CH 2 – Diodes

This chapter introduces the most basic semiconductor component: The Diode. It forms the basis of more advanced semiconductor components such as the transistor, but also applications such as LED lighting and solar cells are based on diodes.
solar_cell_with_ehps_from_photons
Figure 2.1 Schematic drawing of solar cell operation. Light particles (in blue) induce charges in the solar cell.

Chapter Objectives

  1. Understanding the working principles of diode components, including opto-electronic components
  2. Knowing the current-voltage relationship of diodes, and their models
  3. Deriving the input-output characteristic of diode circuits

Probably you have already heard what a diode can do. It conducts current only in one direction. In its most simplified interpretation, this is indeed true. And this allows us to make circuits with special functions, such as rectifiers, clippers and voltage regulators. Before we have a look at these circuits, the physics of a diode in action will be discussed. It will be explained how a diode conducts current in one direction, but not in the other. This is due to the material that is used to build a diode: semiconductors. So, let’s say a few words about these materials first.

Go to 2.1 Semiconductors

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