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EGR220 Than & Bhavin Lab #1

Introduction and Objectives Since the zener diode's Vz is 7.5V, at ±7V, we could not
see the reverse region. We changed the voltage to
Although, nowadays, Zener Diodes are becoming less ±8V, and ±9V respectively, and captured the screen
popular and virtually replaced with specially designed image.
IC (integrated circuits), they are simple and useful.
Therefore, in this lab, we were instructed to measure
and analyze the static characteristic of zener diodes.
The primary objectives of this lab are:

1. To analyze and understand the nature of I-V

curve of the zener diode
2. To be able to collect data, to plot data and to
calculate rz, Iz and Vz
3. To be able to design voltage regulator

Equipments and Components used Figure 2: I-V curve of Zener Diode (±8V)

In this lab, the equipments and components we used

are:- Zener diodes: 7.5V, 2W (x2); Resistors: 200Ω
@ 1W, 51Ω@ 1W, 20Ω @ 2W; a breadboard, a
waveform generator, ±20V power supply, a multi-
meter, an Oscilloscope to capture the I-V curve, wires
and cords.

Procedures
Procedure 1: Capturing I-V curve of the Zener
Figure 3: I-V curve of Zener Diode (±9V)
Diode
Procedure 2: Measuring and Plotting of Zener
In order to capture the I-V curve of the zener Diode on
Oscilloscope, we used time varying voltage source
Diode Current Voltage Point by Point
±7V, ±8V, ±9VSine Wave with frequency of 1kHz) to
trace forward and reverse characteristic of the zener
diode. One oscilloscope probe was placed across the
resistor to measure the diode current (Vr /R) and the
other was placed across the diode to measure diode
voltage by using a resistor with low resistance (3Ώ) (to
avoid unnecessary voltage drop).

By using the circuit in figure 4, in which R is 3Ώ, we

measured the zener diode voltage and current by
Figure 1: I-V curve of Zener Diode (±7V)
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EGR220 Than & Bhavin Lab #1

measuring point to point basis. Then we plotted the Since

measurement.
ΔVo = ΔVin (rz / (R + rz)) (2)

We expected that there is a linear relationship

between ΔVo and ΔVin with a slope of (rz / (R + rz)).

Then, we measured and plotted load current and zener

diode current as a function of Vin.

120

100

Current (0.001mA)
Figure 5: I-V curve plotted from measurements 80

60
By using the following formula, we calculated rz Iz
40 IL
rz = ΔV / ΔI (1)
20
We got rz = 2Ώ.
0
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Vin (Voltage)

According to our measurements and graph, we

concluded that the load regulation of zener diode
is almost a constant function of Vin. The
Figure 6 maximum zener diode current we measured is
0.096 mA, which was less than the current rating
Then, we built the circuit in Figure 6 , and measured of zener diode which is 0.26mA.
Vz, Iz and IL.
8.2 Procedure 3: Designing Voltage regulator with
8 the Zener Diode
7.8
7.6
In this procedure, we were instructed to build a
7.4
voltage regulator, which has a voltage regulation
across RL is around 2Vz (15V), while the input
7.2
voltage will range between 17V to 20V.
7
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Figure 7: Vin and Vo Graph

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EGR220 Than & Bhavin Lab #1

Discussion
Although Zener diodes were popular because of
they are simple and useful, they are now virtually
replaced with IC. In fact, voltage regulation is
one of the important applications for power
supplies to prevent unnecessary damage to load
circuits. Therefore, although they are now
obsolete, it is very important to know how to
implement

References
Figure 9: circuit design
 Sedra, Adel S., and Smith. Kenneth C.
First, we calculated Vzo by using “Microelectronics Circuits”. 5th. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2004.
Vzo = Vz – rzIz (3)

we got 7.5V for Vzo. We assume RL is 200Ώ, and

we calculated R by using

where rz = 2Ώ and Vo = 15V, Izmin = 1/3*(ILmax)

Ilmax = 2Vz/ RL and V = 17V (for min voltage.) We
got R =94.5; and we used 100Ώ. Then, we plotted the
measurements.

15.5

15.4

15.3
Output Voltage

15.2
Vo
15.1

15

14.9
16.5 17 17.5 18 18.5 19 19.5 20 20.5
Input Voltage

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