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Power Electronics

Jazir S | ACE College of Engineering

SCR : Introduction
SCR is a semiconductor device having 3 or
more junctions.
It is a bistable device which may be switched
from ON state to OFF state and vice versa.
SCR is a member of thyristor family.

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SCR : Architecture
An SCR can be seen as a conventional rectifier
controlled by a gate signal
It is a 4-layered 3-terminal device

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The architecture is as
shown in figure.
It is a four layer device
forming three junctions
J1, J2, J3.
There are 3 terminals
marked as anode A,
cathode K, gate G

Anode
P
J1
N
J2
P
Gate

J3
N

Cathode
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Static I-V Characteristics of a SCR


An elementary circuit
diagram for obtaining
static I-V characteristics of
an SCR is shown here.
The anode and cathode
are connected to main
source through the load.
The gate and cathode are
fed from a source Es
Es provides positive gate
current from gate to
cathode
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The figure shows static I-V characteristics of


SCR

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Va Anode voltage across A & K


Ia Anode current
The I-V characteristics shows that SCR has 3
modes of operation
Reverse Blocking mode
Forward Blocking mode
Forward Conduction mode.

Jazir S | ACE College of Engineering

1. Reverse Blocking (OFF)


State

Anode is connected to ve
terminal of voltage source
Cathode is connected to +ve
terminal
Gate is open
J1 & J3 will be reverse
biased
J2 will be forward biased
Very small reverse leakage
current (a few mA) will be
flowing through SCR.
In the figure region OP
represents this mode.
SCR offers high impedance
in the reverse direction and
act as open switch.

Anode
to
Negative
P
J1
N
J2
P
Gate

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J3
N

Cathode
to
Positive

Reverse
Leakage
current
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If the reverse voltage is


increased, then at a critical
breakdown level an avalanche
occurs at J1 and J3 and the
reverse current increases
rapidly.
This voltage is called Reverse
Breakdown Voltage VBR
This will cause large current to
flow and may damage the SCR
as the junction temperature
may exceed its permissible
limit.
So maximum working reverse
voltage should not exceed VBR
PQ represents the avalanche
region
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2. Forward Blocking State

Anode is connected to +ve


terminal of a voltage
source.
Cathode is connected to
sources ve terminal
Gate is open
Junctions J1 & J3 are
forward biased
J2 will be reverse biased.
Only a small forward
leakage current will be
flowing through the device.
SCR offers high impedance.
In the figure OM represents
this mode

Forward
Leakage
current

Anode
to
Positive
P
J1
N
J2
P

Gate

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J3
N

Cathode
to
Negative

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3. Forward Conduction
(ON) State

This happens when the


four layers are filled with
charge carries.
The device can be
brought to this state if &
only if the device is in
Forward blocking mode.
When the anode to
cathode forward voltage
is increased with gate
open, reverse biased J2
will have avalanche
breakdown at a voltage
called Forward Breakover Voltage VBO

Anode
to
Positive
P
J1

N
J2
P
Gate

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J3
N

Cathode
to
Negative
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After this breakdown,


thyristor gets turned on
with point M at once
shifting to N and then to a
point anywhere between N
& K.
NK represents the forward
conduction mode.
Once the SCR starts
conducting, the voltage
drop across the device is
around 1.3 V.
The SCR then behaves like a
closed mechanical switch

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Latching current (IL)

It is the minimum value of


anode current which the SCR
must attain during turn-on
process to maintain
conduction when no gate
signal is applied.

Holding current (IH)

It is the minimum value of


anode current below which it
must fall for turning off the
thyristor.
IL > IH
Latching current is associated
with turn-on process while
Holding current is associated
with turn-off process
Usually IL = 2-3 times of IH

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Thyristor Turn-ON Methods


With anode positive with respect to cathode,
a thyristor can be turned on by
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Forward Voltage triggering


Gate triggering
dv/dt triggering
Temperature triggering
Light triggering

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Forward Voltage triggering


Forward voltage is applied
between anode and cathode
with gate circuit open
Junction J2 will be reverse
biased
So, depletion layer is formed
across J2
The width of this layer
decreases with an increase in
anode-cathode voltage.
If we gradually increase the
anode-cathode voltage a point
is reached where the depletion
region vanishes.
At this moment avalanche
breakdown happens at J2 and
SCR starts conducting.
The voltage at which it occurs is
called Forward Break-over
voltage

Forward
Leakage
current

Anode
to
Positive
P
J1
N
J2
P

Gate

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J3
N

Cathode
to
Negative

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Gate Triggering
This is the simple, reliable, efficient and most usual
method of firing the SCR.
A thyristor with VBO (800 V ) higher than normal
working voltage ( 400 V ) is chosen.
So the SCR will remain in forward blocking state with
normal working voltage across anode and cathode &
with gate open.
To turn on SCR, a positive gate voltage between gate
& cathode is applied
This will inject charges into the inner p layer and
voltage at which forward breakover occurs is reduced.
Higher the gate current, lower is the forward
breakover voltage
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The figure shows the effect of gate current on forward breakover voltage

For gate current Ig0 = 0 Forward breakover voltage is VBO

For Ig1 forward breakover voltage is V1 and is less than VBO

Ig0< Ig1 < Ig2 < Ig3

VBO> V1> V2> V3


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Temperature triggering
During forward blocking, most of the applied
voltage appears across reverse biased J2.
This raise the temperature of this junction
With increase in temperature, depletion layer
width decreases.
This further leads to more leakage current and
therefore more junction temperature.
With cumulative process, at some high
temperature, depletion layer of J2 vanishes and
the device gets turned on.
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Light triggering
A recess is made in the
inner p-layer as shown in
figure.
When this recess is
irradiated, free charge
carriers are generated
Light pulse of appropriate
wavelength is used for
irradiation.
If the intensity of this light
thrown at recess exceeds a
certain value, forward
biased SCR is turned on.
Such a thyristor is known
as Light-Activated SCR
(LASCR)
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Phototransistor
A phototransistor behaves
similar to conventional bipolar
transistor, except for the way
in which base current is
generated.
The principle of operation of
phototransistor is photoelectric effect (ie, liberation of
electrons from a material
when it is exposed to light).
It is a photoconductive device
in which the resistance of the
device decreases with increase
in the intensity of light.

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Principle of operation
The phototransistor
works based on the
principle of Photoelectric effect.
Phototransistor has a
light sensitive collector
base p-n junction
It is exposed to incident
light through a lens
placed in the transistor
package.
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When there is no incident


light, there is a small
thermally generated
collector to emitter leakage
current.
This is called Dark current
and this in nA range.
When light strikes the
collector base p-n junction,
a base current IB is
produced.
This IB is directly
proportional to the intensity
of light.
Since IC = bIB, the collector
current also increases with
the intensity of light.
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A phototransistor can be
either a two lead or three lead
device.
In two lead configuration, the
base is not electrically
available and the device can
be used only with light as
input.
In three lead configuration,
the base is brought out, so
that the device can be used as
a conventional bipolar
transistor.
The figure shows typical
collector characteristic curves.
The individual curves
correspond to a particular
value of intensity.
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Light
intensity
in Lumen

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Application : Light Interruption Alarm


Phototransistor can be
used to detect intruders
in high security area.
Consider a room in which,
a light source is placed on
one wall and a light
detector consisting of
phototransistor is placed
on the opposite wall of
the room.
In the normal condition ,
the light falls on the
detector.

Fig a. Circuit for alarm


Fig b. Light source & detector

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As a result, the
phototransistor Q is ON.
So no current flows
through the gate of
thyristor T.
The thyristor will be OFF
then and thus the alarm
will be disconnected
from the supply as
shown in the figure
Fig. Equivalent circuit in
presence of light
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When a person enters the


room, the light will be
interrupted.
As a result, the
phototransistor Q will be
OFF.
So the whole current
flows to the gate of the
thyristor.
This will turn ON the
thyristor and so the alarm
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Light Dependent Resistor (LDR)


A Light Dependent Resistor
(LDR) or a photo resistor is a
device whose resistivity is a
function of the incident
electromagnetic radiation.
Hence, they are light
sensitive devices.
They are also called as
photo conductors, photo
conductive cells or simply
photocells.
They are made up of
semiconductor materials
having high resistance.
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LDR: Working Principle


A light dependent resistor works on the principle
of photo conductivity.
i.e., the resistance of an LDR decreases with
increasing incident light intensity.
The LDR is made of a high resistance
semiconductor.
In the dark, the LDR can have a resistance as high
as several mega-ohms (M). This resistance is
called Dark resistance.
When exposed to light its resistance may drop to
a few hundred ohms.
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When light falls, i.e. when


the photons fall on the
device, the electrons in
the valence band of the
semiconductor material
are excited to the
conduction band.
These photons in the
incident light should have
energy greater than the
band gap of the
semiconductor material
to make the electrons
jump from the valence
band to the conduction
band.
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Hence when light having


enough energy is incident
on the device, more &
more electrons are
excited to the conduction
band
This results in large
number of charge
carriers.
Hence more and more
current starts flowing and
the resistance of the
device is said to be
decreased.
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LDR: Applications
LDRs are used in
street lamps
alarm clock
burglar alarm circuits
light intensity meters
counting the packages moving on a conveyor belt,
etc.

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Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor


(IGBT)
IGBT has been
developed by
combining into it the
best qualities of both
BJT and PMOSFET
BJT Bipolar Junction
Transistor
PMOSFET Power
Metal Oxide
Semiconductor Field
Effect Transistor.
Jazir S | ACE College of Engineering

IGBT Symbol

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Advantages of IGBT
IGBT possesses high input impedance like a PMOSFET
It has low on-state power loss as in a BJT.
It is free from second breakdown problem present in
BJT.

IGBT is also known as


Metal Oxide Insulated Gate Transistor (MOSIGT)
Conductively-Modulated Field Effect Transistor
(COMFET)
Gain-Modulated FET (GEMFET)
Insulated Gate Transistor (IGT)
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Basic Structure of IGBT


The figure illustrate the basic structure of an IGBT.
IGBT has 3 terminals
Emitter
Collector
Gate

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In IGBT, p+ substrate is
called injection layer
because it injects holes
into n- layer.
The n- layer is called drift
region.
Thickness of the n- layer
determines voltage
blocking capacity of IGBT.
The p layer is called the
body of IGBT.
The n- layer in between p+
& p regions serves to
accommodate the
depletion layer of pnjunction (Junction J2)
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