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I.

Introduction

A diode is an electronic component with two electrodes (connectors). It allows electricity to go


through it only in one direction.
Diodes can be used to convert alternating current to direct current (Diode bridge). They are
often used in power supplies and sometimes to decode amplitude modulation radio signals (like in
a crystal radio). Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are a type of diode that produce light.
Today, the most common diodes are made from semiconductor materials such as silicon or
sometimes germanium.
The positive supply is connected to the anode and a negative supply to the cathode of the PN
Semiconductor diode is called Forward Bias. Increase the +ve supply to anode, the depletion region width
decrease and conduction of electron increase.
The VI characteristics may be obtained by performed DC sweep analysis. The applied voltage is
varying from an initial value of 0 to stop vale of 1 V in the step of increment 0.1v. To get VI
characteristics, the currents corresponding to varying input voltages are noted and VI graph is observed in
the output graph.
Part 1: Diode Characteristics

II. 1 Theory of Operation

Digital multimeter can be used in determining the operating condition of a diode. They have a
scale denoted by a diode symbol that will indicate the condition of the diode in the forward and reverse
bias regions.If connected to establish a forward bias condition the meter will display the forward voltage
across the diode at a current level typically in the neighborhood of 2 mA. If the connected to establish a
reverse bias condition an “OL” should appear on the display to support the open circuit approximation
frequently applied to this region.If the matter does not have the diode –checking capability he condition
of the diode can be checked by obtaining some measure of the resistance level in the forward and reverse
–bias region.

The current-volt characteristics of a silicon or germanium diode have the general shape shown in
Fig.1.1.Note the charge in scale for both the vertical and horizontal axes.In the reverse – biased region the
reverse saturation currents are fairly constant from 0V to the Zener potential. In the forward – bias region
the current increases quite rapidly with increasing diode voltage. Note that the curve is rising almost
vertically at a forward-bias voltage of less than 1V.The forward-bias diode current will be limited solely
by the network in which the diode is connected or by the maximum current or power rating of the diode.

The “firing potential” or threshold voltage is determined by extending a straight line(dashed lines
of Fig.1.1) tangent to the curves until it hits the horizontal VT at which the current begins to rise rapidly.
Figure 1.1 Silicon and Germanium diode characteristics

The DC or Static resistance of the diode at any point on the characteristics is determined by the
ratio of the diode voltage at that point, divided by the diode current.That is,

VD
RDC  ohms
ID

The AC resistance at a particular diode current of voltage can be determined using a tangent line
.The resulting voltage(ΔV) and the current (ΔI) derivations can be measured and the following equation
applied.

V
rd  ohms
I

Figure 1.2

It can be shown through the application of the differential calculus that the AC resistance of a
diode in the vertical – rise section of the characteristics is

26mV
rd  ohms
ID

For levels of the current at and below the knee of the curve the AC resistance of a Silicon diode is
better approximated by

26mV
rd  2( )ohms
ID

III. 1 Objective :

To calculate,compare, draw, and measure the characteristics of a silicon and germanium diode.

IV. 1 Materials:
Resistor - (1) 1k Ω Resistor - (1) 1M Ω

DMM

DC power supply
Diode - (1) Silicon Diode - (1) Germanium

V. 1 Procedure

A. Diode Test
Diode Testing Scale

The diode testing scale of a DMM can be used to determine the operating condition of a diode. With
one polarity, the DMM should provide the "firing potential" of the diode, while the reverse connection should
result in an "OL" response to support the open circuit approximation,

Using the connection in Fig 1.2, the constant current source of about 2mA internal to the meter will
forward bias the junction, and a voltage of about Q 7 V (700 mV) will be obtained for silicon and 0 3 V
(300mV) for germanium. If the leads are reversed, an OL indication will be obtained.

If a low reading (less than 1 V) is obtained in both directions, the junction is shortened internally.
If an OL indication is obtained in both directions, the junction is open.

Perform the tests of Table 1.1 for the silicon and germanium diodes.

Table 1.1

Test Si Ge
Forward
Reverse
Based on the results of Table 1.1, are both diodes in good condition?
Resistance Scales

As indicated in the Theory of Operation section of this experiment, the conndition of a diode can
also be checked using the resistance scales of a volt-ohm-meter (VOM) or digital meter. Using the
appropriate scales of the VOM or DMM, determine the resistance levels of the forward- and reverse-bias
regions of the Si and Ge diodes. Enter the results in Table 1.2.

Table 1.2

Test Si Ge Meter
Forward DMM
Reverse DMM
Although the firing potential is not revealed using the resistance scales, a “good” diode will
result in lower resistance level in forward bias state and much higher resistance level when reverse-
biased.

Based on the results of Table 1.2, are both diodes in good condition?

B. Forward Bias Diode Characteristics

In this part of the experiment we will obtain sufficient data to plot the forward-bias
characteristics of the silicon and germanium diodes on Fig. 1.5

a. Construct the network on Figure 1.4 with the supply E set 0V. Record the measured value of
the resistor.

b. Increase the supply voltage until VR reads 0.1 V. Then measure VD and insert its voltage in
Table 1.3. Calculate the value of the corresponding current ID using the equation shown in
Table 1.3

Table 1.3
VD versus ID for the silicon diode.
VR (V) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
VD (V)
VR
ID  (mA)
Rmeas

VR (V) 0.9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
VD (V)

VR
ID  (mA)
Rmeas

Repeat step b for the remaining settings for VR, using the equation in Table 1.3.
c. Replace the silicon diode by a germanium diode and complete Table 1.4

Table 1.4
VD versus ID for the germanium diode.
VR (V) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
VD (V)
VR
ID  (mA)
Rmeas

VR (V) 0.9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
VD (V)

VR
ID  (mA)
Rmeas

d. On Fig. 1.5, plot ID versus VD for the silicon and germanium diodes complete the curves by
extending the lower region of each curve to the intersection of the axis at ID = 0 mA and
VD= 0V. Label each curve and clearly indicate data points.
e. How do the curves differ? What are their similarities?
ID (mA)

VD
Figure 1.5
C. Reverse Bias

a. In Fig. 1.6 a reverse bias condition has been established. Since the reverse saturation current will be
relatively small, a large resistance of 1 MΩ is required if the voltage across R is to be of measurable
amplitude. Construct the circuit of Fig. 1.6 and record the measured value of R on the diagram.

0.920 MΩ

b. Measure the voltage VR. Calculate the reverse saturation current from ID = VR / (Rmeas || Rm). The
internal resistance (Rm) of the DMM is included because of the large magnitude of the resistance R. Your
instructor will provide the internal resistance of the DMM for your calculations if unavailable. Use a
typical of 10MΩ.

Rm=
VR (measured) =
ID (calculated) =
c. Repeat step C (b) for the germanium diode.

VR (measured) =
ID (calculated) =
d. How do the resulting levels of ID for silicon and germanium compare.

e. Determine the DC resistance levels for silicon and germanium diode using the equation

VD VD E  VR
RDC   
ID IS IS

RDC (calculated)(Si) =
RDC (calculated)(Ge) =

Are the resistance levels sufficiently high to be considered open-circuit equivalents if appearing in series
with resistors in the low kilo-ohm range?

D. DC Resistance

a. Using the Si curve of Figure 1.5 determine the diode voltage at diode current levels indicated in table
1.5. Then determine the DC resistance at each current level. Show all calculations.

Table 1.5
ID(mA) VD RDC
0.2
1
5
10
b. Repeat D(a) for germanium and complete Table 1.6 ( Table 1.6 is the same as Table 1.5).

Table 1.6

ID(mA) VD RDC
0.2
1
5
10
c. Does the resistance (for Si and Ge) change as the diode current increases and we move up the vertical-
rise section of the characteristics?

E. AC Resistance

a. Using the equation rd = ∆V/∆I, determine the AC resistance of the silicon diode at ID = 9mA using the
curve of Fig. 1.5 Show all the work.

RD(calculated)=

b. Determine the AC resistance at ID = 9mA using the equation rd = 26mV/ ID (mA) for the silicon diode.
Show all work.

RD(calculated)=

How do the results of E(a) and E(b) compare?

c. Repeat step E(a) for ID = 2mA for the silicon diode.

RD(calculated)=

d. Repeat step E(b) for for ID = 2mA for the silicon diode. Use RD = 26mV/ID ohms

RD(calculated)=

How do the results of E(c) and E(d) compare?

F. Firing Potential

Graphically determine the firing potential (threshold voltage) of each diode from its
characteristics as defined in the theory of operation .Show the straight- line approximations on Fig. 1.5.

From actual measurement data

VT(silicon)=

VT(germanium)=
From multisim data

VT(silicon)=

VT(germanium)=

Part 2: Series – Parallel Diode Configurations

II.2 Theory of Operation

Determining the states of the diode was the first requirement in analysis of circuits with diodes
and a DC input. For silicon diodes (with a transition voltage or “firing potential” of 0.7 V), e voltage
across the diode must be at least 0.7 V. For VD < 0.7V or for voltages with the opposite polarity, the diode
can be approximated as an open circuit. For germanium diodes, simply replace the transition voltage by
the germanium value of 0.3 V.

In most networks where the applied DC voltage exceeds the transition voltage of the diodes, the
state of the diode can usually be determined simply by mentally replacing the diode by a resistor and
determining the direction of current through the resistor. If the direction matches the arrowhead of the
diode symbol, the diode is in the “on” state and if the opposite, it is in the “off” state. Once the state is
determined, simply replace the diode by the transition voltage or open circuit and analyze the rest of the
network.

Be continually alert to the location of the output voltage Vo=VR=IrR. This is particularly helpful
in situations where a diode is in an open- circuit condition and the current is zero. For Ir = 0, V0 = Vr =
IRR = 0(R) = 0V. in addition, recall that an open circuit can have a voltage across it, but the current is
limited only by the external network or limitations of the diode.

The analysis of the logic gates requires that one make an assumption about the state of the diodes,
determine the various voltage levels and then determine whether the results violate any basic laws, such
as the fact that a point in a network (such as Vo) can have only one voltage level. It is usually helpful to
keep in mind that there must be a forward – bias voltage across a diode equal to the transition voltage to
turn it “on”. Once Vo is determined and no laws are violated with the diodes in their assumed states, a
solution to the configuration ca be assumed.

III.2 Objectives:

1. To develop the ability to analyze networks with diodes in a series or parallel configuration.
2. To calculate and measure the circuit voltages of various diode circuits.

IV.2 Materials

DMM Resistor - (2) 1k Ω


Diode - (1) Germanium
Diode - (1) Silicon
DC power supply

V.2 Procedure

A. Threshold Voltage VT
For both the silicon and germanium diode, determine the threshold using the diode – checking
capability of the DMM or a curve tracer. For this experiment the “firing voltages” obtained will
establish the equivalent characteristics for each diode appering in fig 1.8. record the balue of Vt
obtained for each diode in Fig 1.8 If the diode checking capability or curve tracer is unavailable,
assume Vt = 0.7 V for silicon and Vt = 0.3 V for germanium.

Fig. 1.8 Firing voltage for silicon and germanium.

B. Series Configuration
a. Construct the circuit of Fig 1..9. Record the measured Value of R.

b. Using the firing voltages of the silicon and germanium diodes as measured in A and the
measured resistances for R, calculate the theoretical values of Vo and Id. Insert the level of
VT for VD.
VD =
Vo (calculated) =
ID(calculated) =
c. Measure the voltages Vd and Vo using DMM. Calculate the current Id from measured values.
Compare with the results of B (b)
VD (measured) = ______
Vo (calculated) =
ID(calculated) =

VI. Results and Findings


Part 1:
A. Diode Test
Table 1.1
Test Si Ge
Forward 0.506V 0.534 V
Reverse OL OL

Table 1.2

Test Si Ge Meter
Forward 0.853MΩ 0.692MΩ DMM
Reverse OL OL DMM

B. Forward-bias Diode Characteristics

a. R measured  0.998k

b. Silicon Diode
From the actual experiment.

Silicon Current VS Voltage (actual)


12
10
Diode Current

8
6
4
2
0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
Diode Voltage

Table 1.3
VD versus ID for the silicon diode
VR (V) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
VD (V) 0.459 0.492 0.511 0.527 0.537 0.547 0.553 0.560
ID 0.1002 0.2004 0.3006 0.4008 0.501 0.6012 0.7014 0.8016
VR (V) 0.9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
VD (V) 0.566 0.571 0.606 0.627 0.640 0.652 0.661 0.668 0.674 0.680 0.684

ID 0.902 1.002 2.004 3.006 4.008 5.01 6.012 7.014 8.016 9.018 10.02

Using Multisim

Silicon Current VS Diode


(multisim)
15
Diode Current

10

0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
Diode Voltage

Table 1.3
VD versus ID for the silicon diode
VR (V) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
VD (V) 0.417 0.452 0.473 0.488 0.4996 0.509 0.517 0.524
ID 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.60 0.70 0.80

VR (V) 0.9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
VD (V) 0.530 0.536 0.571 0.592 0.607 0.619 0.628 0.636 0.643 0.649 0.655

ID 0.90 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0

C. Germanium Diode
From the actual experiment.

Germanium Current VS Diode


(actual)
15
Diode Current

10

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8
Diode Voltage
Table 1.4
VD versus ID for the germanium diode.
VR (V) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
VD (V) 0.481 0.516 0.535 0.550 0.561 0.570 0.577 0.583
ID 0.1002 0.2004 0.3006 0.4008 0.501 0.6012 0.7014 0.8016

VR (V) 0.9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
VD (V) 0.589 0.595 0.630 0.651 0.665 0.677 0.688 0.695 0.703 0.710 0.716

ID 0.902 1.002 2.004 3.006 4.008 5.01 6.012 7.014 8.016 9.018 10.02

Using Multisim

Germanium Current VS Voltage


(multisim)
12
10
Diode CUrrent

8
6
4
2
0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7
Diode Voltage

Table 1.4
VD versus ID for the germanium diode.
VR (V) 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8
VD (V) 0.461 0.488 0.504 0.516 0.524 0.532 0.538 0.543
ID 0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.60 0.70 0.80

VR (V) 0.9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
VD (V) 0.548 0.552 0.579 0.595 0.607 0.615 0.623 0.629 0.634 0.639 0.643

ID 0.9 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0

C. Reverse Bias
For silicon diode
Rm= 0.920 M
VR (measured) = 11.7 mV

ID (calculated) = 0.0127 A

For germanium diode


Rm= 1.5M
VR (measured) = 15.6mV

ID (calculated) = 0.0104 A

Reverse Bias in actual experiment for Germanium and Silicon Diodes


(pics) VD VD E  VR
RDC   
ID IS IS
Where VD = 0.7 V (silicon), and 0.3 V (germanium)

RDC (calculated)(Si) = 55.0427 M


RDC (calculated)(Ge) = 28.8462 M

D. DC Resistance
Table 1.5

ID(mA) VD RDC
0.2 0.489 2.445 kΩ
1 0.570 0.570 kΩ
5 0.651 0.1302 kΩ
10 0.683 0.0683 kΩ

Table 1.6

ID(mA) VD RDC
0.2 0.514 2.57 kΩ
1 0.593 0.593 kΩ
5 0.674 0.1348 kΩ
10 0.714 0.0714 kΩ

E. AC Resistance
a. AC resistance of the silicon diode at ID = 9mA

Using equation rd = ∆V/∆I,

0.67989V
RD 
9mA

RD(calculated)= 75.5435

b. AC resistance at ID = 9mA using the equation rd = 26mV/ ID (mA) for the silicon diode,
RD(calculated)= 2.8889

c. For ID = 2mA for the silicon diode, using equation rd = ∆V/∆I,

0.60586V
RD 
2mA

RD(calculated)= 302.9301

d. For ID = 2mA for the silicon diode, use RD = 26mV/ID ohms

RD(calculated)= 13

F. Firing Potential

From actual measurement data

VT(silicon)= ___0.7014 V

VT(germanium)= __0.481 V

From multisim data

VT(silicon)= 0.655 V

VT(germanium)= _____0.461 V

Part 2:

A. Threshold Voltage VT
VT(silicon)= ____0.7 V

VT(germanium)= ___0.3 V _

B. Series Configuration

a. R measured  1.012k

b. VD(silicon)= ____0.7 V VD(germanium)= ___0.3 V__

Vo (calculated) = 4.3V Vo (calculated) = 4.7V

ID(calculated) = 4.2490mA ID(calculated) = 4.6443mA

c. VD(silicon)= 0.625V VD(germanium) = 0.314V

Vo (calculated) = 4.459V Vo (calculated) = 4.74V

ID(calculated) = 4.4061mA ID(calculated) = 4.6838mA

VII. Discussion
The major difference between the silicon and germanium diodes is the voltage at which electric
current begins to flow freely across the diode. A silicon diode typically begins to conduct electric current
when voltage properly applied across the diode reaches 0.7 volts while germanium diodes require less
voltage to conduct current which is equivalent to 0.3V.

Series connection means a side by side connection. When two components are connected in
series, they have one common junction. The variation of voltage and current in a series connection is
when the potential difference across every component is different and the current across every component
connected in series remains the same.The same properties also hold true for diodes when they are
connected in a series configuration.

VIII. Conclusion
In the first part of the experiment, we succeeded in plotting the VI characteristics of
semiconductor PN junction diode. The IN4007(silicon) diode showed a non-linear I-V curve. The applied
voltage is varying from an initial value of 0 to stop vale of 1 V in the step of increment 0.1V. The VI
characteristics were obtained by means of the current that corresponds with varying input voltages. The
current-voltage characteristics of an electronic component tells us much about its operation and can be a
very useful tool in determining the operating characteristics of a particular device or component by
showing its possible combinations of current and voltage, and as a graphical aid can help visually
understand better what is happening within a circuit. We came up of the idea that if diodes are connected
in series it will hold properties such as the resultant diode’s forward voltage increases and the reverse
blocking capabilities of diodes are increased in series connection. V-I characteristics show that the diodes
have different blocking voltages. In forward biased state, the voltage drop and the forward current would
be same on the diodes. While in the reverse biased the blocking voltage is different as the diodes have to
carry the same leakage current. 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.