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EE 207

QUIZ-II

26th September, 2014

1.

(a) Consider the thin, infinitely long (and wide) n-type semiconductor sample subjected
to radiation shown above, resulting in a uniform steady-state generation rate of holes
G p throughout the sample. Assume the recombination rate of excess holes is given
by R p p p , where p is the hole lifetime; the hole diffusivity is D p and
diffusion length is p D p p . Using only the semiconductor (Shockley) equations,
show rigorously that the excess hole concentration everywhere in the sample is G p p .
x=0

+x
(b) Now suppose the sample is semi-infinite with a contact at x 0 as shown above. It is
characterized by a hole surface recombination velocity S p defined below. Starting
from the semiconductor (Shockley) equations, show that the excess hole
S e x p
p p
. Assume no drift.
concentration is now given by G p p 1
D

p p S p

Hole current flowing into contact


Sp
Excess hole charge at x 0
(c) Give physical interpretations for what you get in the extreme cases S 0 and
S.

(a) The continuity equation for holes is:

p
1
J p G p R p ...[1]
t
q

(0.5)

where the symbols have their usual meaning. In the steady state there is no time
dependence, so the LHS is zero. Also since the generation is homogeneous, there is
no divergence in the current, so the first term in the RHS is also zero. Therefore:
G p R p 0 G p p p p G p p ...[2]

(0.5+0.5+0.5)

(b) Suppose the excess hole concentration as a function of position is given by p x .


The steady-state hole continuity equation for this case is:

1 J p
G p R p 0...[3]
q x

(0.5)

The (diffusion) current is given by: J p qD p

p
p
qD p
...[4]
x
x

(0.5)

Using [4] in [3]:


2 p
G p R p 0...[5]
x 2
2 p
p
Dp
Gp
0
2
x
p
Dp

2 p
G p p p 0
x 2
2 p p G p p p

2
x 2
D p p
p
D p p

(1.0)

2 p p
2 ...[6]
x 2
p

where p p G p p . This admits solutions of the well-known form:

p x Ae

x p

Be

x p

...[7]

Since the excess hole concentration cannot increase without bound far away from the
contact, we must have A 0 . Therefore:

p x Be

x p

p x G p p Be

x p

(0.5+0.5)

...[8]

Clearly this satisfied the condition that must obtain far away from the contact, viz.
p G p p , which is the bulk situation from part (a).
For the boundary condition at the contact, we calculate the current there from Eq. [8]:
(1.0)

J p 0 qD p

p
x

J p 0 qD p
x0

B
...[9]
p

From Eq. [8] we also get: p 0 G p p B B p 0 G p p ...[10]


Using Eq. [10] in Eq. [9], we get:
J p 0

qD p B

qD p p 0 G p p

J p 0

p 0 G p p

qD p

(1.0)

Applying the definition of the surface recombination velocity, we get:


qS p p 0

p 0 G p p

qD p

Dp
p 0

p 0 G p p p S p

Dp
Dp
p 0

p 0
G p p ...[11]
G p p
Dp p S p
Dp p S p

(1.0+1.0)

Using Eq. [10] and Eq. [11] in Eq. [8], we get:

x
Dp
p x G p p G p p
1 e p
D S

p p
p

x p

S e
p x G p p 1 p p
...[12]
Dp p S p

(1.0)

(c) S p 0 corresponds to the case where surface recombination at the contact is


practically non-existent. As expected, the excess carrier concentration in this case is
seen to have the same bulk value everywhere that we derived in part (a), as if the
contact does not exist.
(1.0)
When S p , Eq. [12] implies that the excess hole concentration varies as:

p x G p p 1 e

x p

...[13]

This shows that for extreme surface recombination the excess hole concentration
decreases to zero at the contact as might be expected; it is an exponential decay from
its bulk value, over a length scale defined by the diffusion length.
(1.0)
3

2.

Consider a lightly n-doped semiconductor subjected to high-level hole injection such that
the space-charge there consists (almost) entirely of the injected holes; i.e. the injected
hole density in the n semiconductor is much larger than N d , the donor doping there. We
wish to calculate the dc characteristics of this device in the high-field regime, assuming
unipolar (no electrons) transport. The hole drift velocity as a function of electric field E
pE
is given by v p
; you may assume large electric field with consequent
1 p E vs
velocity saturation. The mobility p , saturation velocity vs and the permittivity may
be assumed to be constants.
(a) Show that with the boundary condition E 0 0 , the electric field in the n region is

J x
, 0 x L , where J , the current density, may be assumed to be
vs
entirely due to drift.
given by E

2 v s
V
2 a.
L

(b) Show that the current density is related to the applied voltage as J

(c) The situation explored in this problem is highly non-ohmic. Why? Yet, we ended up
with an I-V characteristic that appears to be ohmic (I is proportional to V). Resolve
the paradox.

(a) Current continuity implies that:

dJ
0 J constant
dx

(0.5)

Since this is a pure drift current:

J pqv p

(0.5)

Now, the velocity at all points is to be approximated as the saturation velocity. This
would only be wholly accurate if the field was high everywhere. This will be seen to
not be the case. However, if the field is high in most of the device, then v p v s x is
a good approximation. Then, we have:

J pqvs ...[1]

(0.5)

With the assumption of completely injected space charge, Gauss Law gives:

dE q p N d q p

...[2]
dx

(1.0)

Using Eq. [1] in Eq. [2]:


4

dE q p q J
J

dE
dx
dx

qvs
vs
E

(1.0)

J
dx
vs
0

dE
0

(0.5)

J x
E
...[3]
vs
(b) From part (a) above, we have:

dV J x

dx
vs

J
dV
xdx

v
s 0
Va
(1.0+1.0)

J L2
Va
vs 2
2 v
J 2s
L

Va ...[4]

(c) This problem is non-ohmic in two senses. First, the carrier velocity is not
proportional to the electric field; and second, there is space charge in the device
giving a non-uniform electric field.
(1.0)
J pqv p pq p E pq p E p E
In the ohmic case, we would have
A p
V
J p I
V I GV
L
L
In this case, J pqvs and thus, there is no field/voltage dependence in the carrier
velocity. However, the carrier concentration comes from space charge and is
J
v E L E L
p
s

qvs qvs L
q L
therefore proportional to field/voltage as:
J
2 vs Va 2 Va
p

qvs
qvs L2
q L2
Therefore, the current still comes out proportional to the voltage. Note, however, that
this case is distinguished from the truly ohmic by the length dependence of the
conductance.
(1.0)