Forward Biasing Experiment Class 12 Notes | EduRev

Physics Class 12

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Class 12 : Forward Biasing Experiment Class 12 Notes | EduRev

The document Forward Biasing Experiment Class 12 Notes | EduRev is a part of the Class 12 Course Physics Class 12.
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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.

Unbiased diode and forward biased diode

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.
Forward Biasing Experiment Class 12 Notes | EduRev
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.
Forward Biasing Experiment Class 12 Notes | EduRev

Electron and hole current

  • 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. 
    Forward Biasing Experiment Class 12 Notes | EduRev

    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.

    Conclusion

    Remember, holes are nothing but vacancies created when the electrons left an atom. In p-type semiconductors, the valence electrons move from one atom to another atom whereas holes move in opposite direction. However, holes are the majority in p-type semiconductor. Hence, holes are considered as the charge carriers in the p-type semiconductor, which carry electric current from one point to another point.

    The actual direction of current is the direction of free electrons (from n-side to p-side). However, the conventional direction of electric current is the direction of holes (from p-side to n-side).

    Types of Diodes

    The various types of diodes are as follows:

    1. Zener diode
    2. Avalanche diode
    3. Photodiode
    4. Light Emitting Diode
    5. Laser diode
    6. Tunnel diode
    7. Schottky diode
    8. Varactor diode
    9. P-N junction diode
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