Explain the effect of temperature on PN junction diode.
1 Answer
  • PN junction diode parameters like reverse saturation current, bias current, reverse breakdown voltage and barrier voltage are dependent on temperature.
  • Mathematically diode current is given by

    $I = IS * (exp(^{(V/(n*k*T/q))}) –1)$

    Hence from equation we conclude that the current should decrease with increase in temperature but exactly opposite occurs there are two reasons:

  • Rise in temperature generates more electron-hole pair thus conductivity increases and thus increase in current
  • Increase in reverse saturation current with temperature offsets the effect of rise in temperature
  • Reverse saturation current $(I_S)$ of diode increases with increase in the temperature the rise is 7%/ºC for both germanium and silicon and approximately doubles for every $10ºC$ rise in temperature.
  • Thus if we kept the voltage constant, as we increase temperature the current increases.
  • Barrier voltage is also dependent on temperature it decreases by 2mV/ºC for germanium and silicon.
  • Reverse breakdown voltage $(V_R)$ also increases as we increase the temperature.

Fig1 Characteristics of diode with respect to temperature

Fig1 Characteristics of diode with respect to temperature

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