Chapter 4: p-n Junctions

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4.1. Introduction

P-n junctions consist of two semiconductor regions of opposite type. Such junctions show a pronounced rectifying behavior. They are also called p-n diodes in analogy with vacuum diodes.

The p-n junction is a versatile element, which can be used as a rectifier, as an isolation structure and as a voltage-dependent capacitor. In addition, they can be used as solar cells, photodiodes, light emitting diodes and even laser diodes. They are also an essential part of Metal-Oxide-Silicon Field-Effects-Transistors (MOSFETs) and Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs).

Boulder, December 2004