Characterization of pn Junctions
Electrical and Electronic Measurement
Published Online: 15 OCT 2002
Copyright © 2003 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Characterization of Materials
How to Cite
Baca, A. G. 2002. Characterization of pn Junctions. Characterization of Materials. 1–6.
- Published Online: 15 OCT 2002
The pn junction of a semiconductor material forms part of many commercially important devices such as bipolar junction transistors (BJTs), heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs), junction field-effect transistors (JFETs), and various kinds of diodes (e.g., Zener, rectifying, laser, light emitting). Semiconductor engineers routinely use the current-voltage (I–V) measurement technique both for the design of semiconductor devices and for yield or process checks during manufacture. The I–V measurement technique is also considered to be a method in materials research because it is used to characterize semiconductor materials and processes used to create these materials. The pn junction I–V technique is useful in materials research because complementary techniques often do not definitively answer whether the material quality is sufficiently good to operate as required in a semiconductor device. The technique can definitely be used on pn junctions present in state-of-the-art semiconductor devices, but in most materials research laboratories, diodes with large feature sizes and considerably simplified sample preparation are preferred for rapid turnaround and lower equipment cost. The technique is most often used when the purpose of characterizing the material is for fabrication of pn junction devices such as BJTs, HBTs, JFETs, and diode structures for a number of applications, including semiconductor lasers and light-emitting diodes. In that case, the method can be used primarily as a measure of material quality in a device application or as routine intermediate process characterization during device fabrication.
- pn junction;
- field-effect transistors;
- I–V technique;