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If the diode is reverse-biased, the + terminal of the battery is connected to the n-type semiconductor. This makes it even more negatively charged. It also removes even more of the free electrons near the depletion band. At the same time, the - terminal of the battery is connected to the p-type silicon. This will supply free electrons and fill in more of the holes next to the depletion band. Both processes cause the depletion band to get wider. The resistance of the diode (which was already high) increases. This is why a reverse-biased diode does not conduct.

Another explanation for the increased resistance is that the battery has made the p-type semiconductor m ore negative than it used to be, making it repel any electrons from the n-type semiconductor which attempt to cross the depletion band.

On the other hand, if the diode is forward biased, the depletion band is made narrower. The negative charge on the p-type silicon is cancelled out by the battery. The greater the voltage used, the narrower the depletion band becomes. Eventually, when the voltage is about 0,6 V (for silicon) the depletion band disappears. Once this has occurred, the diode conducts very well.

The diode

  1. What is a diode?
  2. What is a diode made of?
  3. What is the term which means that a diode is connected the `wrong way' and little current is flowing?
  4. Why is a diode able to conduct electricity in one direction much more easily than the other?

The light-emitting diode (led)

A light-emitting diode (LED) is a diode device that emits light when charge flows in the correct direction through it. If you apply a voltage to force current to flow in the direction the LED allows, it will light up.

Symbol for a light-emitting diode with anode and cathode labeled.

Circuit symbols

This notation of having two small arrows pointing away from the device is common to the schematic symbols of all light-emitting semiconductor devices. Conversely, if a device is light-activated (meaning that incoming light stimulates it), then the symbol will have two small arrows pointing toward it. It is interesting to note, though, that LEDs are capable of acting as light-sensing devices: they will generate a small voltage when exposed to light, much like a solar cell on a small scale. This property can be gainfully applied in a variety of light-sensing circuits.

The colour depends on the semiconducting material used to construct the LED, and can be in the near-ultraviolet, visible or infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Interesting fact

Nick Holonyak Jr. (1928) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed the first practical visible-spectrum LED in 1962.

Light emission

The wavelength of the light emitted, and therefore its colour, depends on the materials forming the p-n junction. A normal diode, typically made of silicon or germanium, emits invisible far-infrared light (so it can't be seen), but the materials used for an LED can emit light corresponding to near-infrared, visible or near-ultraviolet frequencies.

Questions & Answers

hi please help me how to balance redox reactions?
Brian Reply
Which equation do u wanna balance
i tried to write it but my phone just can't write it Cr2 O72-(aq) + H2S (aq) Cr3 (aq) + S(s)
show is the equation
hello. what is the difference between a primary, secondary and tertiary alcohol
Thokozani Reply
primary the C=bonded to 1 Carbon atom.... secondary=bonded to 2 carbon atoms tertiary=bonded to 3 carbon atoms
I hope you're answered
thanks Christina
My pleasure
Thank you Christina. This is very helpful 😀👍👍💯
Anytime Thokozani
How to calculate pH?
thank you guys i didn't know about the primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols
thank you Christina
Hey guys which topic does AC nd DC generator falls
thank you
can somebody help me with functional isomers
Baningi Reply
function isomer has the same molecular formula but different functional group
what's momentum
Luvelo Reply
the product of an objects mass times velocity. it is mainly prevalent in collisions.
in order to produce an interference pattern, the waves used must be what?
Methane contains C and H. This compound is
Juan Reply
ketones's functional group
Moloi Reply
Why does the carboxyl group have acidc properties?
Evi Reply
carboxylic acids
Besides improving appearance what is another reason why medal is electro plated
Elizabeth Reply
it is made of metal
what is different between Dependent variable and independent variables
difference between A.c and D.c
AC has slip rings DC has split rings commutator
to avoid rust and to improve strength and conductivity
the variable whose value doesn't depend on other is known as independent variable ex time
are UV rays dangerous?
Khathutshelo Reply
what's this?
if there is extensive exposure, it can lead to skin cancer
yes depend upon their intensity
i hv a problem with this chapter because i also have problem with Newton's laws of motion
Kearabetswe Reply
I have a problem with calculation in Newton's law of motion
me also VuyokAzi
what's the question
Which area in particular?
just get the hang if free body diagrams,know the directions.
I know how to draw free diagram I have a problem with calculation in second law
what is the wave model of atom ?
Trazy Reply
guys what is momentum
@Luvelo... Momentum is the product of an object's mass and its velocity.
the model based on wave nature of electron
Can you state the Doppler effect in words
Nombuyiselo Reply
State Coulomb's law in words
the magnitude of the electrostatic force exerted point on each other is directly proportional to the product on magnitude of charges and inversely proportional to the square distance between them
the change in frequency of the sound detected by a listener because sound source and listener have different velocity
Newton's first law of motion
Nnuso Reply
When an object is at rest or traveling at a constant velocity it will remain at rest unless an unbalanced force acts upon it.
yes that's true
Always know Newton's second law of motion. It appears to be in every question paper
Is the normal force always 0
Mpilo Reply
no. newtons 3rd law states that if something exerts a force into something else it will experience that same magnitude of force but in the opposite direction. so the net force is equal to the force the object applies to the surface but in the opposite direction
define the term rate of reaction in word
David Reply
I think it a chemical process in which substance act mutually on each other.
how many bones are in the human body?
it's the rate at which the reactants are able to change to products
206 bones

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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 12 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11244/1.2
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