are made of silicon, but other semiconducting materials such as gallium arsenic and germanium are also used.
The most common function of a diode is to allow an electric current to pass in one direction (called the diode’s forward direction), while blocking it in the opposite direction (the reverse direction). As such, the diode can be viewed as an electronic version of a check valve. This unidirectional behavior is called rectification and is used to convert alternating current (ac) to direct current (dc). As rectifiers, diodes can be used for such tasks as extracting modulation from radio signals in radio receivers.
A p–n junction diode is made of a crystal of semiconductor, usually silicon, but germanium and gallium arse-nide are also used. Impurities are added to it to create a region on one side that contains negative charge carriers (electrons), called an n-type semiconductor, and a region on the other side that contains positive charge carriers (holes), called a p-type semiconductor. When the n-type and p-type materials are attached together, a momentary flow of electrons occurs from the n to the p side resulting in a third region between the two where no charge carriers are present. This region is called the depletion region because there are no charge carriers (neither electrons nor holes) in it. The diode’s terminals are attached to the n-type and p-type regions. The boundary between these two regions called a p–n junction, is where the action of the diode takes place. When a sufficiently higher electrical potential is applied to the P side (the anode) than to the N side (the cathode), it allows electrons to flow through the depletion region from the N-type side to the P-type side. The junction does not allow the flow of electrons in the opposite direction when the potential is applied in reverse, creating, in a sense, an electrical check valve.