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ECE482 Student Name: <name>

Solid State Electronics II

Week 1 Homework Score: ________/________

Homework for Week 1

 Notes and Hints

First, let’s review a couple of notes regarding homework.

(1) You need only do the problems that are listed as required below. However, you will notice that there are extra
problems which may be good practice for the exams. Only turn in the problems that are required.

(2) You may turn in your homework using a printed form of Word or MATLAB, if you desire. You can use this
document as a template. You are encouraged to use tools like MATLAB or Excel! In your job, I highly doubt you will
be turning in a report to your boss, on new device design, that is hand-notes scribbled on paper. If you master
MATLAB, you will find it can save you a ton of time, and you can easily reinsert or change values as needed, re-
arrange equations, etc. (Note, your Prof. is not a MATLAB expert and will be learning it next year in greater detail!).

(3) This week, the homework will simply review basic semiconductor concepts.

 Required Problems (due the next Monday at 10 AM)

1) Use a few sentences to define the following terms (8 points)

a) Indirect Bandgap Semiconductor:
A semiconductor where carriers making the minimum energy transition between the conduction and
valence bands also require a change in k value (i.e. momentum)
b) Excess Carrier:
Free carriers in excess of the thermal equilibrium value.
c) Diffusion Length
The average distance a carrier diffuses before recombining.
d) Minority Carrier Lifetime:
The decay constant describing the recombination rate for minority carriers or the average time before a
minority carrier recombines

2) Mark each statement as either true or false (10 points)

__F__ a) An extrinsic semiconductor at room temperature (i.e. 300 K) has the same number of free electrons and
__F__ b) A unit cell and a primitive cell are the same thing.
__F__ c) The recombination of an electron-hole pair in an indirect bandgap semiconductor is likely to produce light
with an energy equivalent to the bandgap energy
__F__ d) An intrinsic semiconductor at room temperature (i.e. 300 K) has all of the valence band states filled with
electrons and all of the conduction band state empty of electrons.
__F__ e) Elemental semiconductors have a body centered cubic lattice structure where each atom forms covalent
bonds by sharing outer shell electrons with each of 4 nearest neighbor atoms.
ECE482 Student Name: <name>
Solid State Electronics II
Week 1 Homework Score: ________/________

__T__ f) In n-type semiconductor, electrons are the majority carriers and holes are the minority carriers.

3) Provide a short answer for each of the following questions (16 points)
a) What does the Fermi function tells us?
The Fermi-Dirac distribution function gives the probability that an available energy state at energy E will be
occupied by an electron at an absolute temperature T.
b) How is a sample under steady state conditions different than a sample at equilibrium?
The term equilibrium refers to a condition of no external excitation except for temperature, and no net
motion of charge (ex. a sample at a constant temperature, in the dark, with no fields applied). Steady
state refers to a nonequilibrium condition in which all processes are constant and are balanced by
opposing processes (ex. a sample with a constant current or a constant optical generation of EHPs just
balanced by recombination).
c) Why does an intrinsic semiconductor conduct current under normal environmental condition where an
insulator will not?
Under normal environmental condition (i.e. room temperature) there is a small (but measurable) probability
that an electron in the valence band will get enough thermal energy that it can jump up to the conduction
band where it is free to contribute to current flow. With an insulator, the bandgap energy is so much larger
that the probability of an electron getting enough thermal energy to over come it is practically impossible.
Thus, insulators do not have a significant number of free carriers that are able to contribute to current flow.
d) What is the Einstein Relation?
The Einstein Relation defines the relationship between the diffusion coefficient, carrier mobility and the
thermal voltage. Mathematically it is given by D/ = kt/q.

4) Consider a n-type block of Silicon (doped Nd = 1 x 10 /cc) at room temperature under steady illumination.
25 -6
Assume that the generation rate is constant at gop= 5 x 10 /cc-s in the illuminated region. If n= p= 10 s
find the following:

a) Is the sample in thermal equilibrium? (2 points)

No! Since the sample is under steady illumination, it is not in thermal equilibrium.

b) Is this sample operating under low injection conditions? Prove your answer. (4 points)
By assuming low level injection, it is possible to simplify equation 4-5 (pg 115) and thus get to equation 4-6
(pg 116). In order to drop the terms necessary to make this simplification one must assumes that the
thermal equilibrium majority carrier concentration is significantly larger than the excess majority carrier
18 -3
concentration. In this case the thermal equilibrium carrier concentration is ~N d = 1 x 10 cm and the
25 -3 -1 -6 19 -3
excess majority carrier concentration is equal to g op*n=5x10 cm s *10 s=5x10 cm . Since the
excess carrier concentration is larger than the thermal equilibrium majority carrier concentration (i.e.
19 -3 18 -3
5x10 cm > 1 x 10 cm ) then the sample is not under low level injection.

5) Consider an intrinsic semiconductor at 300 K. Sketch each of the following. (8 points)

a) The simplified energy band diagram.
b) The conduction band and valence band density of states functions, N(E).
c) The Fermi-Dirac distribution, f (E).
d) The electron and hole carrier concentrations.
ECE482 Student Name: <name>
Solid State Electronics II
Week 1 Homework Score: ________/________

On each sketch please indicate the conduction band energy, the valence band energy and the Fermi energy.

From figure 3.16a on page 85.

6) For intrinsic Silicon semiconductor at 300K (6 points):

a) where do the electron and holes come from?
Thermal generation of electrons and holes, with equal concentration for each.

b) if we dope the Silicon p-type with NA=10 /cc, what will be the concentration of holes and electrons?
15 2 10 5
p0=10 /cc, remember, n0 x p0= ni and ni=1.5x10 /cc (pg. 93), so n0=2.25x10 /cc

c) in (b) what caused the number of electrons to decrease?

Simple, if we have such a huge increase in the number of holes, it is that much easier for an electron to
find a hole to recombine with, so the recombination rate increases and the electron concentration

17 16
7) An abrupt Si p-n junction has NA=10 /cc and ND=10 /cc, at 300K:
a) calculate the Fermi-levels, draw an equilibrium band diagram for the junction, and find Vo (contact potential)
from the diagram (6 points):

b) calculate Vo (contact potential) using equation 5-8 (it should be the same): (4 points)
kT N A N D 0.0259 eV 1E33 1E33
V0 = ln =  ln = 0.0259 V  ln = 0.754V
q 2
ni 1.6E  19 C 2.25E20 2.25E20
or qV0 = 0.754 eV
ECE482 Student Name: <name>
Solid State Electronics II
Week 1 Homework Score: ________/________

c) what fundamentally caused this contact potential to form (do not say ‘the Fermi levels had to line up’), I want to
know the driving forces that we reviewed in class. A few sentences will suffice. (8 points)
When we join the two semiconductors the electrons in the n-side see a p-side with very few electrons.
Therefore by the laws of diffusion they want to move from high concentration to low concentration and
some move over (diffusion current). The same thing happens to holes on the other side, they diffuse over
(diffusion current). Remember, charge moving due to a concentration gradient is diffusion current. When
these two opposite charge carriers diffuse over they leave behind uncompensated donors and acceptors
that we doped into the semiconductor. This creates an electric field across the junction (and therefore a
voltage). This electric field causes carriers to move back (the opposite way) via drift current. Remember,
charge moving due to E-field is drift current. The system stabilizes when drift current equals diffusion
current, and the contact potential is therefore determined.

7) Boron is implanted into an n-type Si sample with ND=10 /cc, forming an abrupt junction of square cross-
-3 2 18
section with area 2x10 cm . The implanted Boron concentration is NA=4x10 /cc and forms a pn junction with
the n-type substrate. Calculate V0, W, xn0, xp0, Q+, Q-, and E0. Also sketch E and the charge density to scale
like that shown in Fig. 5-12. (16 points):

Just like example 5-2:

Equation (5-8): Vo=0.8498 V
Equation (5-21): W=0.334 m
Equation (5-23): Xno=0.333 m
Equation (5-24): Xpo=0.83 nm
Equation (5-13): Q+=Q-=0.107 nC
Equation (5-17): Eo=5.1E4 V/cm
Sketches like that shown in 5-12 (b) and (c) (if you have the above numbers right, it is easy to draw).

 Extra Practice Problems

None for the 1 week.