Chapter 4: Glossary

Name

Abrupt p-n junction

p-n junction with a step function doping profile

Avalanche breakdown

Breakdown mechanism caused by impact ionization leading to avalanching due to carrier multiplication

Breakdown field

Electric field at breakdown

Built-in potential

Potential across a p-n diode in thermal equilibrium.

Capacitance

Charge per unit voltage

Depletion layer width

Width of the region close to the p-n junction without free carriers

Depletion region of a p-n diode

Region close to the p-n junction without free carriers

Edge effects

Flatband diagram

Energy band diagram of a p-n diode containing no net charge

Forward bias

High current bias mode of a rectifying contact

Full-depletion approximation

A common approximation which simplifies the electrostatic analysis of semiconductor devices. Assumed is that the depletion region(s) is(are) fully depleted, with abrupt transitions to the adjacent quasi-neutral regions

High Injection

High injection occurs by definition when, while forward biasing a p-n diode, the minority carrier density equals or exceeds the doping concentration in the semiconductor. See also High-Current Analysis.

Ideal diode analysis

p-n diode analysis based on recombination currents in the quasi-neutral regions

Ideality factor

I-V characteristics

Laser diode

p-n diode with an optical cavity, which emits coherent light when forward biased

Light emitting diode (LED)

p-n diode which emits light when forward biased

Long diode

p-n diode with a long quasi-neutral region as compared to the minority carrier diffusion length in that region

One-sided p-n junction

Junction with a very large doping density on one side and a very low density of the other side.

Photodiode

A p-n junction which can be exposed to light, thereby yielding a photocurrent

p-n junction

A junction between an n-type and a p-type semiconductor

Poisson's equation

Quasi-neutral region

Recombination-generation current in a p-n diode

Current due to recombination of carriers in the depletion region of a p-n diode

Recombination-generation current in a p-n diode

Current due to band-to-band recombination of carriers in the depletion region of a p-n diode

Recombination-generation current in a p-n diode

see Shockley-Hall-Read

Recombination-generation current in a p-n diode

Current due to Shockley-Hall-Read recombination of carriers in the depletion region of a p-n diode

Reverse bias

Low current bias mode of a rectifying contact

Reverse bias

Series resistance

Short diode

p-n diode with a short quasi-neutral region as compared to the minority carrier diffusion length in that region

Solar cell

A p-n diode, which converts optical power into electrical power

Zener breakdown

Breakdown mechanism caused by tunneling of carriers through the energy bandgap