The heterostructure barrier varactor (HBV) is a semiconductor device which shows a variable capacitance with voltage bias, similar to a varactor diode. Unlike a diode, it has an anti-symmetric current-voltage relationship and a symmetric capacitance-voltage relationship, as shown in the graph to the right. The device was invented by Erik Kollberg together with Anders Rydberg in 1989at Chalmers University of Technology.
In mathematics, even functions and odd functions are functions which satisfy particular symmetry relations, with respect to taking additive inverses. They are important in many areas of mathematical analysis, especially the theory of power series and Fourier series. They are named for the parity of the powers of the power functions which satisfy each condition: the function is an even function if is an even integer, and it is an odd function if is an odd integer.
Chalmers University of Technology is a Swedish university located in Gothenburg that focuses on research and education in technology, natural science, architecture, maritime and other management areas.
The inset of the figure shows the circuit schematic symbol of the HBV. From the symbol, one can conclude that the HBV consists of two, back to back, anti-serially connected rectifying diodes (such as Schottky diodes for instance). The gap in the middle of the diode symbol represents the inherent capacitance of the device. The electrical characteristics of the HBV are realized by separating two layers of a semiconductor material (A) with a layer of another semiconductor material (B). The band-gap of material (B) should be larger than for material (A). This results in a barrier for the carriers trying to travel through the layers (A)-(B)-(A). The (A) layers are usually n-doped which means that electrons are the majority carriers of this device. At different bias voltages the carriers are redistributed and the distance between the carriers on each side of the barrier (B) is different. As a consequence the HBV has electrical properties resembling the parallel plate capacitor with a voltage dependent plate distance d.
The Schottky diode, also known as Schottky barrier diode or hot-carrier diode, is a semiconductor diode formed by the junction of a semiconductor with a metal. It has a low forward voltage drop and a very fast switching action. The cat's-whisker detectors used in the early days of wireless and metal rectifiers used in early power applications can be considered primitive Schottky diodes.
The main application for the HBV diode is to generate extremely high frequency signals from lower frequency input. This type of frequency multiplication is demonstrated as triplers (3× multiplication) at 100 GHz through 282 GHz and up to 450 GHz, and also as quintuplers (5× multiplication) at 175 GHz.
In electronics, a frequency multiplier is an electronic circuit that generates an output signal whose output frequency is a harmonic (multiple) of its input frequency. Frequency multipliers consist of a nonlinear circuit that distorts the input signal and consequently generates harmonics of the input signal. A subsequent bandpass filter selects the desired harmonic frequency and removes the unwanted fundamental and other harmonics from the output.
The frequency multiplication is made possible by the highly nonlinear voltage dependence of the capacitance C(V). By feeding the HBV a signal of low frequency f1, higher harmonics f3=3f1 (tripler), f5=5f1 (quintupler), ... will be generated. Only odd harmonics are generated, since even harmonics are cancelled due to the symmetric nature of the nonlinearity. Also, using this inherent symmetry of the device, it can operate without DC-biasing. This is an advantage compared to the Schottky diode which has to be biased.
Signals generated at these frequencies (100 GHz – 3 THz) have applications in diverse areas such as radioastronomy, security imaging, biological and medical imaging and high-speed wireless communications.
A diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts current primarily in one direction ; it has low resistance in one direction, and high resistance in the other. A diode vacuum tube or thermionic diode is a vacuum tube with two electrodes, a heated cathode and a plate, in which electrons can flow in only one direction, from cathode to plate. A semiconductor diode, the most common type today, is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material with a p–n junction connected to two electrical terminals. Semiconductor diodes were the first semiconductor electronic devices. The discovery of asymmetric electrical conduction across the contact between a crystalline mineral and a metal was made by German physicist Ferdinand Braun in 1874. Today, most diodes are made of silicon, but other materials such as gallium arsenide and germanium are used.
A PIN diode is a diode with a wide, undoped intrinsic semiconductor region between a p-type semiconductor and an n-type semiconductor region. The p-type and n-type regions are typically heavily doped because they are used for ohmic contacts.
In electronics, a varicap diode, varactor diode, variable capacitance diode, variable reactance diode or tuning diode is a type of diode designed to exploit the voltage-dependent capacitance of a reverse-biased p–n junction.
An avalanche photodiode (APD) is a highly sensitive semiconductor electronic device that exploits the photoelectric effect to convert light to electricity. APDs can be thought of as photodetectors that provide a built-in first stage of gain through avalanche multiplication. From a functional standpoint, they can be regarded as the semiconductor analog of photomultipliers. By applying a high reverse bias voltage, APDs show an internal current gain effect due to impact ionization. However, some silicon APDs employ alternative doping and beveling techniques compared to traditional APDs that allow greater voltage to be applied before breakdown is reached and hence a greater operating gain. In general, the higher the reverse voltage, the higher the gain. Among the various expressions for the APD multiplication factor (M), an instructive expression is given by the formula
A Schottky barrier, named after Walter H. Schottky, is a potential energy barrier for electrons formed at a metal–semiconductor junction. Schottky barriers have rectifying characteristics, suitable for use as a diode. One of the primary characteristics of a Schottky barrier is the Schottky barrier height, denoted by ΦB . The value of ΦB depends on the combination of metal and semiconductor.
A tunnel diode or Esaki diode is a type of semiconductor diode that has negative resistance due to the quantum mechanical effect called tunneling. It was invented in August 1957 by Leo Esaki, Yuriko Kurose, and Takashi Suzuki when they were working at Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo, now known as Sony. In 1973, Esaki received the Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Brian Josephson, for discovering the electron tunneling effect used in these diodes. Robert Noyce independently devised the idea of a tunnel diode while working for William Shockley, but was discouraged from pursuing it. Tunnel diodes were first manufactured by Sony in 1957, followed by General Electric and other companies from about 1960, and are still made in low volume today.
A p–n junction is a boundary or interface between two types of semiconductor materials, p-type and n-type, inside a single crystal of semiconductor. The "p" (positive) side contains an excess of holes, while the "n" (negative) side contains an excess of electrons in the outer shells of the electrically neutral atoms there. This allows electrical current to pass through the junction only in one direction. The p-n junction is created by doping, for example by ion implantation, diffusion of dopants, or by epitaxy. If two separate pieces of material were used, this would introduce a grain boundary between the semiconductors that would severely inhibit its utility by scattering the electrons and holes.
A MESFET is a field-effect transistor semiconductor device similar to a JFET with a Schottky (metal-semiconductor) junction instead of a p-n junction for a gate.
An IMPATT diode is a form of high-power semiconductor diode used in high-frequency microwave electronics devices. They have negative resistance and are used as oscillators and amplifiers at microwave frequencies. They operate at frequencies of about 3 and 100 GHz, or higher. The main advantage is their high-power capability; single IMPATT diodes can produce continuous microwave outputs of up to 3 kilowatts, and pulsed outputs of much higher power. These diodes are used in a variety of applications from low-power radar systems to proximity alarms. A major drawback of IMPATT diodes is the high level of phase noise they generate. This results from the statistical nature of the avalanche process.
A Gunn diode, also known as a transferred electron device (TED), is a form of diode, a two-terminal passive semiconductor electronic component, with negative resistance, used in high-frequency electronics. It is based on the "Gunn effect" discovered in 1962 by physicist J. B. Gunn. Its largest use is in electronic oscillators to generate microwaves, in applications such as radar speed guns, microwave relay data link transmitters, and automatic door openers.
Deep-level transient spectroscopy (DLTS) is an experimental tool for studying electrically active defects in semiconductors. DLTS establishes fundamental defect parameters and measures their concentration in the material. Some of the parameters are considered as defect "finger prints" used for their identifications and analysis.
In semiconductor physics, the depletion region, also called depletion layer, depletion zone, junction region, space charge region or space charge layer, is an insulating region within a conductive, doped semiconductor material where the mobile charge carriers have been diffused away, or have been forced away by an electric field. The only elements left in the depletion region are ionized donor or acceptor impurities.
Capacitance–voltage profiling is a technique for characterizing semiconductor materials and devices. The applied voltage is varied, and the capacitance is measured and plotted as a function of voltage. The technique uses a metal–semiconductor junction or a p–n junction or a MOSFET to create a depletion region, a region which is empty of conducting electrons and holes, but may contain ionized donors and electrically active defects or traps. The depletion region with its ionized charges inside behaves like a capacitor. By varying the voltage applied to the junction it is possible to vary the depletion width. The dependence of the depletion width upon the applied voltage provides information on the semiconductor's internal characteristics, such as its doping profile and electrically active defect densities., Measurements may be done at DC, or using both DC and a small-signal AC signal, or using a large-signal transient voltage.
In electronics, a step recovery diode (SRD) is a semiconductor junction diode having the ability to generate extremely short pulses. It is also called snap-off diode or charge-storage diode or memory varactor, and has a variety of uses in microwave electronics as pulse generator or parametric amplifier.
A noise generator is a circuit that produces electrical noise. Noise generators are used to test signals for measuring noise figure, frequency response, and other parameters. Noise generators are also used for generating random numbers.
This article provides a more detailed explanation of p–n diode behavior than that found in the articles p–n junction or diode.
The field-effect transistor (FET) is an electronic device which uses an electric field to control the flow of current. This is achieved by the application of a voltage to the gate terminal, which in turn alters the conductivity between the drain and source terminals.
Metal-insulator-metal (MIM) diode is a type of nonlinear device very similar to a semiconductor diode that is capable of very fast operation. Depending on the geometry and the material used for fabrication, the operation mechanisms are governed either by quantum tunnelling or thermal activation.