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Resistor

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Resistor

A typical axial-lead resistor Passive Type Electric resistance Working principle Electronic symbol

Axial-lead resistors on tape. The tape is removed during assembly before the leads are formed and the part is inserted into the board. In automated assembly the leads are cut and formed. A resistor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that implements electrical resistance as a circuit element. The current through a resistor is in direct proportion to the voltage across the resistor's terminals. This relationship is represented by Ohm's law:

where I is the current through the conductor in units of amperes, V is the potential difference measured across the conductor in units of volts, and R is the resistance of the conductor in units of ohms. The ratio of the voltage applied across a resistor's terminals to the intensity of current in the circuit is called its resistance, and this can be assumed to be a constant (independent of the voltage) for ordinary resistors working within their ratings. Resistors are common elements of electrical networks and electronic circuits and are ubiquitous in electronic equipment. Practical resistors can be made of various compounds and films, as well as resistance wire (wire made of a high-resistivity alloy, such as nickel-chrome). Resistors are also implemented within integrated circuits, particularly analog devices, and can also be integrated into hybrid and printed circuits. The electrical functionality of a resistor is specified by its resistance: common commercial resistors are manufactured over a range of more than nine orders of magnitude. When specifying that resistance in an electronic design, the required precision of the resistance may require attention to the manufacturing tolerance of the chosen resistor, according to its specific application. The temperature coefficient of the resistance may also be of concern in some precision applications. Practical resistors are also specified as having a maximum power rating which must exceed the anticipated power dissipation of that resistor in a particular circuit: this is mainly of concern in power electronics applications. Resistors with higher power ratings are physically larger and may require heat sinks. In a high-voltage circuit, attention must sometimes be paid to the rated maximum working voltage of the resistor. Practical resistors have a series inductance and a small parallel capacitance; these specifications can be important in high-frequency applications. In a low-noise amplifier or pre-amp, the noise characteristics of a resistor may be an issue. The unwanted inductance, excess noise, and temperature coefficient are mainly dependent on the technology used in manufacturing the resistor. They are not normally specified individually for a particular family of resistors manufactured using a particular technology.[1] A family of discrete resistors is also characterized according to its form factor, that is, the size of the device and the position of its leads (or terminals) which is relevant in the practical manufacturing of circuits using them.

Contents

1 Units 2 Electronic symbols and notation 3 Theory of operation o 3.1 Ohm's law o 3.2 Series and parallel resistors o 3.3 Power dissipation 4 Construction o 4.1 Lead arrangements o 4.2 Carbon composition o 4.3 Carbon pile

4.4 Carbon film 4.5 Printed carbon resistor 4.6 Thick and thin film 4.7 Metal film 4.8 Metal oxide film 4.9 Wirewound 4.10 Foil resistor 4.11 Ammeter shunts 4.12 Grid resistor 4.13 Special varieties 5 Variable resistors o 5.1 Adjustable resistors o 5.2 Potentiometers o 5.3 Resistance decade boxes o 5.4 Special devices 6 Measurement 7 Standards o 7.1 Production resistors o 7.2 Resistance standards 8 Resistor marking o 8.1 Preferred values o 8.2 Five-band axial resistors o 8.3 SMT resistors o 8.4 Industrial type designation 9 Electrical and thermal noise 10 Failure modes 11 See also 12 References 13 External links

o o o o o o o o o o

Units
The ohm (symbol: ) is the SI unit of electrical resistance, named after Georg Simon Ohm. An ohm is equivalent to a volt per ampere. Since resistors are specified and manufactured over a very large range of values, the derived units of milliohm (1 m = 103 ), kilohm (1 k = 103 ), and megohm (1 M = 106 ) are also in common usage. The reciprocal of resistance R is called conductance G = 1/R and is measured in siemens (SI unit), sometimes referred to as a mho. Hence, siemens is the reciprocal of an ohm: . Although the concept of conductance is often used in circuit analysis, practical resistors are always specified in terms of their resistance (ohms) rather than conductance.

Electronic symbols and notation

Main article: Electronic symbol The symbol used for a resistor in a circuit diagram varies from standard to standard and country to country. Two typical symbols are as follows;

American-style symbols. (a) resistor, (b) rheostat (variable resistor), and (c) potentiometer

IEC-style resistor symbol The notation to state a resistor's value in a circuit diagram varies, too. The European notation avoids using a decimal separator, and replaces the decimal separator with the SI prefix symbol for the particular value. For example, 8k2 in a circuit diagram indicates a resistor value of 8.2 k. Additional zeros imply tighter tolerance, for example 15M0. When the value can be expressed without the need for an SI prefix, an 'R' is used instead of the decimal separator. For example, 1R2 indicates 1.2 , and 18R indicates 18 . The use of a SI prefix symbol or the letter 'R' circumvents the problem that decimal separators tend to 'disappear' when photocopying a printed circuit diagram.

Theory of operation

The hydraulic analogy compares electric current flowing through circuits to water flowing through pipes. When a pipe (left) is filled with hair (right), it takes a larger pressure to achieve the same flow of water. Pushing electric current through a large resistance is like pushing water through a pipe clogged with hair: It requires a larger push (voltage drop) to drive the same flow (electric current).

Ohm's law
Main article: Ohm's law

The behavior of an ideal resistor is dictated by the relationship specified by Ohm's law:

Ohm's law states that the voltage (V) across a resistor is proportional to the current (I), where the constant of proportionality is the resistance (R). Equivalently, Ohm's law can be stated:

This formulation states that the current (I) is proportional to the voltage (V) and inversely proportional to the resistance (R). This is directly used in practical computations. For example, if a 300 ohm resistor is attached across the terminals of a 12 volt battery, then a current of 12 / 300 = 0.04 amperes (or 40 milliamperes) flows through that resistor.

Series and parallel resistors


Main article: Series and parallel circuits In a series configuration, the current through all of the resistors is the same, but the voltage across each resistor will be in proportion to its resistance. The potential difference (voltage) seen across the network is the sum of those voltages, thus the total resistance can be found as the sum of those resistances:

As a special case, the resistance of N resistors connected in series, each of the same resistance R, is given by NR. Resistors in a parallel configuration are each subject to the same potential difference (voltage), however the currents through them add. The conductances of the resistors then add to determine the conductance of the network. Thus the equivalent resistance (Req) of the network can be computed:

The parallel equivalent resistance can be represented in equations by two vertical lines "||" (as in geometry) as a simplified notation. Occasionally two slashes "//" are used instead of "||", in case the keyboard or font lacks the vertical line symbol. For the case of two resistors in parallel, this can be calculated using:

As a special case, the resistance of N resistors connected in parallel, each of the same resistance R, is given by R/N. A resistor network that is a combination of parallel and series connections can be broken up into smaller parts that are either one or the other. For instance,

However, some complex networks of resistors cannot be resolved in this manner, requiring more sophisticated circuit analysis. For instance, consider a cube, each edge of which has been replaced by a resistor. What then is the resistance that would be measured between two opposite vertices? In the case of 12 equivalent resistors, it can be shown that the corner-to-corner resistance is 56 of the individual resistance. More generally, the Y- transform, or matrix methods can be used to solve such a problem.[2][3][4] One practical application of these relationships is that a non-standard value of resistance can generally be synthesized by connecting a number of standard values in series or parallel. This can also be used to obtain a resistance with a higher power rating than that of the individual resistors used. In the special case of N identical resistors all connected in series or all connected in parallel, the power rating of the individual resistors is thereby multiplied by N.

Power dissipation

The power P dissipated by a resistor is calculated as: The first form is a restatement of Joule's first law. Using Ohm's law, the two other forms can be derived. The total amount of heat energy released over a period of time can be determined from the integral of the power over that period of time:

Resistors are rated according to their maximum power dissipation. Most discrete resistors in solid-state electronic systems absorb much less than a watt of electrical power and require no attention to their power rating. Such resistors in their discrete form, including most of the packages detailed below, are typically rated as 1/10, 1/8, or 1/4 watt. Resistors required to dissipate substantial amounts of power, particularly used in power supplies, power conversion circuits, and power amplifiers, are generally referred to as power resistors; this designation is loosely applied to resistors with power ratings of 1 watt or greater. Power resistors are physically larger and may not use the preferred values, color codes, and external packages described below. If the average power dissipated by a resistor is more than its power rating, damage to the resistor may occur, permanently altering its resistance; this is distinct from the reversible change in resistance due to its temperature coefficient when it warms. Excessive power dissipation may raise the temperature of the resistor to a point where it can burn the circuit board or adjacent components, or even cause a fire. There are flameproof resistors that fail (open circuit) before they overheat dangerously.

Since poor air circulation, high altitude, or high operating temperatures may occur, resistors may be specified with higher rated dissipation than will be experienced in service. Some types and ratings of resistors may also have a maximum voltage rating; this may limit available power dissipation for higher resistance values.

Construction

A single in line (SIL) resistor package with 8 individual, 47 ohm resistors. One end of each resistor is connected to a separate pin and the other ends are all connected together to the remaining (common) pin pin 1, at the end identified by the white dot.

Lead arrangements

Resistors with wire leads for through-hole mounting Through-hole components typically have leads leaving the body axially. Others have leads coming off their body radially instead of parallel to the resistor axis. Other components may be SMT (surface mount technology) while high power resistors may have one of their leads designed into the heat sink.

Carbon composition

Three carbon composition resistors in a 1960s valve (vacuum tube) radio Carbon composition resistors consist of a solid cylindrical resistive element with embedded wire leads or metal end caps to which the lead wires are attached. The body of the resistor is protected with paint or plastic. Early 20th-century carbon composition resistors had uninsulated bodies; the lead wires were wrapped around the ends of the resistance element rod and soldered. The completed resistor was painted for color-coding of its value. The resistive element is made from a mixture of finely ground (powdered) carbon and an insulating material (usually ceramic). A resin holds the mixture together. The resistance is determined by the ratio of the fill material (the powdered ceramic) to the carbon. Higher concentrations of carbon, a good conductor, result in lower resistance. Carbon composition resistors were commonly used in the 1960s and earlier, but are not so popular for general use now as other types have better specifications, such as tolerance, voltage dependence, and stress (carbon composition resistors will change value when stressed with over-voltages). Moreover, if internal moisture content (from exposure for some length of time to a humid environment) is significant, soldering heat will create a non-reversible change in resistance value. Carbon composition resistors have poor stability with time and were consequently factory sorted to, at best, only 5% tolerance.[5] These resistors, however, if never subjected to overvoltage nor overheating were remarkably reliable considering the component's size[6] Carbon composition resistors are still available, but comparatively quite costly. Values ranged from fractions of an ohm to 22 megohms. Due to their high price, these resistors are no longer used in most applications. However, they are used in power supplies and welding controls.[6]

Carbon pile
A carbon pile resistor is made of a stack of carbon disks compressed between two metal contact plates. Adjusting the clamping pressure changes the resistance between the plates. These resistors are used when an adjustable load is required, for example in testing automotive batteries or radio transmitters. A carbon pile resistor can also be used as a speed control for small motors in household appliances (sewing machines, hand-held mixers) with ratings up to a few hundred watts.[7] A carbon pile resistor can be incorporated in automatic voltage regulators for generators, where the carbon pile controls the field current to maintain relatively constant voltage.[8] The principle is also applied in the carbon microphone.

Carbon film

Partially exposed Tesla TR-212 1 k carbon film resistor

A carbon film is deposited on an insulating substrate, and a helix is cut in it to create a long, narrow resistive path. Varying shapes, coupled with the resistivity of amorphous carbon (ranging from 500 to 800 m), can provide a variety of resistances. Compared to carbon composition they feature low noise, because of the precise distribution of the pure graphite without binding.[9] Carbon film resistors feature a power rating range of 0.125 W to 5 W at 70 C. Resistances available range from 1 ohm to 10 megohm. The carbon film resistor has an operating temperature range of 55 C to 155 C. It has 200 to 600 volts maximum working voltage range. Special carbon film resistors are used in applications requiring high pulse stability.[6]

Printed carbon resistor

A carbon resistor printed directly onto the SMD pads on a PCB. Inside a 1989 vintage Psion II Organiser Carbon composition resistors can be printed directly onto printed circuit board (PCB) substrates as part of the PCB manufacturing process. Whilst this technique is more common on hybrid PCB modules, it can also be used on standard fibreglass PCBs. Tolerances are typically quite large, and can be in the order of 30%. A typical application would be non-critical pull-up resistors.

Thick and thin film


Thick film resistors became popular during the 1970s, and most SMD (surface mount device) resistors today are of this type. The resistive element of thick films is 1000 times thicker than thin films,[10] but the principal difference is how the film is applied to the cylinder (axial resistors) or the surface (SMD resistors). Thin film resistors are made by sputtering (a method of vacuum deposition) the resistive material onto an insulating substrate. The film is then etched in a similar manner to the old (subtractive) process for making printed circuit boards; that is, the surface is coated with a photo-sensitive material, then covered by a pattern film, irradiated with ultraviolet light, and then the exposed photo-sensitive coating is developed, and underlying thin film is etched away. Thick film resistors are manufactured using screen and stencil printing processes.[6] Because the time during which the sputtering is performed can be controlled, the thickness of the thin film can be accurately controlled. The type of material is also usually different consisting of one or more ceramic (cermet) conductors such as tantalum nitride (TaN), ruthenium oxide

(RuO2), lead oxide (PbO), bismuth ruthenate (Bi2Ru2O7), nickel chromium (NiCr), or bismuth iridate (Bi2Ir2O7). The resistance of both thin and thick film resistors after manufacture is not highly accurate; they are usually trimmed to an accurate value by abrasive or laser trimming. Thin film resistors are usually specified with tolerances of 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, or 1%, and with temperature coefficients of 5 to 25 ppm/K. They also have much lower noise levels, on the level of 10100 times less than thick film resistors.[citation needed] Thick film resistors may use the same conductive ceramics, but they are mixed with sintered (powdered) glass and a carrier liquid so that the composite can be screen-printed. This composite of glass and conductive ceramic (cermet) material is then fused (baked) in an oven at about 850 C. Thick film resistors, when first manufactured, had tolerances of 5%, but standard tolerances have improved to 2% or 1% in the last few decades. Temperature coefficients of thick film resistors are high, typically 200 or 250 ppm/K; a 40 kelvin (70 F) temperature change can change the resistance by 1%. Thin film resistors are usually far more expensive than thick film resistors. For example, SMD thin film resistors, with 0.5% tolerances, and with 25 ppm/K temperature coefficients, when bought in full size reel quantities, are about twice the cost of 1%, 250 ppm/K thick film resistors.

Metal film
A common type of axial resistor today is referred to as a metal-film resistor. Metal electrode leadless face (MELF) resistors often use the same technology, but are a cylindrically shaped resistor designed for surface mounting. Note that other types of resistors (e.g., carbon composition) are also available in MELF packages. Metal film resistors are usually coated with nickel chromium (NiCr), but might be coated with any of the cermet materials listed above for thin film resistors. Unlike thin film resistors, the material may be applied using different techniques than sputtering (though that is one such technique). Also, unlike thin-film resistors, the resistance value is determined by cutting a helix through the coating rather than by etching. (This is similar to the way carbon resistors are made.) The result is a reasonable tolerance (0.5%, 1%, or 2%) and a temperature coefficient that is generally between 50 and 100 ppm/K.[11] Metal film resistors possess good noise characteristics and low non-linearity due to a low voltage coefficient. Also beneficial are the components efficient tolerance, temperature coefficient and stability.[6]

Metal oxide film


Metal-oxide film resistors are made of metal oxides such as tin oxide. This results in a higher operating temperature and greater stability/reliability than Metal film. They are used in applications with high endurance demands.

Wirewound

High-power wire wound resistors used for dynamic braking on an electric railway car. Such resistors may dissipate many kilowatts for extended times.

Types of windings in wire resistors: 1. common 2. bifilar 3. common on a thin former 4. Ayrton-Perry Wirewound resistors are commonly made by winding a metal wire, usually nichrome, around a ceramic, plastic, or fiberglass core. The ends of the wire are soldered or welded to two caps or rings, attached to the ends of the core. The assembly is protected with a layer of paint, molded plastic, or an enamel coating baked at high temperature. Because of the very high surface temperature these resistors can withstand temperatures of up to +450 C.[6] Wire leads in low power wirewound resistors are usually between 0.6 and 0.8 mm in diameter and tinned for ease of soldering. For higher power wirewound resistors, either a ceramic outer case or an aluminum outer case on top of an insulating layer is used. The aluminum-cased types are designed to be attached to a heat sink to dissipate the heat; the rated power is dependent on being used with a suitable heat sink, e.g., a 50 W power rated resistor will overheat at a fraction of the power dissipation if not used with a heat sink. Large wirewound resistors may be rated for 1,000 watts or more. Because wirewound resistors are coils they have more undesirable inductance than other types of resistor, although winding the wire in sections with alternately reversed direction can minimize inductance. Other techniques employ bifilar winding, or a flat thin former (to reduce crosssection area of the coil). For the most demanding circuits, resistors with Ayrton-Perry winding are used.

Applications of wirewound resistors are similar to those of composition resistors with the exception of the high frequency. The high frequency response of wirewound resistors is substantially worse than that of a composition resistor.[6]

Foil resistor
The primary resistance element of a foil resistor is a special alloy foil several micrometres thick. Since their introduction in the 1960s, foil resistors have had the best precision and stability of any resistor available. One of the important parameters influencing stability is the temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR). The TCR of foil resistors is extremely low, and has been further improved over the years. One range of ultra-precision foil resistors offers a TCR of 0.14 ppm/C, tolerance 0.005%, long-term stability (1 year) 25 ppm, (3 year) 50 ppm (further improved 5fold by hermetic sealing), stability under load (2000 hours) 0.03%, thermal EMF 0.1 V/C, noise 42 dB, voltage coefficient 0.1 ppm/V, inductance 0.08 H, capacitance 0.5 pF.[12]

Ammeter shunts
An ammeter shunt is a special type of current-sensing resistor, having four terminals and a value in milliohms or even micro-ohms. Current-measuring instruments, by themselves, can usually accept only limited currents. To measure high currents, the current passes through the shunt, where the voltage drop is measured and interpreted as current. A typical shunt consists of two solid metal blocks, sometimes brass, mounted on to an insulating base. Between the blocks, and soldered or brazed to them, are one or more strips of low temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) manganin alloy. Large bolts threaded into the blocks make the current connections, while much smaller screws provide voltage connections. Shunts are rated by full-scale current, and often have a voltage drop of 50 mV at rated current. Such meters are adapted to the shunt full current rating by using an appropriately marked dial face; no change need be made to the other parts of the meter.

Grid resistor
In heavy-duty industrial high-current applications, a grid resistor is a large convection-cooled lattice of stamped metal alloy strips connected in rows between two electrodes. Such industrial grade resistors can be as large as a refrigerator; some designs can handle over 500 amperes of current, with a range of resistances extending lower than 0.04 ohms. They are used in applications such as dynamic braking and load banking for locomotives and trams, neutral grounding for industrial AC distribution, control loads for cranes and heavy equipment, load testing of generators and harmonic filtering for electric substations.[13][14] The term grid resistor is sometimes used to describe a resistor of any type connected to the control grid of a vacuum tube. This is not a resistor technology; it is an electronic circuit topology.

capacitor
Capacitor
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the electronic component. For the physical phenomenon, see capacitance. For an overview of various kinds of capacitors, see types of capacitor.

Capacitor

Miniature low-voltage capacitors (next to a cm ruler) Electronic symbol

A typical electrolytic capacitor

4 electrolytic capacitors of different voltages and capacitance

Solid-body, resin-dipped 10 F 35 V tantalum capacitors. The + sign indicates the positive lead. A capacitor (originally known as condenser) is a passive two-terminal electrical component used to store energy in an electric field. The forms of practical capacitors vary widely, but all contain at least two electrical conductors separated by a dielectric (insulator); for example, one common construction consists of metal foils separated by a thin layer of insulating film. Capacitors are widely used as parts of electrical circuits in many common electrical devices. When there is a potential difference (voltage) across the conductors, a static electric field develops across the dielectric, causing positive charge to collect on one plate and negative charge on the other plate. Energy is stored in the electrostatic field. An ideal capacitor is characterized by a single constant value, capacitance, measured in farads. This is the ratio of the electric charge on each conductor to the potential difference between them. The capacitance is greatest when there is a narrow separation between large areas of conductor, hence capacitor conductors are often called plates, referring to an early means of construction. In practice, the dielectric between the plates passes a small amount of leakage current and also has an electric field strength limit, resulting in a breakdown voltage, while the conductors and leads introduce an undesired inductance and resistance. Capacitors are widely used in electronic circuits for blocking direct current while allowing alternating current to pass, in filter networks, for smoothing the output of power supplies, in the resonant circuits that tune radios to particular frequencies, in electric power transmission systems for stabilizing voltage and power flow, and for many other purposes.[1]

Contents

1 History 2 Theory of operation o 2.1 Overview o 2.2 Hydraulic analogy o 2.3 Energy of electric field o 2.4 Current-voltage relation o 2.5 DC circuits o 2.6 AC circuits o 2.7 Laplace circuit analysis (s-domain) o 2.8 Parallel-plate model o 2.9 Networks 3 Non-ideal behavior o 3.1 Breakdown voltage o 3.2 Equivalent circuit o 3.3 Q factor o 3.4 Ripple current o 3.5 Capacitance instability o 3.6 Current and voltage reversal o 3.7 Dielectric absorption o 3.8 Leakage o 3.9 Electrolytic failure from disuse 4 Capacitor types o 4.1 Dielectric materials o 4.2 Structure 5 Capacitor markings o 5.1 Example 6 Applications o 6.1 Energy storage o 6.2 Pulsed power and weapons o 6.3 Power conditioning 6.3.1 Power factor correction o 6.4 Suppression and coupling 6.4.1 Signal coupling 6.4.2 Decoupling 6.4.3 Noise filters and snubbers o 6.5 Motor starters o 6.6 Signal processing 6.6.1 Tuned circuits o 6.7 Sensing 7 Hazards and safety 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References

11 External links

History

Battery of four Leyden jars in Museum Boerhaave, Leiden, the Netherlands. In October 1745, Ewald Georg von Kleist of Pomerania in Germany found that charge could be stored by connecting a high-voltage electrostatic generator by a wire to a volume of water in a hand-held glass jar.[2] Von Kleist's hand and the water acted as conductors, and the jar as a dielectric (although details of the mechanism were incorrectly identified at the time). Von Kleist found, after removing the generator, that touching the wire resulted in a painful spark. In a letter describing the experiment, he said "I would not take a second shock for the kingdom of France."[3] The following year, the Dutch physicist Pieter van Musschenbroek invented a similar capacitor, which was named the Leyden jar, after the University of Leiden where he worked.[4] Daniel Gralath was the first to combine several jars in parallel into a "battery" to increase the charge storage capacity. Benjamin Franklin investigated the Leyden jar and "proved" that the charge was stored on the glass, not in the water as others had assumed. He also adopted the term "battery",[5][6] (denoting the increasing of power with a row of similar units as in a battery of cannon), subsequently applied to clusters of electrochemical cells.[7] Leyden jars were later made by coating the inside and outside of jars with metal foil, leaving a space at the mouth to prevent arcing between the foils.[citation needed] The earliest unit of capacitance was the jar, equivalent to about 1 nanofarad.[8] Leyden jars or more powerful devices employing flat glass plates alternating with foil conductors were used exclusively up until about 1900, when the invention of wireless (radio) created a demand for standard capacitors, and the steady move to higher frequencies required capacitors with lower inductance. A more compact construction began to be used of a flexible dielectric

sheet such as oiled paper sandwiched between sheets of metal foil, rolled or folded into a small package. Early capacitors were also known as condensers, a term that is still occasionally used today. The term was first used for this purpose by Alessandro Volta in 1782, with reference to the device's ability to store a higher density of electric charge than a normal isolated conductor.[9]

Theory of operation
Main article: Capacitance

Overview

Charge separation in a parallel-plate capacitor causes an internal electric field. A dielectric (orange) reduces the field and increases the capacitance.

A simple demonstration of a parallel-plate capacitor A capacitor consists of two conductors separated by a non-conductive region.[10] The nonconductive region is called the dielectric. In simpler terms, the dielectric is just an electrical insulator. Examples of dielectric media are glass, air, paper, vacuum, and even a semiconductor

depletion region chemically identical to the conductors. A capacitor is assumed to be selfcontained and isolated, with no net electric charge and no influence from any external electric field. The conductors thus hold equal and opposite charges on their facing surfaces,[11] and the dielectric develops an electric field. In SI units, a capacitance of one farad means that one coulomb of charge on each conductor causes a voltage of one volt across the device.[12] The capacitor is a reasonably general model for electric fields within electric circuits. An ideal capacitor is wholly characterized by a constant capacitance C, defined as the ratio of charge Q on each conductor to the voltage V between them:[10]

Sometimes charge build-up affects the capacitor mechanically, causing its capacitance to vary. In this case, capacitance is defined in terms of incremental changes:

Hydraulic analogy

In the hydraulic analogy, a capacitor is analogous to a rubber membrane sealed inside a pipe. This animation illustrates a membrane being repeatedly stretched and un-stretched by the flow of water, which is analogous to a capacitor being repeatedly charged and discharged by the flow of charge. In the hydraulic analogy, charge carriers flowing through a wire are analogous to water flowing through a pipe. A capacitor is like a rubber membrane sealed inside a pipe. Water molecules cannot pass through the membrane, but some water can move by stretching the membrane. The analogy clarifies a few aspects of capacitors:

The current alters the charge on a capacitor, just as the flow of water changes the position of the membrane. More specifically, the effect of an electric current is to increase the charge of one plate of the capacitor, and decrease the charge of the other plate by an equal amount. This is just like how, when water flow moves the rubber membrane, it increases the amount of water on one side of the membrane, and decreases the amount of water on the other side. The more a capacitor is charged, the larger its voltage drop; i.e., the more it "pushes back" against the charging current. This is analogous to the fact that the more a membrane is stretched, the more it pushes back on the water. Charge can flow "through" a capacitor even though no individual electron can get from one side to the other. This is analogous to the fact that water can flow through the pipe

even though no water molecule can pass through the rubber membrane. Of course, the flow cannot continue the same direction forever; the capacitor will experience dielectric breakdown, and analogously the membrane will eventually break. The capacitance describes how much charge can be stored on one plate of a capacitor for a given "push" (voltage drop). A very stretchy, flexible membrane corresponds to a higher capacitance than a stiff membrane. A charged-up capacitor is storing potential energy, analogously to a stretched membrane.

Energy of electric field


Work must be done by an external influence to "move" charge between the conductors in a capacitor. When the external influence is removed, the charge separation persists in the electric field and energy is stored to be released when the charge is allowed to return to its equilibrium position. The work done in establishing the electric field, and hence the amount of energy stored, is[13]

Here Q is the charge stored in the capacitor, V is the voltage across the capacitor, and C is the capacitance. In the case of a fluctuating voltage V(t), the stored energy also fluctuates and hence power must flow into or out of the capacitor. This power can be found by taking the time derivative of the stored energy:

Current-voltage relation
The current I(t) through any component in an electric circuit is defined as the rate of flow of a charge Q(t) passing through it, but actual chargeselectronscannot pass through the dielectric layer of a capacitor. Rather, an electron accumulates on the negative plate for each one that leaves the positive plate, resulting in an electron depletion and consequent positive charge on one electrode that is equal and opposite to the accumulated negative charge on the other. Thus the charge on the electrodes is equal to the integral of the current as well as proportional to the voltage, as discussed above. As with any antiderivative, a constant of integration is added to represent the initial voltage V(t0). This is the integral form of the capacitor equation:[14]

Taking the derivative of this and multiplying by C yields the derivative form:[15]

The dual of the capacitor is the inductor, which stores energy in a magnetic field rather than an electric field. Its current-voltage relation is obtained by exchanging current and voltage in the capacitor equations and replacing C with the inductance L.

DC circuits
See also: RC circuit

A simple resistor-capacitor circuit demonstrates charging of a capacitor. A series circuit containing only a resistor, a capacitor, a switch and a constant DC source of voltage V0 is known as a charging circuit.[16] If the capacitor is initially uncharged while the switch is open, and the switch is closed at t0, it follows from Kirchhoff's voltage law that

Taking the derivative and multiplying by C, gives a first-order differential equation:

At t = 0, the voltage across the capacitor is zero and the voltage across the resistor is V0. The initial current is then I(0) =V0/R. With this assumption, solving the differential equation yields

where 0 = RC is the time constant of the system. As the capacitor reaches equilibrium with the source voltage, the voltages across the resistor and the current through the entire circuit decay exponentially. The case of discharging a charged capacitor likewise demonstrates exponential decay, but with the initial capacitor voltage replacing V0 and the final voltage being zero.

AC circuits
See also: reactance (electronics) and electrical impedance#Deriving the device specific impedances Impedance, the vector sum of reactance and resistance, describes the phase difference and the ratio of amplitudes between sinusoidally varying voltage and sinusoidally varying current at a given frequency. Fourier analysis allows any signal to be constructed from a spectrum of frequencies, whence the circuit's reaction to the various frequencies may be found. The reactance and impedance of a capacitor are respectively

where j is the imaginary unit and is the angular frequency of the sinusoidal signal. The j phase indicates that the AC voltage V = ZI lags the AC current by 90: the positive current phase corresponds to increasing voltage as the capacitor charges; zero current corresponds to instantaneous constant voltage, etc. Impedance decreases with increasing capacitance and increasing frequency. This implies that a higher-frequency signal or a larger capacitor results in a lower voltage amplitude per current amplitudean AC "short circuit" or AC coupling. Conversely, for very low frequencies, the reactance will be high, so that a capacitor is nearly an open circuit in AC analysisthose frequencies have been "filtered out". Capacitors are different from resistors and inductors in that the impedance is inversely proportional to the defining characteristic; i.e., capacitance.

Laplace circuit analysis (s-domain)


When using the Laplace transform in circuit analysis, the capacitance of an ideal capacitor with no initial charge is represented in the s domain by:

where

C is the capacitance, and s is the complex frequency.

Parallel-plate model

Dielectric is placed between two conducting plates, each of area A and with a separation of d The simplest capacitor consists of two parallel conductive plates separated by a dielectric with permittivity (such as air). The model may also be used to make qualitative predictions for other device geometries. The plates are considered to extend uniformly over an area A and a charge density = Q/A exists on their surface. Assuming that the width of the plates is much greater than their separation d, the electric field near the centre of the device will be uniform with the magnitude E = /. The voltage is defined as the line integral of the electric field between the plates

Solving this for C = Q/V reveals that capacitance increases with area and decreases with separation

The capacitance is therefore greatest in devices made from materials with a high permittivity, large plate area, and small distance between plates. A parallel plate capacitor can only store a finite amount of energy before dielectric breakdown occurs. The capacitor's dielectric material has a dielectric strength Ud which sets the capacitor's breakdown voltage at V = Vbd = Udd. The maximum energy that the capacitor can store is therefore

We see that the maximum energy is a function of dielectric volume, permittivity, and dielectric strength per distance. So increasing the plate area while decreasing the separation between the plates while maintaining the same volume has no change on the amount of energy the capacitor

can store. Care must be taken when increasing the plate separation so that the above assumption of the distance between plates being much smaller than the area of the plates is still valid for these equations to be accurate. In addition, these equations assume that the electric field is entirely concentrated in the dielectric between the plates. In reality there are fringing fields outside the dielectric, for example between the sides of the capacitor plates, which will increase the effective capacitance of the capacitor. This could be seen as a form of parasitic capacitance. For some simple capacitor geometries this additional capacitance term can be calculated analytically.[17] It becomes negligibly small when the ratio of plate area to separation is large.

Several capacitors in parallel.

Networks
See also: Series and parallel circuits For capacitors in parallel Capacitors in a parallel configuration each have the same applied voltage. Their capacitances add up. Charge is apportioned among them by size. Using the schematic diagram to visualize parallel plates, it is apparent that each capacitor contributes to the total surface area. For capacitors in series

Several capacitors in series. Connected in series, the schematic diagram reveals that the separation distance, not the plate area, adds up. The capacitors each store instantaneous charge build-up equal to that of every other capacitor in the series. The total voltage difference from end to end is apportioned to each capacitor according to the inverse of its capacitance. The entire series acts as a capacitor smaller than any of its components.

Capacitors are combined in series to achieve a higher working voltage, for example for smoothing a high voltage power supply. The voltage ratings, which are based on plate separation, add up, if capacitance and leakage currents for each capacitor are identical. In such an application, on occasion series strings are connected in parallel, forming a matrix.

The goal is to maximize the energy storage of the network without overloading any capacitor. For high-energy storage with capacitors in series, some safety considerations must be applied to ensure one capacitor failing and leaking current will not apply too much voltage to the other series capacitors. Voltage distribution in parallel-to-series networks. To model the distribution of voltages from a single charged capacitor parallel to a chain of capacitors in series : connected in

Note: This is only correct if all capacitance values are equal. The power transferred in this arrangement is:

This paragraph needs attention from an expert in Electronics. See the talk page for details. WikiProject Electronics or the Electronics Portal may be able to help recruit an expert. (May 2011) Series connection is also sometimes used to adapt polarized electrolytic capacitors for bipolar AC use. Two polarized electrolytic capacitors are connected back to back to form a bipolar capacitor with half the capacitance.[citation needed] The anode film can only withstand a small reverse voltage however.[18] This arrangement can lead to premature failure as the anode film is broken down during the reverse-conduction phase and partially rebuilt during the forward phase.[19] A non-polarized electrolytic capacitor has both plates anodized so that it can withstand rated voltage in both directions; such capacitors have about half the capacitance per unit volume of polarized capacitors.

Non-ideal behavior
Capacitors deviate from the ideal capacitor equation in a number of ways. Some of these, such as leakage current and parasitic effects are linear, or can be assumed to be linear, and can be dealt with by adding virtual components to the equivalent circuit of the capacitor. The usual methods of network analysis can then be applied. In other cases, such as with breakdown voltage, the effect is non-linear and normal (i.e., linear) network analysis cannot be used, the effect must be dealt with separately. There is yet another group, which may be linear but invalidate the assumption in the analysis that capacitance is a constant. Such an example is temperature dependence. Finally, combined parasitic effects such as inherent inductance, resistance, or dielectric losses can exhibit non-uniform behavior at variable frequencies of operation.

Breakdown voltage
Main article: Breakdown voltage

Above a particular electric field, known as the dielectric strength Eds, the dielectric in a capacitor becomes conductive. The voltage at which this occurs is called the breakdown voltage of the device, and is given by the product of the dielectric strength and the separation between the conductors,[20]

The maximum energy that can be stored safely in a capacitor is limited by the breakdown voltage. Due to the scaling of capacitance and breakdown voltage with dielectric thickness, all capacitors made with a particular dielectric have approximately equal maximum energy density, to the extent that the dielectric dominates their volume.[21] For air dielectric capacitors the breakdown field strength is of the order 2 to 5 MV/m; for mica the breakdown is 100 to 300 MV/m, for oil 15 to 25 MV/m, and can be much less when other materials are used for the dielectric.[22] The dielectric is used in very thin layers and so absolute breakdown voltage of capacitors is limited. Typical ratings for capacitors used for general electronics applications range from a few volts to 1 kV. As the voltage increases, the dielectric must be thicker, making high-voltage capacitors larger per capacitance than those rated for lower voltages. The breakdown voltage is critically affected by factors such as the geometry of the capacitor conductive parts; sharp edges or points increase the electric field strength at that point and can lead to a local breakdown. Once this starts to happen, the breakdown quickly tracks through the dielectric until it reaches the opposite plate, leaving carbon behind causing a short circuit.[23] The usual breakdown route is that the field strength becomes large enough to pull electrons in the dielectric from their atoms thus causing conduction. Other scenarios are possible, such as impurities in the dielectric, and, if the dielectric is of a crystalline nature, imperfections in the crystal structure can result in an avalanche breakdown as seen in semi-conductor devices. Breakdown voltage is also affected by pressure, humidity and temperature.[24]

Equivalent circuit

Two different circuit models of a real capacitor

An ideal capacitor only stores and releases electrical energy, without dissipating any. In reality, all capacitors have imperfections within the capacitor's material that create resistance. This is specified as the equivalent series resistance or ESR of a component. This adds a real component to the impedance:

As frequency approaches infinity, the capacitive impedance (or reactance) approaches zero and the ESR becomes significant. As the reactance becomes negligible, power dissipation approaches PRMS = VRMS /RESR. Similarly to ESR, the capacitor's leads add equivalent series inductance or ESL to the component. This is usually significant only at relatively high frequencies. As inductive reactance is positive and increases with frequency, above a certain frequency capacitance will be canceled by inductance. High-frequency engineering involves accounting for the inductance of all connections and components. If the conductors are separated by a material with a small conductivity rather than a perfect dielectric, then a small leakage current flows directly between them. The capacitor therefore has a finite parallel resistance,[12] and slowly discharges over time (time may vary greatly depending on the capacitor material and quality).

Q factor
The quality factor (or Q) of a capacitor is the ratio of its reactance to its resistance at a given frequency, and is a measure of its efficiency. The higher the Q factor of the capacitor, the closer it approaches the behavior of an ideal, lossless, capacitor. The Q factor of a capacitor can be found through the following formula:

Where:

is frequency in radians per second, is the capacitance, is the capacitive reactance, and is the series resistance of the capacitor.

Ripple current
Ripple current is the AC component of an applied source (often a switched-mode power supply) (whose frequency may be constant or varying). Ripple current causes heat to be generated within

the capacitor due to the dielectric losses caused by the changing field strength together with the current flow across the slightly resistive supply lines or the electrolyte in the capacitor. The equivalent series resistance (ESR) is the amount of internal series resistance one would add to a perfect capacitor to model this. Some types of capacitors, primarily tantalum and aluminum electrolytic capacitors, as well as some film capacitors have a specified rating value for maximum ripple current.

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors with solid manganese dioxide electrolyte are limited by ripple current and generally have the highest ESR ratings in the capacitor family. Exceeding their ripple limits can lead to shorts and burning parts. Aluminium electrolytic capacitors, the most common type of electrolytic, suffer a shortening of life expectancy at higher ripple currents. If ripple current exceeds the rated value of the capacitor, it tends to result in explosive failure. Ceramic capacitors generally have no ripple current limitation and have some of the lowest ESR ratings. Film capacitors have very low ESR ratings but exceeding rated ripple current may cause degradation failures.

Capacitance instability
The capacitance of certain capacitors decreases as the component ages. In ceramic capacitors, this is caused by degradation of the dielectric. The type of dielectric, ambient operating and storage temperatures are the most significant aging factors, while the operating voltage has a smaller effect. The aging process may be reversed by heating the component above the Curie point. Aging is fastest near the beginning of life of the component, and the device stabilizes over time.[25] Electrolytic capacitors age as the electrolyte evaporates. In contrast with ceramic capacitors, this occurs towards the end of life of the component. Temperature dependence of capacitance is usually expressed in parts per million (ppm) per C. It can usually be taken as a broadly linear function but can be noticeably non-linear at the temperature extremes. The temperature coefficient can be either positive or negative, sometimes even amongst different samples of the same type. In other words, the spread in the range of temperature coefficients can encompass zero. See the data sheet in the leakage current section above for an example. Capacitors, especially ceramic capacitors, and older designs such as paper capacitors, can absorb sound waves resulting in a microphonic effect. Vibration moves the plates, causing the capacitance to vary, in turn inducing AC current. Some dielectrics also generate piezoelectricity. The resulting interference is especially problematic in audio applications, potentially causing feedback or unintended recording. In the reverse microphonic effect, the varying electric field between the capacitor plates exerts a physical force, moving them as a speaker. This can generate audible sound, but drains energy and stresses the dielectric and the electrolyte, if any.

Current and voltage reversal

Current reversal occurs when the flow of current changes direction. Voltage reversal is the change of polarity in a circuit. Reversal is generally described as the percentage of the maximum rated voltage that reverses polarity. In DC circuits this will usually be less than 100%, (often in the range of 0 to 90%), whereas AC circuits experience 100% reversal. In DC circuits and pulsed circuits, current and voltage reversal are affected by the damping of the system. Voltage reversal is encountered in RLC circuits that are under-damped. The current and voltage reverse direction, forming a harmonic oscillator between the inductance and capacitance. The current and voltage will tend to oscillate and may reverse direction several times, with each peak being lower than the previous, until the system reaches an equilibrium. This is often referred to as ringing. In comparison, critically damped or over-damped systems usually do not experience a voltage reversal. Reversal is also encountered in AC circuits, where the peak current will be equal in each direction. For maximum life, capacitors usually need to be able to handle the maximum amount of reversal that a system will experience. An AC circuit will experience 100% voltage reversal, while underdamped DC circuits will experience less than 100%. Reversal creates excess electric fields in the dielectric, causes excess heating of both the dielectric and the conductors, and can dramatically shorten the life-expectancy of the capacitor. Reversal ratings will often affect the design considerations for the capacitor, from the choice of dielectric materials and voltage ratings to the types of internal connections used.[26]

Dielectric absorption
Capacitors made with some types of dielectric material show "dielectric absorption" or "soakage". On discharging a capacitor and disconnecting it, after a short time it may develop a voltage due to hysteresis in the dielectric. This effect can be objectionable in applications such as precision sample and hold circuits.

Leakage
Leakage is equivalent to a resistor in parallel with the capacitor. Constant exposure to heat can cause dielectric breakdown and excessive leakage, a problem often seen in older vacuum tube circuits, particularly where oiled paper and foil capacitors were used. In many vacuum tube circuits, interstage coupling capacitors are used to conduct a varying signal from the plate of one tube to the grid circuit of the next stage. A leaky capacitor can cause the grid circuit voltage to be raised from its normal bias setting, causing excessive current or signal distortion in the downstream tube. In power amplifiers this can cause the plates to glow red, or current limiting resistors to overheat, even fail. Similar considerations apply to component fabricated solid-state (transistor) amplifiers, but owing to lower heat production and the use of modern polyester dielectric barriers this once-common problem has become relatively rare.

Electrolytic failure from disuse


Electrolytic capacitors are conditioned when manufactured by applying a voltage sufficient to initiate the proper internal chemical state. This state is maintained by regular use of the

equipment. If a system using electrolytic capacitors is disused for a long period of time it can lose its conditioning, and will generally fail with a short circuit when next operated, permanently damaging the capacitor. To prevent this in tube equipment, the voltage can be slowly brought up using a variable transformer (variac) on the mains, over a twenty or thirty minute interval. Transistor equipment is more problematic as such equipment may be sensitive to low voltage ("brownout") conditions, with excessive currents due to improper bias in some circuits.[citation
needed]

Capacitor types
Main article: Types of capacitor Practical capacitors are available commercially in many different forms. The type of internal dielectric, the structure of the plates and the device packaging all strongly affect the characteristics of the capacitor, and its applications. Values available range from very low (picofarad range; while arbitrarily low values are in principle possible, stray (parasitic) capacitance in any circuit is the limiting factor) to about 5 kF supercapacitors. Above approximately 1 microfarad electrolytic capacitors are usually used because of their small size and low cost compared with other technologies, unless their relatively poor stability, life and polarised nature make them unsuitable. Very high capacity supercapacitors use a porous carbonbased electrode material.

Dielectric materials

Capacitor materials. From left: multilayer ceramic, ceramic disc, multilayer polyester film, tubular ceramic, polystyrene, metalized polyester film, aluminum electrolytic. Major scale divisions are in centimetres. Most types of capacitor include a dielectric spacer, which increases their capacitance. These dielectrics are most often insulators. However, low capacitance devices are available with a vacuum between their plates, which allows extremely high voltage operation and low losses. Variable capacitors with their plates open to the atmosphere were commonly used in radio tuning circuits. Later designs use polymer foil dielectric between the moving and stationary plates, with no significant air space between them. In order to maximise the charge that a capacitor can hold, the dielectric material needs to have as high a permittivity as possible, while also having as high a breakdown voltage as possible.

Several solid dielectrics are available, including paper, plastic, glass, mica and ceramic materials. Paper was used extensively in older devices and offers relatively high voltage performance. However, it is susceptible to water absorption, and has been largely replaced by plastic film capacitors. Plastics offer better stability and aging performance, which makes them useful in timer circuits, although they may be limited to low operating temperatures and frequencies. Ceramic capacitors are generally small, cheap and useful for high frequency applications, although their capacitance varies strongly with voltage and they age poorly. They are broadly categorized as class 1 dielectrics, which have predictable variation of capacitance with temperature or class 2 dielectrics, which can operate at higher voltage. Glass and mica capacitors are extremely reliable, stable and tolerant to high temperatures and voltages, but are too expensive for most mainstream applications. Electrolytic capacitors and supercapacitors are used to store small and larger amounts of energy, respectively, ceramic capacitors are often used in resonators, and parasitic capacitance occurs in circuits wherever the simple conductor-insulatorconductor structure is formed unintentionally by the configuration of the circuit layout. Electrolytic capacitors use an aluminum or tantalum plate with an oxide dielectric layer. The second electrode is a liquid electrolyte, connected to the circuit by another foil plate. Electrolytic capacitors offer very high capacitance but suffer from poor tolerances, high instability, gradual loss of capacitance especially when subjected to heat, and high leakage current. Poor quality capacitors may leak electrolyte, which is harmful to printed circuit boards. The conductivity of the electrolyte drops at low temperatures, which increases equivalent series resistance. While widely used for power-supply conditioning, poor high-frequency characteristics make them unsuitable for many applications. Electrolytic capacitors will self-degrade if unused for a period (around a year), and when full power is applied may short circuit, permanently damaging the capacitor and usually blowing a fuse or causing arcing in rectifier tubes. They can be restored before use (and damage) by gradually applying the operating voltage, often done on antique vacuum tube equipment over a period of 30 minutes by using a variable transformer to supply AC power. Unfortunately, the use of this technique may be less satisfactory for some solid state equipment, which may be damaged by operation below its normal power range, requiring that the power supply first be isolated from the consuming circuits. Such remedies may not be applicable to modern high-frequency power supplies as these produce full output voltage even with reduced input. Tantalum capacitors offer better frequency and temperature characteristics than aluminum, but higher dielectric absorption and leakage.[27] Polymer capacitors (OS-CON, OC-CON, KO, AO) use solid conductive polymer (or polymerized organic semiconductor) as electrolyte and offer longer life and lower ESR at higher cost than standard electrolytic capacitors. A Feedthrough is a component that, while not serving as its main use, has capacitance and is used to conduct signals through a circuit board. Several other types of capacitor are available for specialist applications. Supercapacitors store large amounts of energy. Supercapacitors made from carbon aerogel, carbon nanotubes, or highly porous electrode materials, offer extremely high capacitance (up to 5 kF as of 2010) and

can be used in some applications instead of rechargeable batteries. Alternating current capacitors are specifically designed to work on line (mains) voltage AC power circuits. They are commonly used in electric motor circuits and are often designed to handle large currents, so they tend to be physically large. They are usually ruggedly packaged, often in metal cases that can be easily grounded/earthed. They also are designed with direct current breakdown voltages of at least five times the maximum AC voltage.

Structure

Capacitor packages: SMD ceramic at top left; SMD tantalum at bottom left; through-hole tantalum at top right; through-hole electrolytic at bottom right. Major scale divisions are cm. The arrangement of plates and dielectric has many variations depending on the desired ratings of the capacitor. For small values of capacitance (microfarads and less), ceramic disks use metallic coatings, with wire leads bonded to the coating. Larger values can be made by multiple stacks of plates and disks. Larger value capacitors usually use a metal foil or metal film layer deposited on the surface of a dielectric film to make the plates, and a dielectric film of impregnated paper or plastic these are rolled up to save space. To reduce the series resistance and inductance for long plates, the plates and dielectric are staggered so that connection is made at the common edge of the rolled-up plates, not at the ends of the foil or metalized film strips that comprise the plates. The assembly is encased to prevent moisture entering the dielectric early radio equipment used a cardboard tube sealed with wax. Modern paper or film dielectric capacitors are dipped in a hard thermoplastic. Large capacitors for high-voltage use may have the roll form compressed to fit into a rectangular metal case, with bolted terminals and bushings for connections. The dielectric in larger capacitors is often impregnated with a liquid to improve its properties.

Several axial-lead electrolytic capacitors. Capacitors may have their connecting leads arranged in many configurations, for example axially or radially. "Axial" means that the leads are on a common axis, typically the axis of the capacitor's cylindrical body the leads extend from opposite ends. Radial leads might more accurately be referred to as tandem; they are rarely actually aligned along radii of the body's circle, so the term is inexact, although universal. The leads (until bent) are usually in planes parallel to that of the flat body of the capacitor, and extend in the same direction; they are often parallel as manufactured. Small, cheap discoidal ceramic capacitors have existed since the 1930s, and remain in widespread use. Since the 1980s, surface mount packages for capacitors have been widely used. These packages are extremely small and lack connecting leads, allowing them to be soldered directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards. Surface mount components avoid undesirable high-frequency effects due to the leads and simplify automated assembly, although manual handling is made difficult due to their small size. Mechanically controlled variable capacitors allow the plate spacing to be adjusted, for example by rotating or sliding a set of movable plates into alignment with a set of stationary plates. Low cost variable capacitors squeeze together alternating layers of aluminum and plastic with a screw. Electrical control of capacitance is achievable with varactors (or varicaps), which are reversebiased semiconductor diodes whose depletion region width varies with applied voltage. They are used in phase-locked loops, amongst other applications.

Capacitor markings
Most capacitors have numbers printed on their bodies to indicate their electrical characteristics. Larger capacitors like electrolytics usually display the actual capacitance together with the unit (for example, 220 F). Smaller capacitors like ceramics, however, use a shorthand consisting of three numbers and a letter, where the numbers show the capacitance in pF (calculated as XY 10Z for the numbers XYZ) and the letter indicates the tolerance (J, K or M for 5%, 10% and 20% respectively). Additionally, the capacitor may show its working voltage, temperature and other relevant characteristics.

Example
A capacitor with the text 473K 330V on its body has a capacitance of 47 103 pF = 47 nF (10%) with a working voltage of 330 V.

Applications
Main article: Applications of capacitors

This mylar-film, oil-filled capacitor has very low inductance and low resistance, to provide the high-power (70 megawatt) and high speed (1.2 microsecond) discharge needed to operate a dye laser.

Energy storage
A capacitor can store electric energy when disconnected from its charging circuit, so it can be used like a temporary battery. Capacitors are commonly used in electronic devices to maintain power supply while batteries are being changed. (This prevents loss of information in volatile memory.) Conventional capacitors provide less than 360 joules per kilogram of energy density, whereas a conventional alkaline battery has a density of 590 kJ/kg. In car audio systems, large capacitors store energy for the amplifier to use on demand. Also for a flash tube a capacitor is used to hold the high voltage.

Pulsed power and weapons


Groups of large, specially constructed, low-inductance high-voltage capacitors (capacitor banks) are used to supply huge pulses of current for many pulsed power applications. These include electromagnetic forming, Marx generators, pulsed lasers (especially TEA lasers), pulse forming networks, radar, fusion research, and particle accelerators. Large capacitor banks (reservoir) are used as energy sources for the exploding-bridgewire detonators or slapper detonators in nuclear weapons and other specialty weapons. Experimental work is under way using banks of capacitors as power sources for electromagnetic armour and electromagnetic railguns and coilguns.

Power conditioning

A 10 millifarad capacitor in an amplifier power supply Reservoir capacitors are used in power supplies where they smooth the output of a full or half wave rectifier. They can also be used in charge pump circuits as the energy storage element in the generation of higher voltages than the input voltage. Capacitors are connected in parallel with the power circuits of most electronic devices and larger systems (such as factories) to shunt away and conceal current fluctuations from the primary power source to provide a "clean" power supply for signal or control circuits. Audio equipment, for example, uses several capacitors in this way, to shunt away power line hum before it gets into the signal circuitry. The capacitors act as a local reserve for the DC power source, and bypass AC currents from the power supply. This is used in car audio applications, when a stiffening capacitor compensates for the inductance and resistance of the leads to the lead-acid car battery. Power factor correction

A high-voltage capacitor bank used for power factor correction on a power transmission system. In electric power distribution, capacitors are used for power factor correction. Such capacitors often come as three capacitors connected as a three phase load. Usually, the values of these capacitors are given not in farads but rather as a reactive power in volt-amperes reactive (VAr). The purpose is to counteract inductive loading from devices like electric motors and transmission lines to make the load appear to be mostly resistive. Individual motor or lamp loads may have capacitors for power factor correction, or larger sets of capacitors (usually with automatic switching devices) may be installed at a load center within a building or in a large utility substation.

Suppression and coupling


Signal coupling Main article: capacitive coupling

Polyester film capacitors are frequently used as coupling capacitors. Because capacitors pass AC but block DC signals (when charged up to the applied dc voltage), they are often used to separate the AC and DC components of a signal. This method is known as AC coupling or "capacitive coupling". Here, a large value of capacitance, whose value need not be accurately controlled, but whose reactance is small at the signal frequency, is employed. Decoupling Main article: decoupling capacitor A decoupling capacitor is a capacitor used to protect one part of a circuit from the effect of another, for instance to suppress noise or transients. Noise caused by other circuit elements is shunted through the capacitor, reducing the effect they have on the rest of the circuit. It is most commonly used between the power supply and ground. An alternative name is bypass capacitor as it is used to bypass the power supply or other high impedance component of a circuit. Noise filters and snubbers When an inductive circuit is opened, the current through the inductance collapses quickly, creating a large voltage across the open circuit of the switch or relay. If the inductance is large enough, the energy will generate a spark, causing the contact points to oxidize, deteriorate, or

sometimes weld together, or destroying a solid-state switch. A snubber capacitor across the newly opened circuit creates a path for this impulse to bypass the contact points, thereby preserving their life; these were commonly found in contact breaker ignition systems, for instance. Similarly, in smaller scale circuits, the spark may not be enough to damage the switch but will still radiate undesirable radio frequency interference (RFI), which a filter capacitor absorbs. Snubber capacitors are usually employed with a low-value resistor in series, to dissipate energy and minimize RFI. Such resistor-capacitor combinations are available in a single package. Capacitors are also used in parallel to interrupt units of a high-voltage circuit breaker in order to equally distribute the voltage between these units. In this case they are called grading capacitors. In schematic diagrams, a capacitor used primarily for DC charge storage is often drawn vertically in circuit diagrams with the lower, more negative, plate drawn as an arc. The straight plate indicates the positive terminal of the device, if it is polarized (see electrolytic capacitor).

Motor starters
Main article: motor capacitor In single phase squirrel cage motors, the primary winding within the motor housing is not capable of starting a rotational motion on the rotor, but is capable of sustaining one. To start the motor, a secondary "start" winding has a series non-polarized starting capacitor to introduce a lead in the sinusoidal current. When the secondary (start) winding is placed at an angle with respect to the primary (run) winding, a rotating electric field is created. The force of the rotational field is not constant, but is sufficient to start the rotor spinning. When the rotor comes close to operating speed, a centrifugal switch (or current-sensitive relay in series with the main winding) disconnects the capacitor. The start capacitor is typically mounted to the side of the motor housing. These are called capacitor-start motors, that have relatively high starting torque. Typically they can have up-to four times as much starting torque than a split-phase motor and are used on applications such as compressors, pressure washers and any small device requiring high starting torques. Capacitor-run induction motors have a permanently connected phase-shifting capacitor in series with a second winding. The motor is much like a two-phase induction motor. Motor-starting capacitors are typically non-polarized electrolytic types, while running capacitors are conventional paper or plastic film dielectric types.

Signal processing
The energy stored in a capacitor can be used to represent information, either in binary form, as in DRAMs, or in analogue form, as in analog sampled filters and CCDs. Capacitors can be used in analog circuits as components of integrators or more complex filters and in negative feedback loop stabilization. Signal processing circuits also use capacitors to integrate a current signal.

Tuned circuits Capacitors and inductors are applied together in tuned circuits to select information in particular frequency bands. For example, radio receivers rely on variable capacitors to tune the station frequency. Speakers use passive analog crossovers, and analog equalizers use capacitors to select different audio bands. The resonant frequency f of a tuned circuit is a function of the inductance (L) and capacitance (C) in series, and is given by:

where L is in henries and C is in farads.

Sensing
Main article: capacitive sensing Main article: Capacitive displacement sensor Most capacitors are designed to maintain a fixed physical structure. However, various factors can change the structure of the capacitor, and the resulting change in capacitance can be used to sense those factors. Changing the dielectric: The effects of varying the characteristics of the dielectric can be used for sensing purposes. Capacitors with an exposed and porous dielectric can be used to measure humidity in air. Capacitors are used to accurately measure the fuel level in airplanes; as the fuel covers more of a pair of plates, the circuit capacitance increases. Changing the distance between the plates: Capacitors with a flexible plate can be used to measure strain or pressure. Industrial pressure transmitters used for process control use pressure-sensing diaphragms, which form a capacitor plate of an oscillator circuit. Capacitors are used as the sensor in condenser microphones, where one plate is moved by air pressure, relative to the fixed position of the other plate. Some accelerometers use MEMS capacitors etched on a chip to measure the magnitude and direction of the acceleration vector. They are used to detect changes in acceleration, in tilt sensors, or to detect free fall, as sensors triggering airbag deployment, and in many other applications. Some fingerprint sensors use capacitors. Additionally, a user can adjust the pitch of a theremin musical instrument by moving his hand since this changes the effective capacitance between the user's hand and the antenna. Changing the effective area of the plates:

Capacitive touch switches are now used on many consumer electronic products.

Hazards and safety

Swollen caps of electrolytic capacitors special design of semi-cut caps prevents capacitors from bursting

This high-energy capacitor from a defibrillator can deliver over 500 joules of energy. A resistor is connected between the terminals for safety, to allow the stored energy to be released.

Catastrophic failure Capacitors may retain a charge long after power is removed from a circuit; this charge can cause dangerous or even potentially fatal shocks or damage connected equipment. For example, even a seemingly innocuous device such as a disposable camera flash unit powered by a 1.5 volt AA battery contains a capacitor which may be charged to over 300 volts. This is easily capable of delivering a shock. Service procedures for electronic devices usually include instructions to discharge large or high-voltage capacitors, for instance using a Brinkley stick. Capacitors may also have built-in discharge resistors to dissipate stored energy to a safe level within a few seconds after power is removed. High-voltage capacitors are stored with the terminals shorted, as protection from potentially dangerous voltages due to dielectric absorption. Some old, large oil-filled paper or plastic film capacitors contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). It is known that waste PCBs can leak into groundwater under landfills. Capacitors containing PCB were labelled as containing "Askarel" and several other trade names. PCB-filled paper capacitors are found in very old (pre-1975) fluorescent lamp ballasts, and other applications. Capacitors may catastrophically fail when subjected to voltages or currents beyond their rating, or as they reach their normal end of life. Dielectric or metal interconnection failures may create arcing that vaporizes the dielectric fluid, resulting in case bulging, rupture, or even an explosion. Capacitors used in RF or sustained high-current applications can overheat, especially in the center of the capacitor rolls. Capacitors used within high-energy capacitor banks can violently explode when a short in one capacitor causes sudden dumping of energy stored in the rest of the bank into the failing unit. High voltage vacuum capacitors can generate soft X-rays even during normal operation. Proper containment, fusing, and preventive maintenance can help to minimize these hazards. High-voltage capacitors can benefit from a pre-charge to limit in-rush currents at power-up of high voltage direct current (HVDC) circuits. This will extend the life of the component and may mitigate high-voltage hazar

diodeDiode
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For Data Diodes, see Unidirectional network.

Figure 1: Closeup of a diode, showing the square shaped semiconductor crystal (black object on left).

Figure 2: Various semiconductor diodes. Bottom: A bridge rectifier. In most diodes, a white or black painted band identifies the cathode terminal, that is, the terminal that positive charge (conventional current) would flow out of when the diode is conducting.[1][2][3][4]

Figure 3: Structure of a vacuum tube diode. The filament may be bare, or more commonly (as shown here), embedded within and insulated from an enclosing cathode In electronics, a diode is a two-terminal electronic component with an asymmetric transfer characteristic, with low (ideally zero) resistance to current flow in one direction, and high (ideally infinite) resistance in the other. A semiconductor diode, the most common type today, is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material with a pn junction connected to two electrical terminals.[5] A vacuum tube diode is a vacuum tube with two electrodes, a plate (anode) and heated cathode. The most common function of a diode is to allow an electric current to pass in one direction (called the diode's forward direction), while blocking current in the opposite direction (the reverse direction). Thus, the diode can be viewed as an electronic version of a check valve. This unidirectional behavior is called rectification, and is used to convert alternating current to direct current, including extraction of modulation from radio signals in radio receiversthese diodes are forms of rectifiers. However, diodes can have more complicated behavior than this simple onoff action. Semiconductor diodes begin conducting electricity only if a certain threshold voltage or cut-in voltage is present in the forward direction (a state in which the diode is said to be forwardbiased). The voltage drop across a forward-biased diode varies only a little with the current, and is a function of temperature; this effect can be used as a temperature sensor or voltage reference. Semiconductor diodes' nonlinear currentvoltage characteristic can be tailored by varying the semiconductor materials and doping, introducing impurities into the materials. These are exploited in special-purpose diodes that perform many different functions. For example, diodes are used to regulate voltage (Zener diodes), to protect circuits from high voltage surges

(avalanche diodes), to electronically tune radio and TV receivers (varactor diodes), to generate radio frequency oscillations (tunnel diodes, Gunn diodes, IMPATT diodes), and to produce light (light emitting diodes). Tunnel diodes exhibit negative resistance, which makes them useful in some types of circuits. Diodes were the first semiconductor electronic devices. The discovery of crystals' rectifying abilities was made by German physicist Ferdinand Braun in 1874. The first semiconductor diodes, called cat's whisker diodes, developed around 1906, were made of mineral crystals such as galena. Today most diodes are made of silicon, but other semiconductors such as germanium are sometimes used.[6]

Contents

1 History o 1.1 Discovery of vacuum tube diodes o 1.2 Solid-state diodes o 1.3 Etymology 1.3.1 Rectifiers 2 Thermionic diodes 3 Semiconductor diodes o 3.1 Electronic symbols o 3.2 Point-contact diodes o 3.3 Junction diodes 3.3.1 pn junction diode 3.3.2 Schottky diode o 3.4 Currentvoltage characteristic o 3.5 Shockley diode equation o 3.6 Small-signal behavior o 3.7 Reverse-recovery effect 4 Types of semiconductor diode 5 Numbering and coding schemes o 5.1 EIA/JEDEC o 5.2 JIS o 5.3 Pro Electron 6 Related devices 7 Applications o 7.1 Radio demodulation o 7.2 Power conversion o 7.3 Over-voltage protection o 7.4 Logic gates o 7.5 Ionizing radiation detectors o 7.6 Temperature measurements o 7.7 Current steering 8 Abbreviations 9 Two-terminal nonlinear devices 10 See also

11 References 12 External links o 12.1 Interactive and animations

History
Thermionic (vacuum tube) diodes and solid state (semiconductor) diodes were developed separately, at approximately the same time, in the early 1900s, as radio receiver detectors. Until the 1950s vacuum tube diodes were more often used in radios because semiconductor alternatives (Cat's Whiskers) were less stable, and because most receiving sets would have vacuum tubes for amplification that could easily have diodes included in the tube (for example the 12SQ7 double-diode triode), and vacuum tube rectifiers and gas-filled rectifiers handled some high voltage/high current rectification tasks beyond the capabilities of semiconductor diodes (such as selenium rectifiers) available at the time.

Discovery of vacuum tube diodes


Further information: Vacuum tube In 1873, Frederick Guthrie discovered the basic principle of operation of thermionic diodes.[7] Guthrie discovered that a positively charged electroscope could be discharged by bringing a grounded piece of white-hot metal close to it (but not actually touching it). The same did not apply to a negatively charged electroscope, indicating that the current flow was only possible in one direction. Thomas Edison independently rediscovered the principle on February 13, 1880. At the time, Edison was investigating why the filaments of his carbon-filament light bulbs nearly always burned out at the positive-connected end. He had a special bulb made with a metal plate sealed into the glass envelope. Using this device, he confirmed that an invisible current flowed from the glowing filament through the vacuum to the metal plate, but only when the plate was connected to the positive supply. Edison devised a circuit where his modified light bulb effectively replaced the resistor in a DC voltmeter. Edison was awarded a patent for this invention in 1884.[8] Since there was no apparent practical use for such a device at the time, the patent application was most likely simply a precaution in case someone else did find a use for the so-called Edison effect. About 20 years later, John Ambrose Fleming (scientific adviser to the Marconi Company and former Edison employee) realized that the Edison effect could be used as a precision radio detector. Fleming patented the first true thermionic diode, the Fleming valve, in Britain on November 16, 1904[9] (followed by U.S. Patent 803,684 in November 1905).

Solid-state diodes

In 1874 German scientist Karl Ferdinand Braun discovered the "unilateral conduction" of crystals.[10] Braun patented the crystal rectifier in 1899.[11] Copper oxide and selenium rectifiers were developed for power applications in the 1930s. Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose was the first to use a crystal for detecting radio waves in 1894.[12][13] The crystal detector was developed into a practical device for wireless telegraphy by Greenleaf Whittier Pickard, who invented a silicon crystal detector in 1903 and received a patent for it on November 20, 1906.[14] Other experimenters tried a variety of other substances, of which the most widely used was the mineral galena (lead sulfide). Other substances offered slightly better performance, but galena was most widely used because it had the advantage of being cheap and easy to obtain. The crystal detector in these early crystal radio sets consisted of an adjustable wire point-contact (the so-called "cat's whisker"), which could be manually moved over the face of the crystal in order to obtain optimum signal. This troublesome device was superseded by thermionic diodes by the 1920s, but after high purity semiconductor materials became available, the crystal detector returned to dominant use with the advent of inexpensive fixed-germanium diodes in the 1950s.

Etymology
At the time of their invention, such devices were known as rectifiers. In 1919, the year tetrodes were invented, William Henry Eccles coined the term diode from the Greek roots di (from ), meaning "two", and ode (from ), meaning "path". Rectifiers Main article: Rectifier Although all diodes rectify, the term rectifier is normally reserved for higher currents and voltages than would normally found in the rectification of lower power signals; examples include:

power supply (half-wave or full-wave or bridge) rectifiers CRT (especially TV) Extra-high voltage flyback, "damper" or "booster" diodes such as the 6AU4GTA.[15]

Thermionic diodes

Figure 4: The symbol for an indirect heated vacuum-tube diode. From top to bottom, the components are the anode, the cathode, and the heater filament. Thermionic diodes are thermionic-valve devices (also known as vacuum tubes, tubes, or valves), which are arrangements of electrodes surrounded by a vacuum within a glass envelope. Early examples were fairly similar in appearance to incandescent light bulbs. In thermionic-valve diodes, a current through the heater filament indirectly heats the thermionic cathode, another internal electrode treated with a mixture of barium and strontium oxides, which are oxides of alkaline earth metals; these substances are chosen because they have a small work function. (Some valves use direct heating, in which a tungsten filament acts as both heater and cathode.) The heat causes thermionic emission of electrons into the vacuum. In forward operation, a surrounding metal electrode called the anode is positively charged so that it electrostatically attracts the emitted electrons. However, electrons are not easily released from the unheated anode surface when the voltage polarity is reversed. Hence, any reverse flow is negligible. In a mercury-arc valve, an arc forms between a refractory conductive anode and a pool of liquid mercury acting as cathode. Such units were made with ratings up to hundreds of kilowatts, and were important in the development of HVDC power transmission. Some types of smaller thermionic rectifiers sometimes had mercury vapor fill to reduce their forward voltage drop and to increase current rating over thermionic hard-vacuum devices. Until the development of semiconductor diodes, valve diodes were used in analog signal applications and as rectifiers in many power supplies. They rapidly ceased to be used for most purposes, an exception being some high-voltage high-current applications subject to large transient peaks, where their robustness to abuse still makes them the best choice. As of 2012 some enthusiasts favoured vacuum tube amplifiers for audio applications, sometimes using valve rather than semiconductor rectifiers.

Semiconductor diodes
Electronic symbols
Main article: Electronic symbol The symbol used for a semiconductor diode in a circuit diagram specifies the type of diode. There are alternate symbols for some types of diodes, though the differences are minor.

Diode

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Photodiode

Schottky diode

Transient Voltage Suppression (TVS)

Tunnel diode

Varicap

Zener diode

Figure 7: Typical diode packages in same alignment as diode symbol. Thin bar depicts the cathode.

Point-contact diodes
A point-contact diode works the same as the junction diodes described below, but their construction is simpler. A block of n-type semiconductor is built, and a conducting sharp-point contact made with some group-3 metal is placed in contact with the semiconductor. Some metal migrates into the semiconductor to make a small region of p-type semiconductor near the contact. The long-popular 1N34 germanium version is still used in radio receivers as a detector and occasionally in specialized analog electronics.

Junction diodes
Most diodes today are silicon junction diodes. A junction is formed between the p and n regions which is also called a depletion region. pn junction diode Main article: pn diode A pn junction diode is made of a crystal of semiconductor. Impurities are added to it to create a region on one side that contains negative charge carriers (electrons), called n-type semiconductor, and a region on the other side that contains positive charge carriers (holes), called p-type semiconductor. When two materials i.e. n-type and p-type are attached together, a momentary flow of electrons occur from n to p side resulting in a third region where no charge carriers are present. It is called Depletion region due to the absence of charge carriers (electrons and holes in this case). The diode's terminals are attached to each of these regions. The boundary between these two regions, called a pn junction, is where the action of the diode takes place. The crystal allows electrons to flow from the N-type side (called the cathode) to the P-type side (called the anode), but not in the opposite direction. Schottky diode Main article: Schottky diode Another type of junction diode, the Schottky diode, is formed from a metalsemiconductor junction rather than a pn junction, which reduces capacitance and increases switching speed.

Currentvoltage characteristic
A semiconductor diode's behavior in a circuit is given by its currentvoltage characteristic, or I V graph (see graph below). The shape of the curve is determined by the transport of charge carriers through the so-called depletion layer or depletion region that exists at the pn junction between differing semiconductors. When a pn junction is first created, conduction-band (mobile) electrons from the N-doped region diffuse into the P-doped region where there is a large population of holes (vacant places for electrons) with which the electrons "recombine". When a mobile electron recombines with a hole, both hole and electron vanish, leaving behind an immobile positively charged donor (dopant) on the N side and negatively charged acceptor (dopant) on the P side. The region around the pn junction becomes depleted of charge carriers and thus behaves as an insulator. However, the width of the depletion region (called the depletion width) cannot grow without limit. For each electronhole pair that recombines, a positively charged dopant ion is left behind in the N-doped region, and a negatively charged dopant ion is left behind in the P-doped region. As recombination proceeds more ions are created, an increasing electric field develops through the depletion zone that acts to slow and then finally stop recombination. At this point, there is a "built-in" potential across the depletion zone. If an external voltage is placed across the diode with the same polarity as the built-in potential, the depletion zone continues to act as an insulator, preventing any significant electric current flow (unless electron/hole pairs are actively being created in the junction by, for instance, light. see photodiode). This is the reverse bias phenomenon. However, if the polarity of the external voltage opposes the built-in potential, recombination can once again proceed, resulting in substantial electric current through the pn junction (i.e. substantial numbers of electrons and holes recombine at the junction). For silicon diodes, the built-in potential is approximately 0.7 V (0.3 V for Germanium and 0.2 V for Schottky). Thus, if an external current is passed through the diode, about 0.7 V will be developed across the diode such that the P-doped region is positive with respect to the N-doped region and the diode is said to be "turned on" as it has a forward bias. A diode's IV characteristic can be approximated by four regions of operation.

Figure 5: IV characteristics of a pn junction diode (not to scalethe current in the reverse region is magnified compared to the forward region, resulting in the apparent slope discontinuity at the origin; the actual IV curve is smooth across the origin). At very large reverse bias, beyond the peak inverse voltage or PIV, a process called reverse breakdown occurs that causes a large increase in current (i.e., a large number of electrons and holes are created at, and move away from the pn junction) that usually damages the device permanently. The avalanche diode is deliberately designed for use in the avalanche region. In the Zener diode, the concept of PIV is not applicable. A Zener diode contains a heavily doped pn junction allowing electrons to tunnel from the valence band of the p-type material to the conduction band of the n-type material, such that the reverse voltage is "clamped" to a known value (called the Zener voltage), and avalanche does not occur. Both devices, however, do have a limit to the maximum current and power in the clamped reverse-voltage region. Also, following the end of forward conduction in any diode, there is reverse current for a short time. The device does not attain its full blocking capability until the reverse current ceases. The second region, at reverse biases more positive than the PIV, has only a very small reverse saturation current. In the reverse bias region for a normal PN rectifier diode, the current through the device is very low (in the A range). However, this is temperature dependent, and at sufficiently high temperatures, a substantial amount of reverse current can be observed (mA or more). The third region is forward but small bias, where only a small forward current is conducted. As the potential difference is increased above an arbitrarily defined "cut-in voltage" or "onvoltage" or "diode forward voltage drop (Vd)", the diode current becomes appreciable (the level of current considered "appreciable" and the value of cut-in voltage depends on the application), and the diode presents a very low resistance. The currentvoltage curve is exponential. In a normal silicon diode at rated currents, the arbitrary cut-in voltage is defined as 0.6 to 0.7 volts. The value is different for other diode typesSchottky diodes can be rated as low as 0.2 V,

Germanium diodes 0.25 to 0.3 V, and red or blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can have values of 1.4 V and 4.0 V respectively.[16] At higher currents the forward voltage drop of the diode increases. A drop of 1 V to 1.5 V is typical at full rated current for power diodes.

Shockley diode equation


The Shockley ideal diode equation or the diode law (named after transistor co-inventor William Bradford Shockley) gives the IV characteristic of an ideal diode in either forward or reverse bias (or no bias). The Shockley ideal diode equation equation is below, where n, the ideality factor, is equal to 1 :

where I is the diode current, IS is the reverse bias saturation current (or scale current), VD is the voltage across the diode, VT is the thermal voltage, and n is the ideality factor, also known as the quality factor or sometimes emission coefficient. The ideality factor n typically varies from 1 to 2 (though can in some cases be higher), depending on the fabrication process and semiconductor material and in many cases is assumed to be approximately equal to 1 (thus the notation n is omitted). The ideality factor does not form part of the Shockley ideal diode equation, and was added to account for imperfect junctions as observed in real transistors. By setting n = 1 above, the equation reduces to the Shockley ideal diode equation. The thermal voltage VT is approximately 25.85 mV at 300 K, a temperature close to "room temperature" commonly used in device simulation software. At any temperature it is a known constant defined by:

where k is the Boltzmann constant, T is the absolute temperature of the pn junction, and q is the magnitude of charge on an electron (the elementary charge). The reverse saturation current, IS, is not constant for a given device, but varies with temperature; usually more significantly than VT, so that VD typically decreases as T increases. The Shockley ideal diode equation or the diode law is derived with the assumption that the only processes giving rise to the current in the diode are drift (due to electrical field), diffusion, and thermal recombinationgeneration (RG) (this equation is derived by setting n = 1 above). It also

assumes that the RG current in the depletion region is insignificant. This means that the Shockley ideal diode equation doesn't account for the processes involved in reverse breakdown and photon-assisted RG. Additionally, it doesn't describe the "leveling off" of the IV curve at high forward bias due to internal resistance. Introducing the ideality factor, n, accounts for recombination and generation of carriers. Under reverse bias voltages (see Figure 5) the exponential in the diode equation is negligible, and the current is a constant (negative) reverse current value of IS. The reverse breakdown region is not modeled by the Shockley diode equation. For even rather small forward bias voltages (see Figure 5) the exponential is very large because the thermal voltage is very small, so the subtracted '1' in the diode equation is negligible and the forward diode current is often approximated as

The use of the diode equation in circuit problems is illustrated in the article on diode modeling.

Small-signal behavior
For circuit design, a small-signal model of the diode behavior often proves useful. A specific example of diode modeling is discussed in the article on small-signal circuits.

Reverse-recovery effect
Following the end of forward conduction in a pn type diode, a reverse current flows for a short time. The device does not attain its blocking capability until the mobile charge in the junction is depleted. The effect can be significant when switching large currents very quickly.[17] A certain amount of "reverse recovery time" tr (on the order of tens of nanoseconds to a few microseconds) may be required to remove the reverse recovery charge Qr from the diode. During this recovery time, the diode can actually conduct in the reverse direction. In certain real-world cases it can be important to consider the losses incurred by this non-ideal diode effect.[18] However, when the slew rate of the current is not so severe (e.g. Line frequency) the effect can be safely ignored. For most applications, the effect is also negligible for Schottky diodes. The reverse current ceases abruptly when the stored charge is depleted; this abrupt stop is exploited in step recovery diodes for generation of extremely short pulses.

Types of semiconductor diode

Figure 8: Several types of diodes. The scale is centimeters.

Typical datasheet drawing showing the dimensions of a DO-41 diode package. There are several types of pn junction diodes, which either emphasize a different physical aspect of a diode often by geometric scaling, doping level, choosing the right electrodes, are just an application of a diode in a special circuit, or are really different devices like the Gunn and laser diode and the MOSFET:

Normal (pn) diodes, which operate as described above, are usually made of doped silicon or, more rarely, germanium. Before the development of silicon power rectifier diodes, cuprous oxide and later selenium was used; its low efficiency gave it a much higher forward voltage drop (typically 1.4 to 1.7 V per "cell", with multiple cells stacked to increase the peak inverse voltage rating in high voltage rectifiers), and required a large heat sink (often an extension of the diode's metal substrate), much larger than a silicon diode of the same current ratings would require. The vast majority of all diodes are the pn diodes found in CMOS integrated circuits, which include two diodes per pin and many other internal diodes. Avalanche diodes Diodes that conduct in the reverse direction when the reverse bias voltage exceeds the breakdown voltage. These are electrically very similar to Zener diodes, and are often mistakenly called Zener diodes, but break down by a different mechanism, the avalanche effect. This occurs when the reverse electric field across the pn junction causes a wave of ionization, reminiscent of an avalanche, leading to a large current. Avalanche diodes are designed to break down at a well-defined reverse voltage without being destroyed. The difference between the avalanche diode (which has a reverse breakdown above about 6.2 V) and the Zener is that the channel length of the former exceeds the mean free path of the electrons, so there are collisions between them on the way out. The only practical difference is that the two types have temperature coefficients of opposite polarities. Cat's whisker or crystal diodes These are a type of point-contact diode. The cat's whisker diode consists of a thin or sharpened metal wire pressed against a semiconducting crystal, typically galena or a piece of coal. The wire forms the anode and the crystal forms the cathode. Cat's whisker diodes were also called crystal diodes and found application in crystal radio receivers. Cat's whisker diodes are generally obsolete, but may be available from a few manufacturers.[citation needed] Constant current diodes These are actually a JFET[19] with the gate shorted to the source, and function like a twoterminal current-limiter analog to the Zener diode, which is limiting voltage. They allow a current through them to rise to a certain value, and then level off at a specific value. Also called CLDs, constant-current diodes, diode-connected transistors, or currentregulating diodes. Esaki or tunnel diodes These have a region of operation showing negative resistance caused by quantum tunneling,[20] allowing amplification of signals and very simple bistable circuits. Due to the high carrier concentration, tunnel diodes are very fast, may be used at low (mK) temperatures, high magnetic fields, and in high radiation environments.[21] Because of these properties, they are often used in spacecraft.

Gunn diodes These are similar to tunnel diodes in that they are made of materials such as GaAs or InP that exhibit a region of negative differential resistance. With appropriate biasing, dipole domains form and travel across the diode, allowing high frequency microwave oscillators to be built. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) In a diode formed from a direct band-gap semiconductor, such as gallium arsenide, carriers that cross the junction emit photons when they recombine with the majority carrier on the other side. Depending on the material, wavelengths (or colors)[22] from the infrared to the near ultraviolet may be produced.[23] The forward potential of these diodes depends on the wavelength of the emitted photons: 2.1 V corresponds to red, 4.0 V to violet. The first LEDs were red and yellow, and higher-frequency diodes have been developed over time. All LEDs produce incoherent, narrow-spectrum light; "white" LEDs are actually combinations of three LEDs of a different color, or a blue LED with a yellow scintillator coating. LEDs can also be used as low-efficiency photodiodes in signal applications. An LED may be paired with a photodiode or phototransistor in the same package, to form an opto-isolator. Laser diodes When an LED-like structure is contained in a resonant cavity formed by polishing the parallel end faces, a laser can be formed. Laser diodes are commonly used in optical storage devices and for high speed optical communication. Thermal diodes This term is used both for conventional pn diodes used to monitor temperature due to their varying forward voltage with temperature, and for Peltier heat pumps for thermoelectric heating and cooling.. Peltier heat pumps may be made from semiconductor, though they do not have any rectifying junctions, they use the differing behaviour of charge carriers in N and P type semiconductor to move heat. Photodiodes All semiconductors are subject to optical charge carrier generation. This is typically an undesired effect, so most semiconductors are packaged in light blocking material. Photodiodes are intended to sense light(photodetector), so they are packaged in materials that allow light to pass, and are usually PIN (the kind of diode most sensitive to light).[24] A photodiode can be used in solar cells, in photometry, or in optical communications. Multiple photodiodes may be packaged in a single device, either as a linear array or as a two-dimensional array. These arrays should not be confused with charge-coupled devices.

PIN diodes A PIN diode has a central un-doped, or intrinsic, layer, forming a p-type/intrinsic/n-type structure.[25] They are used as radio frequency switches and attenuators. They are also used as large volume ionizing radiation detectors and as photodetectors. PIN diodes are also used in power electronics, as their central layer can withstand high voltages. Furthermore, the PIN structure can be found in many power semiconductor devices, such as IGBTs, power MOSFETs, and thyristors. Schottky diodes Schottky diodes are constructed from a metal to semiconductor contact. They have a lower forward voltage drop than pn junction diodes. Their forward voltage drop at forward currents of about 1 mA is in the range 0.15 V to 0.45 V, which makes them useful in voltage clamping applications and prevention of transistor saturation. They can also be used as low loss rectifiers, although their reverse leakage current is in general higher than that of other diodes. Schottky diodes are majority carrier devices and so do not suffer from minority carrier storage problems that slow down many other diodesso they have a faster reverse recovery than pn junction diodes. They also tend to have much lower junction capacitance than pn diodes, which provides for high switching speeds and their use in high-speed circuitry and RF devices such as switched-mode power supply, mixers, and detectors. Super barrier diodes Super barrier diodes are rectifier diodes that incorporate the low forward voltage drop of the Schottky diode with the surge-handling capability and low reverse leakage current of a normal pn junction diode. Gold-doped diodes As a dopant, gold (or platinum) acts as recombination centers, which helps a fast recombination of minority carriers. This allows the diode to operate at signal frequencies, at the expense of a higher forward voltage drop. Gold-doped diodes are faster than other pn diodes (but not as fast as Schottky diodes). They also have less reverse-current leakage than Schottky diodes (but not as good as other pn diodes).[26][27] A typical example is the 1N914. Snap-off or Step recovery diodes The term step recovery relates to the form of the reverse recovery characteristic of these devices. After a forward current has been passing in an SRD and the current is interrupted or reversed, the reverse conduction will cease very abruptly (as in a step waveform). SRDs can, therefore, provide very fast voltage transitions by the very sudden disappearance of the charge carriers.

Stabistors or Forward Reference Diodes The term stabistor refers to a special type of diodes featuring extremely stable forward voltage characteristics. These devices are specially designed for low-voltage stabilization applications requiring a guaranteed voltage over a wide current range and highly stable over temperature. Transient voltage suppression diode (TVS) These are avalanche diodes designed specifically to protect other semiconductor devices from high-voltage transients.[28] Their pn junctions have a much larger cross-sectional area than those of a normal diode, allowing them to conduct large currents to ground without sustaining damage. Varicap or varactor diodes These are used as voltage-controlled capacitors. These are important in PLL (phaselocked loop) and FLL (frequency-locked loop) circuits, allowing tuning circuits, such as those in television receivers, to lock quickly. They also enabled tunable oscillators in early discrete tuning of radios, where a cheap and stable, but fixed-frequency, crystal oscillator provided the reference frequency for a voltage-controlled oscillator. Zener diodes Diodes that can be made to conduct backward. This effect, called Zener breakdown, occurs at a precisely defined voltage, allowing the diode to be used as a precision voltage reference. In practical voltage reference circuits, Zener and switching diodes are connected in series and opposite directions to balance the temperature coefficient to nearzero. Some devices labeled as high-voltage Zener diodes are actually avalanche diodes (see above). Two (equivalent) Zeners in series and in reverse order, in the same package, constitute a transient absorber (or Transorb, a registered trademark). The Zener diode is named for Dr. Clarence Melvin Zener of Carnegie Mellon University, inventor of the device. Other uses for semiconductor diodes include sensing temperature, and computing analog logarithms (see Operational amplifier applications#Logarithmic_output).

Numbering and coding schemes


There are a number of common, standard and manufacturer-driven numbering and coding schemes for diodes; the two most common being the EIA/JEDEC standard and the European Pro Electron standard:

EIA/JEDEC

The standardized 1N-series numbering EIA370 system was introduced in the US by EIA/JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) about 1960. Among the most popular in this series were: 1N34A/1N270 (Germanium signal), 1N914/1N4148 (Silicon signal), 1N4001-1N4007 (Silicon 1A power rectifier) and 1N54xx (Silicon 3A power rectifier)[29][30][31]

JIS
The JIS semiconductor designation system has all semiconductor diode designations starting with "1S".

Pro Electron
The European Pro Electron coding system for active components was introduced in 1966 and comprises two letters followed by the part code. The first letter represents the semiconductor material used for the component (A = Germanium and B = Silicon) and the second letter represents the general function of the part (for diodes: A = low-power/signal, B = Variable capacitance, X = Multiplier, Y = Rectifier and Z = Voltage reference), for example:

AA-series germanium low-power/signal diodes (e.g.: AA119) BA-series silicon low-power/signal diodes (e.g.: BAT18 Silicon RF Switching Diode) BY-series silicon rectifier diodes (e.g.: BY127 1250V, 1A rectifier diode) BZ-series silicon Zener diodes (e.g.: BZY88C4V7 4.7V Zener diode)

Other common numbering / coding systems (generally manufacturer-driven) include:


GD-series germanium diodes (e.g.: GD9) this is a very old coding system OA-series germanium diodes (e.g.: OA47) a coding sequence developed by Mullard, a UK company

As well as these common codes, many manufacturers or organisations have their own systems too for example:

HP diode 1901-0044 = JEDEC 1N4148 UK military diode CV448 = Mullard type OA81 = GEC type GEX23

Related devices

Rectifier Transistor Thyristor or silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) TRIAC Diac Varistor

In optics, an equivalent device for the diode but with laser light would be the Optical isolator, also known as an Optical Diode, that allows light to only pass in one direction. It uses a Faraday rotator as the main component.

Applications
Radio demodulation
The first use for the diode was the demodulation of amplitude modulated (AM) radio broadcasts. The history of this discovery is treated in depth in the radio article. In summary, an AM signal consists of alternating positive and negative peaks of a radio carrier wave, whose amplitude or envelope is proportional to the original audio signal. The diode (originally a crystal diode) rectifies the AM radio frequency signal, leaving only the positive peaks of the carrier wave. The audio is then extracted from the rectified carrier wave using a simple filter and fed into an audio amplifier or transducer, which generates sound waves.

Power conversion
Rectifiers are constructed from diodes, where they are used to convert alternating current (AC) electricity into direct current (DC). Automotive alternators are a common example, where the diode, which rectifies the AC into DC, provides better performance than the commutator or earlier, dynamo. Similarly, diodes are also used in CockcroftWalton voltage multipliers to convert AC into higher DC voltages.

Over-voltage protection
Diodes are frequently used to conduct damaging high voltages away from sensitive electronic devices. They are usually reverse-biased (non-conducting) under normal circumstances. When the voltage rises above the normal range, the diodes become forward-biased (conducting). For example, diodes are used in (stepper motor and H-bridge) motor controller and relay circuits to de-energize coils rapidly without the damaging voltage spikes that would otherwise occur. (Any diode used in such an application is called a flyback diode). Many integrated circuits also incorporate diodes on the connection pins to prevent external voltages from damaging their sensitive transistors. Specialized diodes are used to protect from over-voltages at higher power (see Diode types above).

Logic gates
Diodes can be combined with other components to construct AND and OR logic gates. This is referred to as diode logic.

Ionizing radiation detectors


In addition to light, mentioned above, semiconductor diodes are sensitive to more energetic radiation. In electronics, cosmic rays and other sources of ionizing radiation cause noise pulses

and single and multiple bit errors. This effect is sometimes exploited by particle detectors to detect radiation. A single particle of radiation, with thousands or millions of electron volts of energy, generates many charge carrier pairs, as its energy is deposited in the semiconductor material. If the depletion layer is large enough to catch the whole shower or to stop a heavy particle, a fairly accurate measurement of the particle's energy can be made, simply by measuring the charge conducted and without the complexity of a magnetic spectrometer, etc. These semiconductor radiation detectors need efficient and uniform charge collection and low leakage current. They are often cooled by liquid nitrogen. For longer-range (about a centimetre) particles, they need a very large depletion depth and large area. For short-range particles, they need any contact or un-depleted semiconductor on at least one surface to be very thin. The back-bias voltages are near breakdown (around a thousand volts per centimetre). Germanium and silicon are common materials. Some of these detectors sense position as well as energy. They have a finite life, especially when detecting heavy particles, because of radiation damage. Silicon and germanium are quite different in their ability to convert gamma rays to electron showers. Semiconductor detectors for high-energy particles are used in large numbers. Because of energy loss fluctuations, accurate measurement of the energy deposited is of less use.

Temperature measurements
A diode can be used as a temperature measuring device, since the forward voltage drop across the diode depends on temperature, as in a silicon bandgap temperature sensor. From the Shockley ideal diode equation given above, it might appear that the voltage has a positive temperature coefficient (at a constant current), but usually the variation of the reverse saturation current term is more significant than the variation in the thermal voltage term. Most diodes therefore have a negative temperature coefficient, typically 2 mV/C for silicon diodes at room temperature. This is approximately linear for temperatures above about 20 kelvins. Some graphs are given for: 1N400x series, and CY7 cryogenic temperature sensor.

relay

Relay

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the electrical component. For other uses, see Relay (disambiguation). This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2009)

Automotive-style miniature relay, dust cover is taken off A relay is an electrically operated switch. Many relays use an electromagnet to operate a switching mechanism mechanically, but other operating principles are also used. Relays are used where it is necessary to control a circuit by a low-power signal (with complete electrical isolation between control and controlled circuits), or where several circuits must be controlled by one

signal. The first relays were used in long distance telegraph circuits, repeating the signal coming in from one circuit and re-transmitting it to another. Relays were used extensively in telephone exchanges and early computers to perform logical operations. A type of relay that can handle the high power required to directly control an electric motor or other loads is called a contactor. Solid-state relays control power circuits with no moving parts, instead using a semiconductor device to perform switching. Relays with calibrated operating characteristics and sometimes multiple operating coils are used to protect electrical circuits from overload or faults; in modern electric power systems these functions are performed by digital instruments still called "protective relays".

Contents

1 Basic design and operation 2 Types o 2.1 Latching relay o 2.2 Reed relay o 2.3 Mercury-wetted relay o 2.4 Polarized relay o 2.5 Machine tool relay o 2.6 Ratchet relay o 2.7 Coaxial relay o 2.8 Contactor o 2.9 Solid-state relay o 2.10 Solid state contactor relay o 2.11 Buchholz relay o 2.12 Forced-guided contacts relay o 2.13 Overload protection relays 3 Pole and throw 4 Applications 5 Relay application considerations o 5.1 Derating factors o 5.2 Undesired arcing 6 Protective relays 7 Railway signalling 8 History 9 See also 10 References 11 External links

Basic design and operation

Simple electromechanical relay.

Small "cradle" relay often used in electronics. The "cradle" term refers to the shape of the relay's armature. A simple electromagnetic relay consists of a coil of wire wrapped around a soft iron core, an iron yoke which provides a low reluctance path for magnetic flux, a movable iron armature, and one or more sets of contacts (there are two in the relay pictured). The armature is hinged to the yoke and mechanically linked to one or more sets of moving contacts. It is held in place by a spring so that when the relay is de-energized there is an air gap in the magnetic circuit. In this condition, one of the two sets of contacts in the relay pictured is closed, and the other set is open. Other relays may have more or fewer sets of contacts depending on their function. The relay in the picture also has a wire connecting the armature to the yoke. This ensures continuity of the circuit between the moving contacts on the armature, and the circuit track on the printed circuit board (PCB) via the yoke, which is soldered to the PCB. When an electric current is passed through the coil it generates a magnetic field that activates the armature, and the consequent movement of the movable contact(s) either makes or breaks (depending upon construction) a connection with a fixed contact. If the set of contacts was closed when the relay was de-energized, then the movement opens the contacts and breaks the connection, and vice versa if the contacts were open. When the current to the coil is switched off, the armature is returned by a force, approximately half as strong as the magnetic force, to its relaxed position. Usually this force is provided by a spring, but gravity is also used commonly in industrial motor starters. Most relays are manufactured to operate quickly. In a low-voltage application this reduces noise; in a high voltage or current application it reduces arcing.

When the coil is energized with direct current, a diode is often placed across the coil to dissipate the energy from the collapsing magnetic field at deactivation, which would otherwise generate a voltage spike dangerous to semiconductor circuit components. Some automotive relays include a diode inside the relay case. Alternatively, a contact protection network consisting of a capacitor and resistor in series (snubber circuit) may absorb the surge. If the coil is designed to be energized with alternating current (AC), a small copper "shading ring" can be crimped to the end of the solenoid, creating a small out-of-phase current which increases the minimum pull on the armature during the AC cycle.[1] A solid-state relay uses a thyristor or other solid-state switching device, activated by the control signal, to switch the controlled load, instead of a solenoid. An optocoupler (a light-emitting diode (LED) coupled with a photo transistor) can be used to isolate control and controlled circuits.

Types
Latching relay

Latching relay with permanent magnet A latching relay has two relaxed states (bistable). These are also called "impulse", "keep", or "stay" relays. When the current is switched off, the relay remains in its last state. This is achieved with a solenoid operating a ratchet and cam mechanism, or by having two opposing coils with an over-center spring or permanent magnet to hold the armature and contacts in position while the coil is relaxed, or with a remanent core. In the ratchet and cam example, the first pulse to the coil turns the relay on and the second pulse turns it off. In the two coil example, a pulse to one coil turns the relay on and a pulse to the opposite coil turns the relay off. This type of relay has the advantage that one coil consumes power only for an instant, while it is being switched, and the relay contacts retain this setting across a power outage. A remanent core latching relay requires a current pulse of opposite polarity to make it change state. A stepping relay is a specialized kind of multi-way latching relay designed for early automatic telephone exchanges. An earth leakage circuit breaker includes a specialized latching relay.

Very early computers often stored bits in a magnetically latching relay, such as ferreed or the later memreed in the 1ESS switch. Some early computers used ordinary relays as a kind of latch -- they store bits in ordinary wire spring relays or reed relays by feeding an output wire back as an input, resulting in a feedback loop or sequential circuit. Such an electrically-latching relay requires continuous power to maintain state, unlike magnetically latching relays or mechanically racheting relays. In computer memories, latching relays and other relays were replaced by delay line memory, which in turn was replaced by a series of ever-faster and ever-smaller memory technologies.

Reed relay
Main article: reed relay A reed relay is a reed switch enclosed in a solenoid. The switch has a set of contacts inside an evacuated or inert gas-filled glass tube which protects the contacts against atmospheric corrosion; the contacts are made of magnetic material that makes them move under the influence of the field of the enclosing solenoid. Reed relays can switch faster than larger relays, require very little power from the control circuit. However they have relatively low switching current and voltage ratings. Though rare, the reeds can become magnetized over time, which makes them stick 'on' even when no current is present; changing the orientation of the reeds with respect to the solenoid's magnetic field can resolve this problem.

Top, middle: reed switches, bottom: reed relay

Mercury-wetted relay
See also: mercury switch A mercury-wetted reed relay is a form of reed relay in which the contacts are wetted with mercury. Such relays are used to switch low-voltage signals (one volt or less) where the mercury reduces the contact resistance and associated voltage drop, for low-current signals where surface contamination may make for a poor contact, or for high-speed applications where the mercury eliminates contact bounce. Mercury wetted relays are position-sensitive and must be mounted vertically to work properly. Because of the toxicity and expense of liquid mercury, these relays are now rarely used.

Polarized relay
A polarized relay placed the armature between the poles of a permanent magnet to increase sensitivity. Polarized relays were used in middle 20th Century telephone exchanges to detect faint pulses and correct telegraphic distortion. The poles were on screws, so a technician could first adjust them for maximum sensitivity and then apply a bias spring to set the critical current that would operate the relay.

External links o Schematic diagram of a polarized relay used in a teletype machine.

Machine tool relay


A machine tool relay is a type standardized for industrial control of machine tools, transfer machines, and other sequential control. They are characterized by a large number of contacts (sometimes extendable in the field) which are easily converted from normally-open to normallyclosed status, easily replaceable coils, and a form factor that allows compactly installing many relays in a control panel. Although such relays once were the backbone of automation in such industries as automobile assembly, the programmable logic controller (PLC) mostly displaced the machine tool relay from sequential control applications. A relay allows circuits to be switched by electrical equipment: for example, a timer circuit with a relay could switch power at a preset time. For many years relays were the standard method of controlling industrial electronic systems. A number of relays could be used together to carry out complex functions (relay logic). The principle of relay logic is based on relays which energize and de-energize associated contacts. Relay logic is the predecessor of ladder logic, which is commonly used in programmable logic controllers.

Ratchet relay
This is again a clapper type relay which does not need continuous current through its coil to retain its operation. A ratchet holds the contacts closed after the coil is momentarily energized. A second impulse, in the same or a separate coil, releases the contacts.

Coaxial relay
Where radio transmitters and receivers share a common antenna, often a coaxial relay is used as a TR (transmit-receive) relay, which switches the antenna from the receiver to the transmitter. This protects the receiver from the high power of the transmitter. Such relays are often used in transceivers which combine transmitter and receiver in one unit. The relay contacts are designed not to reflect any radio frequency power back toward the source, and to provide very high isolation between receiver and transmitter terminals. The characteristic impedance of the relay is matched to the transmission line impedance of the system, for example, 50 ohms.[2]

Contactor

Main article: Contactor A contactor is a heavy-duty relay used for switching electric motors and lighting loads, but contactors are not generally called relays. Continuous current ratings for common contactors range from 10 amps to several hundred amps. High-current contacts are made with alloys containing silver. The unavoidable arcing causes the contacts to oxidize; however, silver oxide is still a good conductor.[3] Contactors with overload protection devices are often used to start motors. Contactors can be make loud sounds when they operate, so they may be unfit for use where noise is a chief concern. A contactor is an electrically controlled switch used for switching a power circuit, similar to a relay except with higher current ratings.[4] A contactor is controlled by a circuit which has a much lower power level than the switched circuit. Contactors come in many forms with varying capacities and features. Unlike a circuit breaker, a contactor is not intended to interrupt a short circuit current. Contactors range from those having a breaking current of several amperes to thousands of amperes and 24 V DC to many kilovolts. The physical size of contactors ranges from a device small enough to pick up with one hand, to large devices approximately a meter (yard) on a side. Contactors are used to control electric motors, lighting, heating, capacitor banks, thermal evaporators, and other electrical loads.

Solid-state relay

Solid state relay with no moving parts

25 A or 40 A solid state contactors A solid state relay (SSR) is a solid state electronic component that provides a similar function to an electromechanical relay but does not have any moving components, increasing long-term reliability. Every solid-state device has a small voltage drop across it. This voltage drop limits the amount of current a given SSR can handle. The minimum voltage drop for such a relay is a function of the material used to make the device. Solid-state relays rated to handle as much as 1,200 amperes have become commercially available. Compared to electromagnetic relays, they may be falsely triggered by transients.

Solid state contactor relay


A solid state contactor is a heavy-duty solid state relay, including the necessary heat sink, used where frequent on/off cycles are required, such as with electric heaters, small electric motors, and lighting loads. There are no moving parts to wear out and there is no contact bounce due to vibration. They are activated by AC control signals or DC control signals from Programmable logic controller (PLCs), PCs, Transistor-transistor logic (TTL) sources, or other microprocessor and microcontroller controls.

Buchholz relay
A Buchholz relay is a safety device sensing the accumulation of gas in large oil-filled transformers, which will alarm on slow accumulation of gas or shut down the transformer if gas is produced rapidly in the transformer oil.

Forced-guided contacts relay


A forced-guided contacts relay has relay contacts that are mechanically linked together, so that when the relay coil is energized or de-energized, all of the linked contacts move together. If one set of contacts in the relay becomes immobilized, no other contact of the same relay will be able to move. The function of forced-guided contacts is to enable the safety circuit to check the status of the relay. Forced-guided contacts are also known as "positive-guided contacts", "captive contacts", "locked contacts", or "safety relays".

Overload protection relays


Electric motors need overcurrent protection to prevent damage from over-loading the motor, or to protect against short circuits in connecting cables or internal faults in the motor windings.[5] The overload sensing devices are a form of heat operated relay where a coil heats a bimetallic strip, or where a solder pot melts, releasing a spring to operate auxiliary contacts. These auxiliary contacts are in series with the coil. If the overload senses excess current in the load, the coil is de-energized. This thermal protection operates relatively slowly allowing the motor to draw higher starting currents before the protection relay will trip. Where the overload relay is exposed to the same

environment as the motor, a useful though crude compensation for motor ambient temperature is provided. The other common overload protection system uses an electromagnet coil in series with the motor circuit that directly operates contacts. This is similar to a control relay but requires a rather high fault current to operate the contacts. To prevent short over current spikes from causing nuisance triggering the armature movement is damped with a dashpot. The thermal and magnetic overload detections are typically used together in a motor protection relay. Electronic overload protection relays measure motor current and can estimate motor winding temperature using a "thermal model" of the motor armature system that can be set to provide more accurate motor protection. Some motor protection relays include temperature detector inputs for direct measurement from a thermocouple or resistance thermometer sensor embedded in the winding.

Pole and throw

Circuit symbols of relays. (C denotes the common terminal in SPDT and DPDT types.) Since relays are switches, the terminology applied to switches is also applied to relays; a relay switches one or more poles, each of whose contacts can be thrown by energizing the coil in one of three ways:

Normally-open (NO) contacts connect the circuit when the relay is activated; the circuit is disconnected when the relay is inactive. It is also called a Form A contact or "make" contact. NO contacts may also be distinguished as "early-make" or NOEM, which means that the contacts close before the button or switch is fully engaged. Normally-closed (NC) contacts disconnect the circuit when the relay is activated; the circuit is connected when the relay is inactive. It is also called a Form B contact or

"break" contact. NC contacts may also be distinguished as "late-break" or NCLB, which means that the contacts stay closed until the button or switch is fully disengaged. Change-over (CO), or double-throw (DT), contacts control two circuits: one normallyopen contact and one normally-closed contact with a common terminal. It is also called a Form C contact or "transfer" contact ("break before make"). If this type of contact utilizes a "make before break" functionality, then it is called a Form D contact.

The following designations are commonly encountered:

SPST Single Pole Single Throw. These have two terminals which can be connected or disconnected. Including two for the coil, such a relay has four terminals in total. It is ambiguous whether the pole is normally open or normally closed. The terminology "SPNO" and "SPNC" is sometimes used to resolve the ambiguity. SPDT Single Pole Double Throw. A common terminal connects to either of two others. Including two for the coil, such a relay has five terminals in total. DPST Double Pole Single Throw. These have two pairs of terminals. Equivalent to two SPST switches or relays actuated by a single coil. Including two for the coil, such a relay has six terminals in total. The poles may be Form A or Form B (or one of each). DPDT Double Pole Double Throw. These have two rows of change-over terminals. Equivalent to two SPDT switches or relays actuated by a single coil. Such a relay has eight terminals, including the coil.

The "S" or "D" may be replaced with a number, indicating multiple switches connected to a single actuator. For example 4PDT indicates a four pole double throw relay (with 12 terminals). EN 50005 are among applicable standards for relay terminal numbering; a typical EN 50005compliant SPDT relay's terminals would be numbered 11, 12, 14, A1 and A2 for the C, NC, NO, and coil connections, respectively.

Applications
Relays are used for:

Amplifying a digital signal, switching a large amount of power with a small operating power. Some special cases are: o A telegraph relay, repeating a weak signal received at the end of a long wire o Controlling a high-voltage circuit with a low-voltage signal, as in some types of modems or audio amplifiers, o Controlling a high-current circuit with a low-current signal, as in the starter solenoid of an automobile, Detecting and isolating faults on transmission and distribution lines by opening and closing circuit breakers (protection relays),

A DPDT AC coil relay with "ice cube" packaging

Isolating the controlling circuit from the controlled circuit when the two are at different potentials, for example when controlling a mains-powered device from a low-voltage switch. The latter is often applied to control office lighting as the low voltage wires are easily installed in partitions, which may be often moved as needs change. They may also be controlled by room occupancy detectors to conserve energy, Logic functions. For example, the boolean AND function is realised by connecting normally open relay contacts in series, the OR function by connecting normally open contacts in parallel. The change-over or Form C contacts perform the XOR (exclusive or) function. Similar functions for NAND and NOR are accomplished using normally closed contacts. The Ladder programming language is often used for designing relay logic networks. o The application of Boolean Algebra to relay circuit design was formalized by Claude Shannon in A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits o Early computing. Before vacuum tubes and transistors, relays were used as logical elements in digital computers. See electro-mechanical computers such as ARRA (computer), Harvard Mark II, Zuse Z2, and Zuse Z3. o Safety-critical logic. Because relays are much more resistant than semiconductors to nuclear radiation, they are widely used in safety-critical logic, such as the control panels of radioactive waste-handling machinery. Time delay functions. Relays can be modified to delay opening or delay closing a set of contacts. A very short (a fraction of a second) delay would use a copper disk between the armature and moving blade assembly. Current flowing in the disk maintains magnetic field for a short time, lengthening release time. For a slightly longer (up to a minute) delay, a dashpot is used. A dashpot is a piston filled with fluid that is allowed to escape slowly. The time period can be varied by increasing or decreasing the flow rate. For longer time periods, a mechanical clockwork timer is installed. Vehicle battery isolation. A 12v relay is often used to isolate any second battery in cars, 4WDs, RVs and boats. Switching to a standby power supply.

Relay application considerations

A large relay with two coils and many sets of contacts, used in an old telephone switching system.

Several 30-contact relays in "Connector" circuits in mid 20th century 1XB switch and 5XB switch telephone exchanges; cover removed on one Selection of an appropriate relay for a particular application requires evaluation of many different factors:

Number and type of contacts normally open, normally closed, (double-throw) Contact sequence "Make before Break" or "Break before Make". For example, the old style telephone exchanges required Make-before-break so that the connection didn't get dropped while dialing the number. Rating of contacts small relays switch a few amperes, large contactors are rated for up to 3000 amperes, alternating or direct current Voltage rating of contacts typical control relays rated 300 VAC or 600 VAC, automotive types to 50 VDC, special high-voltage relays to about 15 000 V Operating lifetime, useful life - the number of times the relay can be expected to operate reliably. There is both a mechanical life and a contact life; the contact life is naturally affected by the kind of load being switched. Coil voltage machine-tool relays usually 24 VDC, 120 or 250 VAC, relays for switchgear may have 125 V or 250 VDC coils, "sensitive" relays operate on a few milliamperes

Coil current - including minimum current required to operate reliably and minimum current to hold. Also effects of power dissipation on coil temperature at various duty cycles. Package/enclosure open, touch-safe, double-voltage for isolation between circuits, explosion proof, outdoor, oil and splash resistant, washable for printed circuit board assembly Operating environment - minimum and maximum operating temperatures and other environmental considerations such as effects of humidity and salt Assembly Some relays feature a sticker that keeps the enclosure sealed to allow PCB post soldering cleaning, which is removed once assembly is complete. Mounting sockets, plug board, rail mount, panel mount, through-panel mount, enclosure for mounting on walls or equipment Switching time where high speed is required "Dry" contacts when switching very low level signals, special contact materials may be needed such as gold-plated contacts Contact protection suppress arcing in very inductive circuits Coil protection suppress the surge voltage produced when switching the coil current Isolation between coil contacts Aerospace or radiation-resistant testing, special quality assurance Expected mechanical loads due to acceleration some relays used in aerospace applications are designed to function in shock loads of 50 g or more Accessories such as timers, auxiliary contacts, pilot lamps, test buttons Regulatory approvals Stray magnetic linkage between coils of adjacent relays on a printed circuit board.

There are many considerations involved in the correct selection of a control relay for a particular application. These considerations include factors such as speed of operation, sensitivity, and hysteresis. Although typical control relays operate in the 5 ms to 20 ms range, relays with switching speeds as fast as 100 us are available. Reed relays which are actuated by low currents and switch fast are suitable for controlling small currents. As for any switch, the current through the relay contacts (unrelated to the current through the coil) must not exceed a certain value to avoid damage. In the particular case of high-inductance circuits such as motors other issues must be addressed. When a power source is connected to an inductance, an input surge current which may be several times larger than the steady current exists. When the circuit is broken, the current cannot change instantaneously, which creates a potentially damaging spark across the separating contacts. Consequently for relays which may be used to control inductive loads we must specify the maximum current that may flow through the relay contacts when it actuates, the make rating; the continuous rating; and the break rating. The make rating may be several times larger than the continuous rating, which is itself larger than the break rating.

Derating factors
Type of load % of rated value

Control relays should not be operated above rated temperature Resistive 75 because of resulting increased degradation and fatigue. Inductive 35 Common practice is to derate 20 degrees Celsius from the Motor 20 maximum rated temperature limit. Relays operating at rated Filament 10 load are also affected by their environment. Oil vapors may greatly decrease the contact tip life, and dust or dirt may cause Capacitive 75 the tips to burn before their normal life expectancy. Control relay life cycle varies from 50,000 to over one million cycles depending on the electrical loads of the contacts, duty cycle, application, and the extent to which the relay is derated. When a control relay is operating at its derated value, it is controlling a lower value of current than its maximum make and break ratings. This is often done to extend the operating life of the control relay. The table lists the relay derating factors for typical industrial control applications.

Undesired arcing
Main article: Arc suppression Without adequate contact protection, the occurrence of electric current arcing causes significant degradation of the contacts in relays, which suffer significant and visible damage. Every time a relay transitions either from a closed to an open state (break arc) or from an open to a closed state (make arc & bounce arc), under load, an electrical arc can occur between the two contact points (electrodes) of the relay. The break arc is typically more energetic and thus more destructive. The heat energy contained in the resulting electrical arc is very high (tens of thousands of degrees Fahrenheit), causing the metal on the contact surfaces to melt, pool and migrate with the current. The extremely high temperature of the arc cracks the surrounding gas molecules creating ozone, carbon monoxide, and other compounds. The arc energy slowly destroys the contact metal, causing some material to escape into the air as fine particulate matter. This very activity causes the material in the contacts to degrade quickly, resulting in device failure. This contact degradation drastically limits the overall life of a relay to a range of about 10,000 to 100,000 operations, a level far below the mechanical life of the same device, which can be in excess of 20 million operations.[6]

Protective relays
Main article: protective relay For protection of electrical apparatus and transmission lines, electromechanical relays with accurate operating characteristics were used to detect overload, short-circuits, and other faults. While many such relays remain in use, digital devices now provide equivalent protective functions.

Railway signalling

Part of a relay interlocking using UK Q-style miniature plug-in relays.

UK Q-style signalling relay and base. Railway signalling relays are very big and cumbersome considering the mostly small voltages (less than 120 V) and currents (perhaps 100 mA) that they switch. Contacts are widely spaced to prevent dangerous flashovers and short circuits over a lifetime that may exceed fifty years. BR930 series plug-in relays are widely used on railways following British practice. These are 120 mm high, 180 mm deep and 56 mm wide and weigh about 1400 g, and can have up to 16 separate contacts, for example, 12 make and 4 break contacts. Since rail signal circuits must be highly reliable, special techniques are used to detect and prevent failures in the relay system. To protect against false feeds, double switching relay contacts are often used on both the positive and negative side of a circuit, so that two false feeds are needed to cause a false signal. Not all relay circuits can be proved so there is reliance on construction features such as carbon to silver contacts to resist lightning induced contact welding and to provide AC immunity. Opto-isolators are also used in some instances with railway signalling, especially where only a single contact is to be switched. Signalling relays and their circuits come in a number of schools, including:

United Kingdom American German France

American signaling relays are the origin of the 19 inch rack.

History
The relay was invented in 1835 by American scientist Joseph Henry in order to improve his version of the electrical telegraph, developed earlier in 1831.[7][8][9][10] It is claimed that the English inventor Edward Davy "certainly invented the electric relay"[11] in his electric telegraph c.1835. A simple device, which we now call a relay, was included in the original 1840 telegraph patent[12] of Samuel Morse. The mechanism described acted as a digital amplifier, repeating the telegraph signal, and thus allowing signals to be propagated as far as desired. This overcame the problem of limited range of earlier telegraphy schemes.[citation needed]

led

Light-emitting diode

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search "LED" redirects here. For other uses, see LED (disambiguation).

Light-emitting diode

Red, pure green and blue LEDs of the 5mm diffused type Passive, optoelectronic Type Working principle Electroluminescence Oleg Losev (1927)[1] Invented Nick Holonyak Jr. (1962)[2] 1968[3] First production Electronic symbol

Pin configuration

anode and cathode

Parts of an LED. Although not directly labeled, the flat bottom surfaces of the anvil and post embedded inside the epoxy act as anchors, to prevent the conductors from being forcefully pulled out from mechanical strain or vibration.

A modern retrofit LED lamp with "bulb" shape, complete with aluminum heatsink, a light diffusing dome and E27 screw base, using a built-in power supply working on mains voltage A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source.[4] LEDs are used as indicator lamps in many devices and are increasingly used for other lighting. Appearing as practical electronic components in 1962,[5] early LEDs emitted low-intensity red light, but modern versions are available across the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths, with very high brightness. When a light-emitting diode is switched on, electrons are able to recombine with holes within the device, releasing energy in the form of photons. This effect is called electroluminescence and the color of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photon) is determined by the energy band gap of the semiconductor. An LED is often small in area (less than 1 mm2), and integrated optical components may be used to shape its radiation pattern.[6] LEDs present many advantages over incandescent light sources including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, smaller size, and faster switching. However, LEDs powerful enough for room lighting are relatively expensive and require more precise current and heat management than compact fluorescent lamp sources of comparable output. Light-emitting diodes are used in applications as diverse as aviation lighting, automotive lighting, advertising, general lighting, and traffic signals. LEDs have allowed new text, video displays, and sensors to be developed, while their high switching rates are also useful in advanced communications technology. Infrared LEDs are also used in the remote control units of many commercial products including televisions, DVD players and other domestic appliances. LEDs are also used in seven-segment display.

Contents

1 History o 1.1 Discoveries and early devices o 1.2 Commercial development o 1.3 The blue and white LED 2 Technology

2.1 Physics 2.2 Refractive index 2.2.1 Transition coatings o 2.3 Efficiency and operational parameters o 2.4 Lifetime and failure 3 Colors and materials o 3.1 Ultraviolet and blue LEDs o 3.2 White light 3.2.1 RGB systems 3.2.2 Phosphor-based LEDs 3.2.3 Other white LEDs o 3.3 Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) o 3.4 Quantum dot LEDs (experimental) 4 Types o 4.1 Miniature o 4.2 Mid-range o 4.3 High-power o 4.4 Application-specific variations 5 Considerations for use o 5.1 Power sources o 5.2 Electrical polarity o 5.3 Safety and health o 5.4 Advantages o 5.5 Disadvantages o 5.6 Common misconceptions 6 Applications o 6.1 Indicators and signs o 6.2 Lighting o 6.3 Smart lighting o 6.4 Sustainable lighting 6.4.1 Energy consumption 6.4.2 Economically sustainable o 6.5 Other applications o 6.6 Light sources for machine vision systems 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

o o

History
Discoveries and early devices

Green electroluminescence from a point contact on a crystal of SiC recreates H. J. Round's original experiment from 1907. Electroluminescence as a phenomenon was discovered in 1907 by the British experimenter H. J. Round of Marconi Labs, using a crystal of silicon carbide and a cat's-whisker detector.[7][8] Russian Oleg Vladimirovich Losev reported creation of the first LED in 1927.[9][10] His research was distributed in Russian, German and British scientific journals, but no practical use was made of the discovery for several decades.[11][12] Rubin Braunstein[13] of the Radio Corporation of America reported on infrared emission from gallium arsenide (GaAs) and other semiconductor alloys in 1955.[14] Braunstein observed infrared emission generated by simple diode structures using gallium antimonide (GaSb), GaAs, indium phosphide (InP), and silicon-germanium (SiGe) alloys at room temperature and at 77 kelvins. In 1961 American experimenters Robert Biard and Gary Pittman, working at Texas Instruments,[15] found that GaAs emitted infrared radiation when electric current was applied and received the patent for the infrared LED. The first practical visible-spectrum (red) LED was developed in 1962 by Nick Holonyak, Jr., while working at General Electric Company.[5] Holonyak first reported this breakthrough in the journal Applied Physics Letters on the December 1, 1962.[16] Holonyak is seen as the "father of the light-emitting diode".[17] M. George Craford,[18] a former graduate student of Holonyak, invented the first yellow LED and improved the brightness of red and red-orange LEDs by a factor of ten in 1972.[19] In 1976, T. P. Pearsall created the first high-brightness, high-efficiency LEDs for optical fiber telecommunications by inventing new semiconductor materials specifically adapted to optical fiber transmission wavelengths.[20]

Commercial development
The first commercial LEDs were commonly used as replacements for incandescent and neon indicator lamps, and in seven-segment displays,[21] first in expensive equipment such as laboratory and electronics test equipment, then later in such appliances as TVs, radios, telephones, calculators, and even watches (see list of signal uses). Until 1968, visible and infrared LEDs were extremely costly, in the order of US$200 per unit, and so had little practical use.[3] The Monsanto Company was the first organization to mass-produce visible LEDs, using gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP) in 1968 to produce red LEDs suitable for indicators.[3] Hewlett Packard (HP) introduced LEDs in 1968, initially using GaAsP supplied by Monsanto. These red LEDs were bright enough only for use as indicators, as the light output was not

enough to illuminate an area. Readouts in calculators were so small that plastic lenses were built over each digit to make them legible. Later, other colors grew widely available and also appeared in appliances and equipment. In the 1970s commercially successful LED devices at less than five cents each were produced by Fairchild Optoelectronics. These devices employed compound semiconductor chips fabricated with the planar process invented by Dr. Jean Hoerni at Fairchild Semiconductor.[22] The combination of planar processing for chip fabrication and innovative packaging methods enabled the team at Fairchild led by optoelectronics pioneer Thomas Brandt to achieve the needed cost reductions.[23] These methods continue to be used by LED producers.[24]

LED display of a TI-30 scientific calculator (ca. 1978), which uses plastic lenses to increase the visible digit size As LED materials technology grew more advanced, light output rose, while maintaining efficiency and reliability at acceptable levels. The invention and development of the high-power white-light LED led to use for illumination, which is fast replacing incandescent and fluorescent lighting[25][26] (see list of illumination applications). Most LEDs were made in the very common 5 mm T1 and 3 mm T1 packages, but with rising power output, it has grown increasingly necessary to shed excess heat to maintain reliability,[27] so more complex packages have been adapted for efficient heat dissipation. Packages for stateof-the-art high-power LEDs bear little resemblance to early LEDs.

The blue and white LED

Illustration of Haitz's law. Light output per LED as a function of production year; note the logarithmic scale on the vertical axis

The first high-brightness blue LED was demonstrated by Shuji Nakamura of Nichia Corporation in 1994 and was based on InGaN.[28] Its development built on critical developments in GaN nucleation on sapphire substrates and the demonstration of p-type doping of GaN, developed by Isamu Akasaki and H. Amano in Nagoya.[citation needed] In 1995, Alberto Barbieri at the Cardiff University Laboratory (GB) investigated the efficiency and reliability of high-brightness LEDs and demonstrated a "transparent contact" LED using indium tin oxide (ITO) on (AlGaInP/GaAs). The existence of blue LEDs and high-efficiency LEDs quickly led to the development of the first white LED, which employed a Y3Al5O12:Ce, or "YAG", phosphor coating to mix (down-converted yellow light with blue to produce light that appears white. Nakamura was awarded the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize for his invention.[29] The development of LED technology has caused their efficiency and light output to rise exponentially, with a doubling occurring approximately every 36 months since the 1960s, in a way similar to Moore's law. This trend is generally attributed to the parallel development of other semiconductor technologies and advances in optics and material science, and has been called Haitz's law after Dr. Roland Haitz.[30] In 2001[31] and 2002,[32] processes for growing gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs on silicon were successfully demonstrated. In January 2012, Osram demonstrated high-power InGaN LEDs grown on Silicon substrates commercially.[33] It has been speculated that the use of six-inch silicon wafers instead of two-inch sapphire wafers and epitaxy manufacturing processes could reduce production costs by up to 90%.[34]

Technology

The inner workings of an LED

I-V diagram for a diode. An LED will begin to emit light when the on-voltage is exceeded. Typical on voltages are 23 volts.

Physics
The LED consists of a chip of semiconducting material doped with impurities to create a p-n junction. As in other diodes, current flows easily from the p-side, or anode, to the n-side, or cathode, but not in the reverse direction. Charge-carrierselectrons and holesflow into the junction from electrodes with different voltages. When an electron meets a hole, it falls into a lower energy level, and releases energy in the form of a photon. The wavelength of the light emitted, and thus its color depends on the band gap energy of the materials forming the p-n junction. In silicon or germanium diodes, the electrons and holes recombine by a non-radiative transition, which produces no optical emission, because these are indirect band gap materials. The materials used for the LED have a direct band gap with energies corresponding to near-infrared, visible, or near-ultraviolet light. LED development began with infrared and red devices made with gallium arsenide. Advances in materials science have enabled making devices with ever-shorter wavelengths, emitting light in a variety of colors. LEDs are usually built on an n-type substrate, with an electrode attached to the p-type layer deposited on its surface. P-type substrates, while less common, occur as well. Many commercial LEDs, especially GaN/InGaN, also use sapphire substrate. Most materials used for LED production have very high refractive indices. This means that much light will be reflected back into the material at the material/air surface interface. Thus, light extraction in LEDs is an important aspect of LED production, subject to much research and development.

Refractive index

Idealized example of light emission cones in a semiconductor, for a single point-source emission zone. The left illustration is for a fully translucent wafer, while the right illustration shows the half-cones formed when the bottom layer is fully opaque. The light is actually emitted equally in all directions from the point-source, so the areas between the cones shows the large amount of trapped light energy that is wasted as heat.[35]

The light emission cones of a real LED wafer are far more complex than a single point-source light emission. The light emission zone is typically a two-dimensional plane between the wafers. Every atom across this plane has an individual set of emission cones. Drawing the billions of overlapping cones is impossible, so this is a simplified diagram showing the extents of all the emission cones combined. The larger side cones are clipped to show the interior features and reduce image complexity; they would extend to the opposite edges of the two-dimensional emission plane. Bare uncoated semiconductors such as silicon exhibit a very high refractive index relative to open air, which prevents passage of photons at sharp angles relative to the air-contacting surface of the semiconductor. This property affects both the light-emission efficiency of LEDs as well as the light-absorption efficiency of photovoltaic cells. The refractive index of silicon is 3.96 (590 nm),[36] while air is 1.0002926.[37] In general, a flat-surface uncoated LED semiconductor chip will emit light only perpendicular to the semiconductor's surface, and a few degrees to the side, in a cone shape referred to as the light cone, cone of light,[38] or the escape cone.[35] The maximum angle of incidence is referred to as

the critical angle. When this angle is exceeded, photons no longer penetrate the semiconductor but are instead reflected both internally inside the semiconductor crystal and externally off the surface of the crystal as if it were a mirror.[35] Internal reflections can escape through other crystalline faces, if the incidence angle is low enough and the crystal is sufficiently transparent to not re-absorb the photon emission. But for a simple square LED with 90-degree angled surfaces on all sides, the faces all act as equal angle mirrors. In this case the light can not escape and is lost as waste heat in the crystal.[35] A convoluted chip surface with angled facets similar to a jewel or fresnel lens can increase light output by allowing light to be emitted perpendicular to the chip surface while far to the sides of the photon emission point.[39] The ideal shape of a semiconductor with maximum light output would be a microsphere with the photon emission occurring at the exact center, with electrodes penetrating to the center to contact at the emission point. All light rays emanating from the center would be perpendicular to the entire surface of the sphere, resulting in no internal reflections. A hemispherical semiconductor would also work, with the flat back-surface serving as a mirror to back-scattered photons.[40] Transition coatings After doping the wafer, people at the fabrication plant cut the wafer apart into individual die. Each die is commonly called a chip. Many LED semiconductor chips are encapsulated or potted in clear or colored molded plastic shells. The plastic shell has three purposes: 1. Mounting the semiconductor chip in devices is easier to accomplish. 2. The tiny fragile electrical wiring is physically supported and protected from damage. 3. The plastic acts as a refractive intermediary between the relatively high-index semiconductor and low-index open air.[41] The third feature helps to boost the light emission from the semiconductor by acting as a diffusing lens, allowing light to be emitted at a much higher angle of incidence from the light cone than the bare chip is able to emit alone.

Efficiency and operational parameters


Typical indicator LEDs are designed to operate with no more than 3060 milliwatts (mW) of electrical power. Around 1999, Philips Lumileds introduced power LEDs capable of continuous use at one watt. These LEDs used much larger semiconductor die sizes to handle the large power inputs. Also, the semiconductor dies were mounted onto metal slugs to allow for heat removal from the LED die. LED power densities up to 300W/cm2 have been achieved.[42] One of the key advantages of LED-based lighting sources is high luminous efficiency. White LEDs quickly matched and overtook the efficacy of standard incandescent lighting systems. In

2002, Lumileds made five-watt LEDs available with a luminous efficacy of 1822 lumens per watt (lm/W). For comparison, a conventional incandescent light bulb of 60100 watts emits around 15 lm/W, and standard fluorescent lights emit up to 100 lm/W. A recurring problem is that efficacy falls sharply with rising current. This effect is known as droop and effectively limits the light output of a given LED, raising heating more than light output for higher current.[43][44][45] As of 2012, the Lumiled catalog gives the following as the best efficacy for each color:[46] Color Wavelength range (nm) Typical efficacy (lm/W) Red 620 < < 645 72 Red-orange 610 < < 620 98 Green 520 < < 550 93 Cyan 490 < < 520 75 Blue 460 < < 490 37 In September 2003, a new type of blue LED was demonstrated by the company Cree Inc. to provide 24 mW at 20 milliamperes (mA). This produced a commercially packaged white light giving 65 lm/W at 20 mA, becoming the brightest white LED commercially available at the time, and more than four times as efficient as standard incandescents. In 2006, they demonstrated a prototype with a record white LED luminous efficacy of 131 lm/W at 20 mA. Nichia Corporation has developed a white LED with luminous efficacy of 150 lm/W at a forward current of 20 mA.[47] Cree's XLamp XM-L LEDs, commercially available in 2011, produce 100 lumens per watt at their full power of 10 watts, and up to 160 lumens/watt at around 2 watts input power. In 2012, Cree announced a white LED giving 254 lumens per watt.[48] Practical general lighting needs high-power LEDs, of one watt or more. Typical operating currents for such devices begin at 350 mA. Note that these efficiencies are for the LED chip only, held at low temperature in a lab. Lighting works at higher temperature and with drive circuit losses, so efficiencies are much lower. United States Department of Energy (DOE) testing of commercial LED lamps designed to replace incandescent lamps or CFLs showed that average efficacy was still about 46 lm/W in 2009 (tested performance ranged from 17 lm/W to 79 lm/W).[49] Cree issued a press release on February 3, 2010 about a laboratory prototype LED achieving 208 lumens per watt at room temperature. The correlated color temperature was reported to be 4579 K.[50] In December 2012 Cree issued another press release announcing commercial availability of 200 lumens per watt LED at room temperature.[51]

Lifetime and failure


Main article: List of LED failure modes

Solid-state devices such as LEDs are subject to very limited wear and tear if operated at low currents and at low temperatures. Many of the LEDs made in the 1970s and 1980s are still in service today. Typical lifetimes quoted are 25,000 to 100,000 hours, but heat and current settings can extend or shorten this time significantly. [52] The most common symptom of LED (and diode laser) failure is the gradual lowering of light output and loss of efficiency. Sudden failures, although rare, can occur as well. Early red LEDs were notable for their short service life. With the development of high-power LEDs the devices are subjected to higher junction temperatures and higher current densities than traditional devices. This causes stress on the material and may cause early light-output degradation. To quantitatively classify useful lifetime in a standardized manner it has been suggested to use the terms L70 and L50, which is the time it will take a given LED to reach 70% and 50% light output respectively.[53] Like other lighting devices, LED performance is temperature dependent. Most manufacturers' published ratings of LEDs are for an operating temperature of 25 C. LEDs used outdoors, such as traffic signals or in-pavement signal lights, and that are utilized in climates where the temperature within the luminaire gets very hot, could result in low signal intensities or even failure.[54] LED light output rises at lower temperatures, leveling off, depending on type, at around 30 C.[citation needed] Thus, LED technology may be a good replacement in uses such as supermarket freezer lighting[55][56][57] and will last longer than other technologies. Because LEDs emit less heat than incandescent bulbs, they are an energy-efficient technology for uses such as in freezers and refrigerators. However, because they emit little heat, ice and snow may build up on the LED luminaire in colder climates.[54] Similarly, this lack of waste heat generation has been observed to sometimes cause significant problems with street traffic signals and airport runway lighting in snow-prone areas. In response to this problem, some LED lighting systems have been designed with an added heating circuit at the expense of reduced overall electrical efficiency of the system; additionally, research has been done to develop heat sink technologies that will transfer heat produced within the junction to appropriate areas of the luminaire.[58]

Colors and materials


Conventional LEDs are made from a variety of inorganic semiconductor materials. The following table shows the available colors with wavelength range, voltage drop and material: Color Infrared Wavelength [nm] > 760 Voltage drop [V] V < 1.63 1.63 < V < 2.03 Semiconductor material Gallium arsenide (GaAs) Aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) Aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) Gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP) Aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP) Gallium(III) phosphide (GaP)

Red

610 < < 760

Gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP) Aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP) Gallium(III) phosphide (GaP) Gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP) 2.10 < V < Yellow 570 < < 590 Aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP) 2.18 Gallium(III) phosphide (GaP) Traditional green: Gallium(III) phosphide (GaP) Aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP) 1.9[59] < V < Green 500 < < 570 Aluminium gallium phosphide (AlGaP) 4.0 Pure green: Indium gallium nitride (InGaN) / Gallium(III) nitride (GaN) Zinc selenide (ZnSe) Indium gallium nitride (InGaN) Blue 450 < < 500 2.48 < V < 3.7 Silicon carbide (SiC) as substrate Silicon (Si) as substrateunder development Violet 400 < < 450 2.76 < V < 4.0 Indium gallium nitride (InGaN) Dual blue/red LEDs, Purple multiple types 2.48 < V < 3.7 blue with red phosphor, or white with purple plastic Diamond (235 nm)[60] Boron nitride (215 nm)[61][62] Aluminium nitride (AlN) (210 nm)[63] Ultraviolet < 400 3.1 < V < 4.4 Aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) Aluminium gallium indium nitride (AlGaInN) down to 210 nm[64] Blue with one or two phosphor layers: yellow with red, orange or pink phosphor added Pink multiple types V ~ 3.3[65] afterwards, or white with pink pigment or dye.[66] White Broad spectrum V = 3.5 Blue/UV diode with yellow phosphor Orange 590 < < 610 2.03 < V < 2.10

Ultraviolet and blue LEDs

Blue LEDs Current bright blue LEDs are based on the wide band gap semiconductors GaN (gallium nitride) and InGaN (indium gallium nitride). They can be added to existing red and green LEDs to produce the impression of white light. Modules combining the three colors are used in big video screens and in adjustable-color fixtures. The first blue LEDs using gallium nitride were made in 1971 by Jacques Pankove at RCA Laboratories.[67] These devices had too little light output to be of practical use and research into gallium nitride devices slowed. In August 1989, Cree Inc. introduced the first commercially available blue LED based on the indirect bandgap semiconductor, silicon carbide.[68] SiC LEDs had very low efficiency, no more than about 0.03%, but did emit in the blue portion of the visible light spectrum. In the late 1980s, key breakthroughs in GaN epitaxial growth and p-type doping[69] ushered in the modern era of GaN-based optoelectronic devices. Building upon this foundation, in 1993 highbrightness blue LEDs were demonstrated.[70] High-brightness blue LEDs invented by Shuji Nakamura of Nichia Corporation using gallium nitride revolutionized LED lighting, making high-power light sources practical. By the late 1990s, blue LEDs had become widely available. They have an active region consisting of one or more InGaN quantum wells sandwiched between thicker layers of GaN, called cladding layers. By varying the relative In/Ga fraction in the InGaN quantum wells, the light emission can in theory be varied from violet to amber. Aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) of varying Al/Ga fraction can be used to manufacture the cladding and quantum well layers for ultraviolet LEDs, but these devices have not yet reached the level of efficiency and technological maturity of InGaN/GaN blue/green devices. If un-alloyed GaN is used in this case to form the active quantum well layers, the device will emit near-ultraviolet light with a peak wavelength centred around 365 nm. Green LEDs manufactured from the InGaN/GaN system are far more

efficient and brighter than green LEDs produced with non-nitride material systems, but practical devices still exhibit efficiency too low for high-brightness applications. With nitrides containing aluminium, most often AlGaN and AlGaInN, even shorter wavelengths are achievable. Ultraviolet LEDs in a range of wavelengths are becoming available on the market. Near-UV emitters at wavelengths around 375395 nm are already cheap and often encountered, for example, as black light lamp replacements for inspection of anti-counterfeiting UV watermarks in some documents and paper currencies. Shorter-wavelength diodes, while substantially more expensive, are commercially available for wavelengths down to 247 nm.[71] As the photosensitivity of microorganisms approximately matches the absorption spectrum of DNA, with a peak at about 260 nm, UV LED emitting at 250270 nm are to be expected in prospective disinfection and sterilization devices. Recent research has shown that commercially available UVA LEDs (365 nm) are already effective disinfection and sterilization devices.[72] Deep-UV wavelengths were obtained in laboratories using aluminium nitride (210 nm),[63] boron nitride (215 nm)[61][62] and diamond (235 nm).[60]

White light
There are two primary ways of producing white light-emitting diodes (WLEDs), LEDs that generate high-intensity white light. One is to use individual LEDs that emit three primary colors[73]red, green, and blueand then mix all the colors to form white light. The other is to use a phosphor material to convert monochromatic light from a blue or UV LED to broadspectrum white light, much in the same way a fluorescent light bulb works. Because of metamerism, it is possible to have quite different spectra that appear white. RGB systems

Combined spectral curves for blue, yellow-green, and high-brightness red solid-state semiconductor LEDs. FWHM spectral bandwidth is approximately 2427 nm for all three colors.

RGB LED. White light can be formed by mixing differently colored lights; the most common method is to use red, green, and blue (RGB). Hence the method is called multi-color white LEDs (sometimes referred to as RGB LEDs). Because these need electronic circuits to control the blending and diffusion of different colors, and because the individual color LEDs typically have slightly different emission patterns (leading to variation of the color depending on direction) even if they are made as a single unit, these are seldom used to produce white lighting. Nevertheless, this method is particularly interesting in many uses because of the flexibility of mixing different colors,[74] and, in principle, this mechanism also has higher quantum efficiency in producing white light. There are several types of multi-color white LEDs: di-, tri-, and tetrachromatic white LEDs. Several key factors that play among these different methods, include color stability, color rendering capability, and luminous efficacy. Often, higher efficiency will mean lower color rendering, presenting a trade-off between the luminous efficiency and color rendering. For example, the dichromatic white LEDs have the best luminous efficacy (120 lm/W), but the lowest color rendering capability. However, although tetrachromatic white LEDs have excellent color rendering capability, they often have poor luminous efficiency. Trichromatic white LEDs are in between, having both good luminous efficacy (>70 lm/W) and fair color rendering capability. One of the challenges is the development of more efficient green LEDs. The theoretical maximum for green LEDs is 683 lumens per watt but today few green LEDs exceed even 100 lumens per watt. The blue and red LEDs get closer to their theoretical limits. Multi-color LEDs offer not merely another means to form white light but a new means to form light of different colors. Most perceivable colors can be formed by mixing different amounts of three primary colors. This allows precise dynamic color control. As more effort is devoted to investigating this method, multi-color LEDs should have profound influence on the fundamental method that we use to produce and control light color. However, before this type of LED can play a role on the market, several technical problems must be solved. These include that this type of LED's emission power decays exponentially with rising temperature,[75] resulting in a substantial change in color stability. Such problems inhibit and may preclude industrial use. Thus, many new package designs aimed at solving this problem have been proposed and their results are now being reproduced by researchers and scientists.

Phosphor-based LEDs

Spectrum of a white LED clearly showing blue light directly emitted by the GaN-based LED (peak at about 465 nm) and the more broadband Stokes-shifted light emitted by the Ce3+:YAG phosphor, which emits at roughly 500700 nm. This method involves coating LEDs of one color (mostly blue LEDs made of InGaN) with phosphors of different colors to form white light; the resultant LEDs are called phosphor-based white LEDs.[76] A fraction of the blue light undergoes the Stokes shift being transformed from shorter wavelengths to longer. Depending on the color of the original LED, phosphors of different colors can be employed. If several phosphor layers of distinct colors are applied, the emitted spectrum is broadened, effectively raising the color rendering index (CRI) value of a given LED.[77] Phosphor-based LED efficiency losses are due to the heat loss from the Stokes shift and also other phosphor-related degradation issues. Their efficiencies compared to normal LEDs depend on the spectral distribution of the resultant light output and the original wavelength of the LED itself. For example, the efficiency of a typical YAG yellow phosphor based white LED ranges from 3 to 5 times the efficiency of the original blue LED because of the greater luminous efficacy of yellow compared to blue light. Due to the simplicity of manufacturing the phosphor method is still the most popular method for making high-intensity white LEDs. The design and production of a light source or light fixture using a monochrome emitter with phosphor conversion is simpler and cheaper than a complex RGB system, and the majority of highintensity white LEDs presently on the market are manufactured using phosphor light conversion. Among the challenges being faced to improve the efficiency of LED-based white light sources is the development of more efficient phosphors. Today the most efficient yellow phosphor is still the YAG phosphor, with less than 10% Stoke shift loss. Losses attributable to internal optical losses due to re-absorption in the LED chip and in the LED packaging itself account typically for another 10% to 30% of efficiency loss. Currently, in the area of phosphor LED development, much effort is being spent on optimizing these devices to higher light output and higher operation temperatures. For instance, the efficiency can be raised by adapting better package

design or by using a more suitable type of phosphor. Conformal coating process is frequently used to address the issue of varying phosphor thickness. The phosphor-based white LEDs encapsulate InGaN blue LEDs inside phosphor coated epoxy. A common yellow phosphor material is cerium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Ce3+:YAG). White LEDs can also be made by coating near-ultraviolet (NUV) LEDs with a mixture of highefficiency europium-based phosphors that emit red and blue, plus copper and aluminium-doped zinc sulfide (ZnS:Cu, Al) that emits green. This is a method analogous to the way fluorescent lamps work. This method is less efficient than blue LEDs with YAG:Ce phosphor, as the Stokes shift is larger, so more energy is converted to heat, but yields light with better spectral characteristics, which render color better. Due to the higher radiative output of the ultraviolet LEDs than of the blue ones, both methods offer comparable brightness. A concern is that UV light may leak from a malfunctioning light source and cause harm to human eyes or skin. Other white LEDs Another method used to produce experimental white light LEDs used no phosphors at all and was based on homoepitaxially grown zinc selenide (ZnSe) on a ZnSe substrate that simultaneously emitted blue light from its active region and yellow light from the substrate.[78]

Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs)


Main article: Organic light-emitting diode

Demonstration of a flexible OLED device In an organic light-emitting diode (OLED), the electroluminescent material comprising the emissive layer of the diode is an organic compound. The organic material is electrically conductive due to the delocalization of pi electrons caused by conjugation over all or part of the molecule, and the material therefore functions as an organic semiconductor.[79] The organic materials can be small organic molecules in a crystalline phase, or polymers. The potential advantages of OLEDs include thin, low-cost displays with a low driving voltage, wide viewing angle, and high contrast and color gamut.[80] Polymer LEDs have the added benefit of printable[81][82] and flexible[83] displays. OLEDs have been used to make visual displays for portable electronic devices such as cellphones, digital cameras, and MP3 players while possible future uses include lighting and televisions.[80]

Quantum dot LEDs (experimental)


Quantum dots (QD) are semiconductor nanocrystals that possess unique optical properties.[84] Their emission color can be tuned from the visible throughout the infrared spectrum. This allows quantum dot LEDs to create almost any color on the CIE diagram. This provides more color options and better color rendering than white LEDs.[citation needed] Quantum dot LEDs are available in the same package types as traditional phosphor-based LEDs.[citation needed]There are two types of schemes for QD excitation. One uses photo excitation with a primary light source LED (typically blue or UV LEDs are used). The other is direct electrical excitation first demonstrated by Alivisatos et al.[85] One example of the photo-excitation scheme is a method developed by Michael Bowers, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, involving coating a blue LED with quantum dots that glow white in response to the blue light from the LED. This method emits a warm, yellowish-white light similar to that made by incandescent bulbs.[86] Quantum dots are also being considered for use in white light-emitting diodes in liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions.[87] The major difficulty in using quantum dots-based LEDs is the insufficient stability of QDs under prolonged irradiation.[citation needed] In February 2011 scientists at PlasmaChem GmbH could synthesize quantum dots for LED applications and build a light converter on their basis, which could efficiently convert light from blue to any other color for many hundred hours.[88] Such QDs can be used to emit visible or near infrared light of any wavelength being excited by light with a shorter wavelength. The structure of QD-LEDs used for the electrical-excitation scheme is similar to basic design of OLED. A layer of quantum dots is sandwiched between layers of electron-transporting and holetransporting materials. An applied electric field causes electrons and holes to move into the quantum dot layer and recombine forming an exciton that excites a QD. This scheme is commonly studied for quantum dot display. The tunability of emission wavelengths and narrow bandwidth is also beneficial as excitation sources for fluorescence imaging. Fluorescence nearfield scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) utilizing an integrated QD-LED has been demonstrated.[89] In February 2008, a luminous efficacy of 300 lumens of visible light per watt of radiation (not per electrical watt) and warm-light emission was achieved by using nanocrystals.[90]

Types

LEDs are produced in a variety of shapes and sizes. The color of the plastic lens is often the same as the actual color of light emitted, but not always. For instance, purple plastic is often used for infrared LEDs, and most blue devices have colorless housings. Modern high power LEDs such as those used for lighting and backlighting are generally found in surface-mount technology (SMT) packages, (not shown). The main types of LEDs are miniature, high power devices and custom designs such as alphanumeric or multi-color.[91]

Miniature
These are mostly single-die LEDs used as indicators, and they come in various sizes from 2 mm to 8 mm, through-hole and surface mount packages. They usually do not use a separate heat sink.[92] Typical current ratings ranges from around 1 mA to above 20 mA. The small size sets a natural upper boundary on power consumption due to heat caused by the high current density and need for a heat sink. Common package shapes include round, with a domed or flat top, rectangular with a flat top (as used in bar-graph displays), and triangular or square with a flat top. The encapsulation may also be clear or tinted to improve contrast and viewing angle. There are three main categories of miniature single die LEDs:

Low-current: typically rated for 2 mA at around 2 V (approximately 4 mW consumption). Standard: 20 mA LEDs (ranging from approximately 40 mW to 90 mW) at around: 1.9 to 2.1 V for red, orange and yellow, 3.0 to 3.4 V for green and blue, 2.9 to 4.2 V for violet, pink, purple and white.

Ultra-high-output: 20 mA at approximately 2 V or 45 V, designed for viewing in direct sunlight.

5 V and 12 V LEDs are ordinary miniature LEDs that incorporate a suitable series resistor for direct connection to a 5 V or 12 V supply.

Different sized LEDs. 8 mm, 5 mm and 3 mm, with a wooden match-stick for scale.

LED in its on and off states.

A green surface-mount colored LED mounted on an Arduino circuit board

Mid-range
Medium-power LEDs are often through-hole-mounted and mostly utilized when an output of just a few lumen is needed. They sometimes have the diode mounted to four leads (two cathode leads, two anode leads) for better heat conduction and carry an integrated lens. An example of this is the Superflux package, from Philips Lumileds. These LEDs are most commonly used in light panels, emergency lighting, and automotive tail-lights. Due to the larger amount of metal in the LED, they are able to handle higher currents (around 100 mA). The higher current allows for the higher light output required for tail-lights and emergency lighting.

High-power

High-power light-emitting diodes (Luxeon, Lumileds)

This high powered A19 sized LED light bulb thermal animation, was created using high resolution CFD analysis, and shows temperature contoured LED heat sink and flow trajectories, predicted using a CFD analysis package, courtesy of NCI.

This high power density industrial PAR 64 LED downlight heat sink design thermal animation, was created using high resolution CFD analysis, and shows temperature contoured heat sink surface and both interior and exterior flow trajectories, predicted using a CFD analysis package, courtesy of NCI. See also: Solid-state lighting and LED lamp High-power LEDs (HPLED) can be driven at currents from hundreds of mA to more than an ampere, compared with the tens of mA for other LEDs. Some can emit over a thousand lumens.[93][94] LED power densities up to 300W/cm2 have been achieved.[42] Since overheating is destructive, the HPLEDs must be mounted on a heat sink to allow for heat dissipation. If the heat from a HPLED is not removed, the device will fail in seconds. One HPLED can often replace an incandescent bulb in a flashlight, or be set in an array to form a powerful LED lamp. Some well-known HPLEDs in this category are the Nichia 19 series, Lumileds Rebel Led, Osram Opto Semiconductors Golden Dragon, and Cree X-lamp. As of September 2009, some HPLEDs manufactured by Cree Inc. now exceed 105 lm/W [95] (e.g. the XLamp XP-G LED chip emitting Cool White light) and are being sold in lamps intended to replace incandescent, halogen, and even fluorescent lights, as LEDs grow more cost competitive. The impact of Haltz's law governing the light output of LEDs over time can be readily seen in year over year increases in lumen output and efficiency. For example, the CREE XP-G series LED achieved 105 lm/W in 2009,[95] while Nichia released the 19 series with a typical efficiency of 140 lm/W in 2010.[96] LEDs have been developed by Seoul Semiconductor that can operate on AC power without the need for a DC converter. For each half-cycle, part of the LED emits light and part is dark, and

this is reversed during the next half-cycle. The efficacy of this type of HPLED is typically 40 lm/W.[97] A large number of LED elements in series may be able to operate directly from line voltage. In 2009, Seoul Semiconductor released a high DC voltage LED capable of being driven from AC power with a simple controlling circuit. The low-power dissipation of these LEDs affords them more flexibility than the original AC LED design.[98]

Application-specific variations

Flashing LEDs are used as attention seeking indicators without requiring external electronics. Flashing LEDs resemble standard LEDs but they contain an integrated multivibrator circuit that causes the LED to flash with a typical period of one second. In diffused lens LEDs this is visible as a small black dot. Most flashing LEDs emit light of one color, but more sophisticated devices can flash between multiple colors and even fade through a color sequence using RGB color mixing. Bi-color LEDs are two different LED emitters in one case. There are two types of these. One type consists of two dies connected to the same two leads antiparallel to each other. Current flow in one direction emits one color, and current in the opposite direction emits the other color. The other type consists of two dies with separate leads for both dies and another lead for common anode or cathode, so that they can be controlled independently. Tri-color LEDs are three different LED emitters in one case. Each emitter is connected to a separate lead so they can be controlled independently. A four-lead arrangement is typical with one common lead (anode or cathode) and an additional lead for each color. RGB LEDs are Tri-color LEDs with red, green, and blue emitters, in general using a fourwire connection with one common lead (anode or cathode). These LEDs can have either common positive or common negative leads. Others however, have only two leads (positive and negative) and have a built in tiny electronic control unit. Alphanumeric LED displays are available in seven-segment and starburst format. Sevensegment displays handle all numbers and a limited set of letters. Starburst displays can display all letters. Seven-segment LED displays were in widespread use in the 1970s and 1980s, but rising use of liquid crystal displays, with their lower power needs and greater display flexibility, has reduced the popularity of numeric and alphanumeric LED displays.

Considerations for use


Power sources
Main article: LED power sources The current/voltage characteristic of an LED is similar to other diodes, in that the current is dependent exponentially on the voltage (see Shockley diode equation). This means that a small change in voltage can cause a large change in current. If the maximum voltage rating is exceeded

by a small amount, the current rating may be exceeded by a large amount, potentially damaging or destroying the LED. The typical solution is to use constant-current power supplies, or driving the LED at a voltage much below the maximum rating. Since most common power sources (batteries, mains) are constant-voltage sources, most LED fixtures must include a power converter, at least a current-limiting resistor. However, the high resistance of 3 V coin cells combined with the high differential resistance of nitride-based LEDs makes it possible to power such an LED from such a coin cell without an external resistor.[99]

Electrical polarity
Main article: Electrical polarity of LEDs As with all diodes, current flows easily from p-type to n-type material.[100] However, no current flows and no light is emitted if a small voltage is applied in the reverse direction. If the reverse voltage grows large enough to exceed the breakdown voltage, a large current flows and the LED may be damaged. If the reverse current is sufficiently limited to avoid damage, the reverseconducting LED is a useful noise diode.

Safety and health


The vast majority of devices containing LEDs are "safe under all conditions of normal use", and so are classified as "Class 1 LED product"/"LED Klasse 1". At present, only a few LEDs extremely bright LEDs that also have a tightly focused viewing angle of 8 or lesscould, in theory, cause temporary blindness, and so are classified as "Class 2".[101] The Opinion of the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) of 2010, on the health issues concerning LEDs, suggested banning public use of lamps which were in the moderate Risk Group 2, especially those with a high blue component in places frequented by children.[102] In general, laser safety regulationsand the "Class 1", "Class 2", etc. systemalso apply to LEDs.[103] While LEDs have the advantage over fluorescent lamps that they do not contain mercury, they may contain other hazardous metals such as lead and arsenic. A study published in 2011 states: "According to federal standards, LEDs are not hazardous except for low-intensity red LEDs, which leached Pb [lead] at levels exceeding regulatory limits (186 mg/L; regulatory limit: 5). However, according to California regulations, excessive levels of copper (up to 3892 mg/kg; limit: 2500), lead (up to 8103 mg/kg; limit: 1000), nickel (up to 4797 mg/kg; limit: 2000), or silver (up to 721 mg/kg; limit: 500) render all except low-intensity yellow LEDs hazardous."[104]

Advantages

Efficiency: LEDs emit more light per watt than incandescent light bulbs.[105] The efficiency of LED lighting fixtures is not affected by shape and size, unlike fluorescent light bulbs or tubes. Color: LEDs can emit light of an intended color without using any color filters as traditional lighting methods need. This is more efficient and can lower initial costs.

Size: LEDs can be very small (smaller than 2 mm2[106]) and are easily attached to printed circuit boards. On/Off time: LEDs light up very quickly. A typical red indicator LED will achieve full brightness in under a microsecond.[107] LEDs used in communications devices can have even faster response times. Cycling: LEDs are ideal for uses subject to frequent on-off cycling, unlike fluorescent lamps that fail faster when cycled often, or HID lamps that require a long time before restarting. Dimming: LEDs can very easily be dimmed either by pulse-width modulation or lowering the forward current.[108] Cool light: In contrast to most light sources, LEDs radiate very little heat in the form of IR that can cause damage to sensitive objects or fabrics. Wasted energy is dispersed as heat through the base of the LED. Slow failure: LEDs mostly fail by dimming over time, rather than the abrupt failure of incandescent bulbs.[109] Lifetime: LEDs can have a relatively long useful life. One report estimates 35,000 to 50,000 hours of useful life, though time to complete failure may be longer.[110] Fluorescent tubes typically are rated at about 10,000 to 15,000 hours, depending partly on the conditions of use, and incandescent light bulbs at 1,000 to 2,000 hours. Several DOE demonstrations have shown that reduced maintenance costs from this extended lifetime, rather than energy savings, is the primary factor in determining the payback period for an LED product.[111] Shock resistance: LEDs, being solid-state components, are difficult to damage with external shock, unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, which are fragile. Focus: The solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. Incandescent and fluorescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it in a usable manner. For larger LED packages total internal reflection (TIR) lenses are often used to the same effect. However, when large quantities of light is needed many light sources are usually deployed, which are difficult to focus or collimate towards the same target.

Disadvantages

High initial price: LEDs are currently more expensive, price per lumen, on an initial capital cost basis, than most conventional lighting technologies. As of 2010, the cost per thousand lumens (kilolumen) was about $18. The price is expected to reach $2/kilolumen by 2015.[112] The additional expense partially stems from the relatively low lumen output and the drive circuitry and power supplies needed. Temperature dependence: LED performance largely depends on the ambient temperature of the operating environment or "thermal management" properties. Overdriving an LED in high ambient temperatures may result in overheating the LED package, eventually leading to device failure. An adequate heat sink is needed to maintain long life. This is especially important in automotive, medical, and military uses where devices must operate over a wide range of temperatures, which require low failure rates.

Voltage sensitivity: LEDs must be supplied with the voltage above the threshold and a current below the rating. This can involve series resistors or current-regulated power supplies.[113] Light quality: Most cool-white LEDs have spectra that differ significantly from a black body radiator like the sun or an incandescent light. The spike at 460 nm and dip at 500 nm can cause the color of objects to be perceived differently under cool-white LED illumination than sunlight or incandescent sources, due to metamerism,[114] red surfaces being rendered particularly badly by typical phosphor-based cool-white LEDs. However, the color rendering properties of common fluorescent lamps are often inferior to what is now available in state-of-art white LEDs. Area light source: Single LEDs do not approximate a point source of light giving a spherical light distribution, but rather a lambertian distribution. So LEDs are difficult to apply to uses needing a spherical light field, however different fields of light can be manipulated by the application of different optics or "lenses". LEDs cannot provide divergence below a few degrees. In contrast, lasers can emit beams with divergences of 0.2 degrees or less.[115] Electrical polarity: Unlike incandescent light bulbs, which illuminate regardless of the electrical polarity, LEDs will only light with correct electrical polarity. To automatically match source polarity to LED devices, rectifiers can be used. Blue hazard: There is a concern that blue LEDs and cool-white LEDs are now capable of exceeding safe limits of the so-called blue-light hazard as defined in eye safety specifications such as ANSI/IESNA RP-27.105: Recommended Practice for Photobiological Safety for Lamp and Lamp Systems.[116][117] Blue pollution: Because cool-white LEDs with high color temperature emit proportionally more blue light than conventional outdoor light sources such as highpressure sodium vapor lamps, the strong wavelength dependence of Rayleigh scattering means that cool-white LEDs can cause more light pollution than other light sources. The International Dark-Sky Association discourages using white light sources with correlated color temperature above 3,000 K.[98][not in citation given] Droop: The efficiency of conventional InGaN based LEDs decreases as one increases current above a given level.[44][118][45][119]

Common misconceptions
This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2012) One of the most common misunderstandings about LED lighting is that energy consumption can be used to measure light output. Unlike conventional incandescent light bulbs, of which the light output is relative to energy consumed, the light output of an LED light is measured in lumens and is given regardless of energy consumption. LED lights can consume a variable amount of energy, however any given LED system will have, depending on whether phosphor has been used to coat the diodes (and the amount) an optimal lumens/watt output that maximizes the lifespan of that particular LED system. The lifespan of

the LED system is also dependent upon the thermal management properties employed by the manufacturer. Other misunderstandings of LED lighting is that there is a limited color temperature. The application of phosphor coating to a diode will give a warmer color temperature. The more phosphor applied to a diode, the warmer the color temperature of the LED. The color temperature output of LED lighting systems should be given particular consideration when employing LED lighting in commercial retail display. One example of this in practice is the increasing use of "warmer" yellow light to display meat in butchers of supermarkets. A warmer light will emphasize the red in the meat, while reducing the visibility of the whiter (fatty) parts, thus making the meat more appealing. The opposite technique is commonly used in jewelery lighting, whereby a "colder" color temperature is employed to increase the brightness of jewels, silver or metallic objects and other precious stones. The phosphor coating affects the luminous efficacy, heat dissipation and lifespan of the LED system.

Applications
LED uses fall into four major categories:

Visual signals where light goes more or less directly from the source to the human eye, to convey a message or meaning. Illumination where light is reflected from objects to give visual response of these objects. Measuring and interacting with processes involving no human vision.[120] Narrow band light sensors where LEDs operate in a reverse-bias mode and respond to incident light, instead of emitting light.[121][122][123][124] See LEDs as light sensors.

Indicators and signs


The low energy consumption, low maintenance and small size of LEDs has led to uses as status indicators and displays on a variety of equipment and installations. Large-area LED displays are used as stadium displays and as dynamic decorative displays. Thin, lightweight message displays are used at airports and railway stations, and as destination displays for trains, buses, trams, and ferries.

Red and green traffic signals One-color light is well suited for traffic lights and signals, exit signs, emergency vehicle lighting, ships' navigation lights or lanterns (chromacity and luminance standards being set under the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972, Annex I and the CIE) and LED-based Christmas lights. In cold climates, LED traffic lights may remain snow covered.[125] Red or yellow LEDs are used in indicator and alphanumeric displays in environments where night vision must be retained: aircraft cockpits, submarine and ship bridges, astronomy observatories, and in the field, e.g. night time animal watching and military field use.

Automotive applications for LEDs continue to grow Because of their long life and fast switching times, LEDs have been used in brake lights for cars' high-mounted brake lights, trucks, and buses, and in turn signals for some time, but many vehicles now use LEDs for their rear light clusters. The use in brakes improves safety, due to a great reduction in the time needed to light fully, or faster rise time, up to 0.5 second faster than an incandescent bulb. This gives drivers behind more time to react. It is reported that at normal highway speeds, this equals one car length equivalent in increased time to react. In a dual intensity circuit (rear markers and brakes) if the LEDs are not pulsed at a fast enough frequency, they can create a phantom array, where ghost images of the LED will appear if the eyes quickly scan across the array. White LED headlamps are starting to be used. Using LEDs has styling advantages because LEDs can form much thinner lights than incandescent lamps with parabolic reflectors.

Due to the relative cheapness of low output LEDs, they are also used in many temporary uses such as glowsticks, throwies, and the photonic textile Lumalive. Artists have also used LEDs for LED art. Weather/all-hazards radio receivers with Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) have three LEDs: red for warnings, orange for watches, and yellow for advisories & statements whenever issued.

Lighting
See also: LED lamp and LED-backlit LCD display With the development of high-efficiency and high-power LEDs, it has become possible to use LEDs in lighting and illumination. Replacement light bulbs have been made, as well as dedicated fixtures and LED lamps. To encourage the shift to very high efficiency lighting, the US Department of Energy has created the L Prize competition. The Philips Lighting North America LED bulb won the first competition on August 3, 2011 after successfully completing 18 months of intensive field, lab, and product testing.[126] LEDs are used as street lights and in other architectural lighting where color changing is used. The mechanical robustness and long lifetime is used in automotive lighting on cars, motorcycles, and bicycle lights. LED street lights are employed on poles and in parking garages. In 2007, the Italian village Torraca was the first place to convert its entire illumination system to LEDs.[127] LEDs are used in aviation lighting. Airbus has used LED lighting in their Airbus A320 Enhanced since 2007, and Boeing plans its use in the 787. LEDs are also being used now in airport and heliport lighting. LED airport fixtures currently include medium-intensity runway lights, runway centerline lights, taxiway centerline and edge lights, guidance signs, and obstruction lighting. LEDs are also suitable for backlighting for LCD televisions and lightweight laptop displays and light source for DLP projectors (See LED TV). RGB LEDs raise the color gamut by as much as 45%. Screens for TV and computer displays can be made thinner using LEDs for backlighting.[128] LEDs are used increasingly in aquarium lights. In particular for reef aquariums, LED lights provide an efficient light source with less heat output to help maintain optimal aquarium temperatures. LED-based aquarium fixtures also have the advantage of being manually adjustable to emit a specific color-spectrum for ideal coloration of corals, fish, and invertebrates while optimizing photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), which raises growth and sustainability of photosynthetic life such as corals, anemones, clams, and macroalgae. These fixtures can be electronically programmed to simulate various lighting conditions throughout the day, reflecting phases of the sun and moon for a dynamic reef experience. LED fixtures typically cost up to five times as much as similarly rated fluorescent or high-intensity discharge lighting designed for reef aquariums and are not as high output to date.

The lack of IR or heat radiation makes LEDs ideal for stage lights using banks of RGB LEDs that can easily change color and decrease heating from traditional stage lighting, as well as medical lighting where IR-radiation can be harmful. In energy conservation, the lower heat output of LEDs also means air conditioning (cooling) systems have less heat to dispose of, reducing carbon dioxide emissions. LEDs are small, durable and need little power, so they are used in hand held devices such as flashlights. LED strobe lights or camera flashes operate at a safe, low voltage, instead of the 250+ volts commonly found in xenon flashlamp-based lighting. This is especially useful in cameras on mobile phones, where space is at a premium and bulky voltage-raising circuitry is undesirable. LEDs are used for infrared illumination in night vision uses including security cameras. A ring of LEDs around a video camera, aimed forward into a retroreflective background, allows chroma keying in video productions. LEDs are now used commonly in all market areas from commercial to home use: standard lighting, AV, stage, theatrical, architectural, and public installations, and wherever artificial light is used. LEDs are increasingly finding uses in medical and educational applications, for example as mood enhancement[citation needed], and new technologies such as AmBX, exploiting LED versatility. NASA has even sponsored research for the use of LEDs to promote health for astronauts.[129]

Smart lighting
Light can be used to transmit broadband data, which is already implemented in IrDA standards using infrared LEDs. Because LEDs can cycle on and off millions of times per second, they can be wireless transmitters and access points for data transport.[130] Lasers can also be modulated in this manner.

Sustainable lighting
Efficient lighting is needed for sustainable architecture. In 2009, a typical 13-watt LED lamp emitted 450 to 650 lumens,[131] which is equivalent to a standard 40-watt incandescent bulb. In 2011, LEDs have become more efficient, so that a 6-watt LED can easily achieve the same results.[132] A standard 40-watt incandescent bulb has an expected lifespan of 1,000 hours, whereas an LED can continue to operate with reduced efficiency for more than 50,000 hours, 50 times longer than the incandescent bulb. Energy consumption In the US, one kilowatt-hour of electricity will cause 1.34 pounds (610 g) of CO2 emission.[133] Assuming the average light bulb is on for 10 hours a day, one 40-watt incandescent bulb will cause 196 pounds (89 kg) of CO2 emission per year. The 6-watt LED equivalent will only cause

30 pounds (14 kg) of CO2 over the same time span. A buildings carbon footprint from lighting can be reduced by 85% by exchanging all incandescent bulbs for new LEDs. Economically sustainable LED light bulbs could be a cost-effective option for lighting a home or office space because of their very long lifetimes. Consumer use of LEDs as a replacement for conventional lighting system is currently hampered by the high cost and low efficiency of available products. 2009 DOE testing results showed an average efficacy of 35 lm/W, below that of typical CFLs, and as low as 9 lm/W, worse than standard incandescents.[131] However, as of 2011, there are LED bulbs available as efficient as 150 lm/W and even inexpensive low-end models typically exceed 50 lm/W. The high initial cost of commercial LED bulbs is due to the expensive sapphire substrate, which is key to the production process. The sapphire apparatus must be coupled with a mirror-like collector to reflect light that would otherwise be wasted.

Other applications
The light from LEDs can be modulated very quickly so they are used extensively in optical fiber and free space optics communications. This includes remote controls, such as for TVs, VCRs, and LED Computers, where infrared LEDs are often used. Opto-isolators use an LED combined with a photodiode or phototransistor to provide a signal path with electrical isolation between two circuits. This is especially useful in medical equipment where the signals from a low-voltage sensor circuit (usually battery-powered) in contact with a living organism must be electrically isolated from any possible electrical failure in a recording or monitoring device operating at potentially dangerous voltages. An optoisolator also allows information to be transferred between circuits not sharing a common ground potential. Many sensor systems rely on light as the signal source. LEDs are often ideal as a light source due to the requirements of the sensors. LEDs are used as movement sensors, for example in optical computer mice. The Nintendo Wii's sensor bar uses infrared LEDs. Pulse oximeters use them for measuring oxygen saturation. Some flatbed scanners use arrays of RGB LEDs rather than the typical cold-cathode fluorescent lamp as the light source. Having independent control of three illuminated colors allows the scanner to calibrate itself for more accurate color balance, and there is no need for warm-up. Further, its sensors only need be monochromatic, since at any one time the page being scanned is only lit by one color of light. Touch sensing: Since LEDs can also be used as photodiodes, they can be used for both photo emission and detection. This could be used, for example, in a touch-sensing screen that registers reflected light from a finger or stylus.[134] Many materials and biological systems are sensitive to or dependent on light. Grow lights use LEDs to increase photosynthesis in plants[135] and bacteria and viruses can be removed from water and other substances using UV LEDs for sterilization.[72] Other uses are as UV curing devices for some ink and coating methods, and in LED printers. Plant growers are interested in LEDs because they are more energy-efficient, emit less heat (can damage plants close to hot lamps), and can provide the optimum light frequency for plant growth and bloom periods compared to currently used grow lights: HPS (high-pressure sodium), metal-

halide (MH) or CFL/low-energy. However, LEDs have not replaced these grow lights due to higher price. As mass production and LED kits develop, the LED products will become cheaper. LEDs have also been used as a medium-quality voltage reference in electronic circuits. The forward voltage drop (e.g., about 1.7 V for a normal red LED) can be used instead of a Zener diode in low-voltage regulators. Red LEDs have the flattest I/V curve above the knee. Nitridebased LEDs have a fairly steep I/V curve and are useless for this purpose. Although LED forward voltage is far more current-dependent than a good Zener, Zener diodes are not widely available below voltages of about 3 V.

Light sources for machine vision systems


Machine vision systems often require bright and homogeneous illumination, so features of interest are easier to process. LEDs are often used for this purpose, and this is likely to remain one of their major uses until price drops low enough to make signaling and illumination uses more widespread. Barcode scanners are the most common example of machine vision, and many low cost ones use red LEDs instead of lasers. Optical computer mice are also another example of LEDs in machine vision, as it is used to provide an even light source on the surface for the miniature camera within the mouse. LEDs constitute a nearly ideal light source for machine vision systems for several reasons: The size of the illuminated field is usually comparatively small and machine vision systems are often quite expensive, so the cost of the light source is usually a minor concern. However, it might not be easy to replace a broken light source placed within complex machinery, and here the long service life of LEDs is a benefit. LED elements tend to be small and can be placed with high density over flat or even-shaped substrates (PCBs etc.) so that bright and homogeneous sources that direct light from tightly controlled directions on inspected parts can be designed. This can often be obtained with small, low-cost lenses and diffusers, helping to achieve high light densities with control over lighting levels and homogeneity. LED sources can be shaped in several configurations (spot lights for reflective illumination; ring lights for coaxial illumination; back lights for contour illumination; linear assemblies; flat, large format panels; dome sources for diffused, omnidirectional illumination). LEDs can be easily strobed (in the microsecond range and below) and synchronized with imaging. High-power LEDs are available allowing well-lit images even with very short light pulses. This is often used to obtain crisp and sharp still images of quickly moving parts. LEDs come in several different colors and wavelengths, allowing easy use of the best color for each need, where different color may provide better visibility of features of interest. Having a precisely known spectrum allows tightly matched filters to be used to separate informative bandwidth or to reduce disturbing effects of ambient light. LEDs usually operate at comparatively low working temperatures, simplifying heat management and dissipation. This allows using plastic lenses, filters, and diffusers. Waterproof units can also easily be designed, allowing use in harsh or wet environments (food, beverage, oil industries).

LEDs used on a train for both overhead lighting and destination signage.

A large LED display behind a disc jockey

LED destination signs on buses, one with a colored route number

LED digital display that can display four digits and points

Traffic light using LED

Western Australia Police car with LEDs used in its high-mounted brake light, its rear window and roof-mounted flashing Police vehicle lights and roof-mounted road user information display

LED daytime running lights of Audi A4

LED panel light source used in an experiment on plant growth. The findings of such experiments may be used to grow food in space on long duration missions.

LED illumination

LED lights reacting dynamically to video feed via AmBX

7805 ic
Regulator IC)
CP017 Image:

IC 7805 (Voltage

DataSheet: 7805.pdf 7805 is a voltage regulator integrated circuit. It is a member of 78xx series of fixed linear voltage regulator ICs. The voltage source in a circuit may have fluctuations and would not give the fixed voltage output. The voltage regulator IC maintains the output voltage at a constant value. The xx in 78xx indicates the fixed output voltage it is

designed to provide. 7805 provides +5V regulated power supply. Capacitors of suitable values can be connected at input and output pins depending upon the respective voltage levels.

Pin Diagram:

Pin Description:

Pin No 1 2 3

Function Input voltage (5V-18V) Ground (0V) Regulated output; 5V (4.8V-5.2V)

Name Input Ground Output

Transistor
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Transistor (disambiguation).

Transistor

Assorted discrete transistors. Packages in order from top to bottom: TO-3, TO-126, TO-92, SOT23. A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is composed of semiconductor material with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals changes the current through another pair of terminals. Because the controlled (output) power can be higher than the controlling (input) power, a transistor can amplify a signal. Today, some transistors are packaged individually, but many more are found embedded in integrated circuits. The transistor is the fundamental building block of modern electronic devices, and is ubiquitous in modern electronic systems. Following its development in the early 1950s, the transistor revolutionized the field of electronics, and paved the way for smaller and cheaper radios, calculators, and computers, among other things.

Contents

1 History 2 Importance 3 Simplified operation o 3.1 Transistor as a switch

o 3.2 Transistor as an amplifier 4 Comparison with vacuum tubes o 4.1 Advantages o 4.2 Limitations 5 Types o 5.1 Bipolar junction transistor (BJT) o 5.2 Field-effect transistor (FET) o 5.3 Usage of bipolar and field effect transistors o 5.4 Other transistor types 6 Part numbering standards / specifications o 6.1 Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) o 6.2 European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA) o 6.3 Joint Electron Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC) o 6.4 Proprietary o 6.5 Naming problems 7 Construction o 7.1 Semiconductor material o 7.2 Packaging 8 See also 9 Directory of external websites with datasheets 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

History
Main article: History of the transistor

A replica of the first working transistor. The thermionic triode, a vacuum tube invented in 1907, propelled the electronics age forward, enabling amplified radio technology and long-distance telephony. The triode, however, was a fragile device that consumed a lot of power. Physicist Julius Edgar Lilienfeld filed a patent for a field-effect transistor (FET) in Canada in 1925, which was intended to be a solid-state

replacement for the triode.[1][2] Lilienfeld also filed identical patents in the United States in 1926[3] and 1928.[4][5] However, Lilienfeld did not publish any research articles about his devices nor did his patents cite any specific examples of a working prototype. Since the production of high-quality semiconductor materials was still decades away, Lilienfeld's solid-state amplifier ideas would not have found practical use in the 1920s and 1930s, even if such a device had been built.[6] In 1934, German inventor Oskar Heil patented a similar device.[7] From November 17, 1947 to December 23, 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at AT&T's Bell Labs in the United States, performed experiments and observed that when two gold point contacts were applied to a crystal of germanium, a signal was produced with the output power greater than the input.[8] Solid State Physics Group leader William Shockley saw the potential in this, and over the next few months worked to greatly expand the knowledge of semiconductors. The term transistor was coined by John R. Pierce as a portmanteau of the term "transfer resistor".[9][10] According to Lillian Hoddeson and Vicki Daitch, authors of a biography of John Bardeen, Shockley had proposed that Bell Labs' first patent for a transistor should be based on the field-effect and that he be named as the inventor. Having unearthed Lilienfelds patents that went into obscurity years earlier, lawyers at Bell Labs advised against Shockley's proposal since the idea of a field-effect transistor which used an electric field as a grid was not new. Instead, what Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley invented in 1947 was the first bipolar point-contact transistor.[6] In acknowledgement of this accomplishment, Shockley, Bardeen, and Brattain were jointly awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect."[11]

John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain at Bell Labs, 1948. In 1948, the point-contact transistor was independently invented by German physicists Herbert Matar and Heinrich Welker while working at the Compagnie des Freins et Signaux, a Westinghouse subsidiary located in Paris. Matar had previous experience in developing crystal rectifiers from silicon and germanium in the German radar effort during World War II. Using this knowledge, he began researching the phenomenon of "interference" in 1947. By witnessing currents flowing through point-contacts, similar to what Bardeen and Brattain had accomplished earlier in December 1947, Matar by June 1948, was able to produce consistent results by using samples of germanium produced by Welker. Realizing that Bell Labs' scientists had already invented the transistor before them, the company rushed to get its "transistron" into production for amplified use in France's telephone network.[12]

The first silicon transistor was produced by Texas Instruments in 1954.[13] This was the work of Gordon Teal, an expert in growing crystals of high purity, who had previously worked at Bell Labs.[14] The first MOS transistor actually built was by Kahng and Atalla at Bell Labs in 1960.[15] In March 2013 American researchers at Stanford University announced they had built a transistor out of DNA and RNA molecules.[16]

Importance

A Darlington transistor opened up so the actual transistor chip (the small square) can be seen inside. A Darlington transistor is effectively two transistors on the same chip. One transistor is much larger than the other, but both are large in comparison to transistors in large scale integration because this particular example is intended for power applications. The transistor is the key active component in practically all modern electronics. Many consider it to be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.[17] Its importance in today's society rests on its ability to be mass-produced using a highly automated process (semiconductor device fabrication) that achieves astonishingly low per-transistor costs. The invention of the first transistor at Bell Labs was named an IEEE Milestone in 2009.[18] Although several companies each produce over a billion individually packaged (known as discrete) transistors every year,[19] the vast majority of transistors now are produced in integrated circuits (often shortened to IC, microchips or simply chips), along with diodes, resistors, capacitors and other electronic components, to produce complete electronic circuits. A logic gate consists of up to about twenty transistors whereas an advanced microprocessor, as of 2009, can use as many as 3 billion transistors (MOSFETs).[20] "About 60 million transistors were built in 2002 ... for [each] man, woman, and child on Earth."[21] The transistor's low cost, flexibility, and reliability have made it a ubiquitous device. Transistorized mechatronic circuits have replaced electromechanical devices in controlling appliances and machinery. It is often easier and cheaper to use a standard microcontroller and write a computer program to carry out a control function than to design an equivalent mechanical control function.

Simplified operation

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2010)

A simple circuit diagram to show the labels of a NPN bipolar transistor. The essential usefulness of a transistor comes from its ability to use a small signal applied between one pair of its terminals to control a much larger signal at another pair of terminals. This property is called gain. A transistor can control its output in proportion to the input signal; that is, it can act as an amplifier. Alternatively, the transistor can be used to turn current on or off in a circuit as an electrically controlled switch, where the amount of current is determined by other circuit elements. There are two types of transistors, which have slight differences in how they are used in a circuit. A bipolar transistor has terminals labeled base, collector, and emitter. A small current at the base terminal (that is, flowing between the base and the emitter) can control or switch a much larger current between the collector and emitter terminals. For a field-effect transistor, the terminals are labeled gate, source, and drain, and a voltage at the gate can control a current between source and drain. The image to the right represents a typical bipolar transistor in a circuit. Charge will flow between emitter and collector terminals depending on the current in the base. Since internally the base and emitter connections behave like a semiconductor diode, a voltage drop develops between base and emitter while the base current exists. The amount of this voltage depends on the material the transistor is made from, and is referred to as VBE.

Transistor as a switch

BJT used as an electronic switch, in grounded-emitter configuration. Transistors are commonly used as electronic switches, both for high-power applications such as switched-mode power supplies and for low-power applications such as logic gates. In a grounded-emitter transistor circuit, such as the light-switch circuit shown, as the base voltage rises, the emitter and collector currents rise exponentially. The collector voltage drops because of reduced resistance from collector to emitter. If the voltage difference between the collector and emitter were zero (or near zero), the collector current would be limited only by the load resistance (light bulb) and the supply voltage. This is called saturation because current is flowing from collector to emitter freely. When saturated the switch is said to be on. [22] Providing sufficient base drive current is a key problem in the use of bipolar transistors as switches. The transistor provides current gain, allowing a relatively large current in the collector to be switched by a much smaller current into the base terminal. The ratio of these currents varies depending on the type of transistor, and even for a particular type, varies depending on the collector current. In the example light-switch circuit shown, the resistor is chosen to provide enough base current to ensure the transistor will be saturated. In any switching circuit, values of input voltage would be chosen such that the output is either completely off,[23] or completely on. The transistor is acting as a switch, and this type of operation is common in digital circuits where only "on" and "off" values are relevant.

Transistor as an amplifier

Amplifier circuit, common-emitter configuration with a voltage-divider bias circuit. The common-emitter amplifier is designed so that a small change in voltage (Vin) changes the small current through the base of the transistor; the transistor's current amplification combined with the properties of the circuit mean that small swings in Vin produce large changes in Vout. Various configurations of single transistor amplifier are possible, with some providing current gain, some voltage gain, and some both.

From mobile phones to televisions, vast numbers of products include amplifiers for sound reproduction, radio transmission, and signal processing. The first discrete transistor audio amplifiers barely supplied a few hundred milliwatts, but power and audio fidelity gradually increased as better transistors became available and amplifier architecture evolved. Modern transistor audio amplifiers of up to a few hundred watts are common and relatively inexpensive.

Comparison with vacuum tubes


Prior to the development of transistors, vacuum (electron) tubes (or in the UK "thermionic valves" or just "valves") were the main active components in electronic equipment.

Advantages
The key advantages that have allowed transistors to replace their vacuum tube predecessors in most applications are

No power consumption by a cathode heater. Small size and minimal weight, allowing the development of miniaturized electronic devices. Low operating voltages compatible with batteries of only a few cells. No warm-up period for cathode heaters required after power application. Lower power dissipation and generally greater energy efficiency. Higher reliability and greater physical ruggedness. Extremely long life. Some transistorized devices have been in service for more than 50 years. Complementary devices available, facilitating the design of complementary-symmetry circuits, something not possible with vacuum tubes. Insensitivity to mechanical shock and vibration, thus avoiding the problem of microphonics in audio applications.

Limitations

High-power, high-frequency operation, such as that used in over-the-air television broadcasting, is better achieved in vacuum tubes due to improved electron mobility in a vacuum. Solid-state devices are more vulnerable to Electrostatic discharge in handling and operation A vacuum tube momentarily overloaded will just get a little hotter; solid-state devices have less mass to absorb the heat due to overloads, in proportion to their rating Sensitivity to radiation and cosmic rays (special radiation hardened chips are used for spacecraft devices). Vacuum tubes create a distortion, the so-called tube sound, that some people find to be more tolerable to the ear.[24]

Types

PNP

P-channel

NPN

N-channel

BJT

JFET

BJT and JFET symbols

P-channel

N-channel

JFET

MOSFET enh

MOSFET dep

JFET and IGFET symbols Transistors are categorized by

Semiconductor material (date first used): the metalloids germanium (1947) and silicon (1954) in amorphous, polycrystalline and monocrystalline form; the compounds gallium arsenide (1966) and silicon carbide (1997), the alloy silicon-germanium (1989), the allotrope of carbon graphene (research ongoing since 2004), etc.see Semiconductor material Structure: BJT, JFET, IGFET (MOSFET), IGBT, "other types" Electrical polarity (positive and negative) : NPN, PNP (BJTs); N-channel, P-channel (FETs) Maximum power rating: low, medium, high

Maximum operating frequency: low, medium, high, radio frequency (RF), microwave (The maximum effective frequency of a transistor is denoted by the term , an abbreviation for transition frequencythe frequency of transition is the frequency at which the transistor yields unity gain) Application: switch, general purpose, audio, high voltage, super-beta, matched pair Physical packaging: through-hole metal, through-hole plastic, surface mount, ball grid array, power modulessee Packaging Amplification factor hfe or F (transistor beta)[25]

Thus, a particular transistor may be described as silicon, surface mount, BJT, NPN, low power, high frequency switch.

Bipolar junction transistor (BJT)


Main article: Bipolar junction transistor Bipolar transistors are so named because they conduct by using both majority and minority carriers. The bipolar junction transistor, the first type of transistor to be mass-produced, is a combination of two junction diodes, and is formed of either a thin layer of p-type semiconductor sandwiched between two n-type semiconductors (an n-p-n transistor), or a thin layer of n-type semiconductor sandwiched between two p-type semiconductors (a p-n-p transistor). This construction produces two p-n junctions: a baseemitter junction and a basecollector junction, separated by a thin region of semiconductor known as the base region (two junction diodes wired together without sharing an intervening semiconducting region will not make a transistor). The BJT has three terminals, corresponding to the three layers of semiconductor an emitter, a base, and a collector. It is useful in amplifiers because the currents at the emitter and collector are controllable by a relatively small base current."[26] In an NPN transistor operating in the active region, the emitter-base junction is forward biased (electrons and electron holes recombine at the junction), and electrons are injected into the base region. Because the base is narrow, most of these electrons will diffuse into the reverse-biased (electrons and holes are formed at, and move away from the junction) base-collector junction and be swept into the collector; perhaps one-hundredth of the electrons will recombine in the base, which is the dominant mechanism in the base current. By controlling the number of electrons that can leave the base, the number of electrons entering the collector can be controlled.[26] Collector current is approximately (common-emitter current gain) times the base current. It is typically greater than 100 for smallsignal transistors but can be smaller in transistors designed for high-power applications. Unlike the field-effect transistor (see below), the BJT is a lowinput-impedance device. Also, as the baseemitter voltage (Vbe) is increased the baseemitter current and hence the collector emitter current (Ice) increase exponentially according to the Shockley diode model and the EbersMoll model. Because of this exponential relationship, the BJT has a higher transconductance than the FET. Bipolar transistors can be made to conduct by exposure to light, since absorption of photons in the base region generates a photocurrent that acts as a base current; the collector current is

approximately times the photocurrent. Devices designed for this purpose have a transparent window in the package and are called phototransistors.

Field-effect transistor (FET)


Main articles: Field-effect transistor, MOSFET, and JFET The field-effect transistor, sometimes called a unipolar transistor, uses either electrons (in Nchannel FET) or holes (in P-channel FET) for conduction. The four terminals of the FET are named source, gate, drain, and body (substrate). On most FETs, the body is connected to the source inside the package, and this will be assumed for the following description. In a FET, the drain-to-source current flows via a conducting channel that connects the source region to the drain region. The conductivity is varied by the electric field that is produced when a voltage is applied between the gate and source terminals; hence the current flowing between the drain and source is controlled by the voltage applied between the gate and source. As the gate source voltage (Vgs) is increased, the drainsource current (Ids) increases exponentially for Vgs below threshold, and then at a roughly quadratic rate ( ) (where VT is the [27] threshold voltage at which drain current begins) in the "space-charge-limited" region above threshold. A quadratic behavior is not observed in modern devices, for example, at the 65 nm technology node.[28] For low noise at narrow bandwidth the higher input resistance of the FET is advantageous. FETs are divided into two families: junction FET (JFET) and insulated gate FET (IGFET). The IGFET is more commonly known as a metaloxidesemiconductor FET (MOSFET), reflecting its original construction from layers of metal (the gate), oxide (the insulation), and semiconductor. Unlike IGFETs, the JFET gate forms a p-n diode with the channel which lies between the source and drain. Functionally, this makes the N-channel JFET the solid-state equivalent of the vacuum tube triode which, similarly, forms a diode between its grid and cathode. Also, both devices operate in the depletion mode, they both have a high input impedance, and they both conduct current under the control of an input voltage. Metalsemiconductor FETs (MESFETs) are JFETs in which the reverse biased p-n junction is replaced by a metalsemiconductor junction. These, and the HEMTs (high electron mobility transistors, or HFETs), in which a two-dimensional electron gas with very high carrier mobility is used for charge transport, are especially suitable for use at very high frequencies (microwave frequencies; several GHz). Unlike bipolar transistors, FETs do not inherently amplify a photocurrent. Nevertheless, there are ways to use them, especially JFETs, as light-sensitive devices, by exploiting the photocurrents in channelgate or channelbody junctions. FETs are further divided into depletion-mode and enhancement-mode types, depending on whether the channel is turned on or off with zero gate-to-source voltage. For enhancement mode, the channel is off at zero bias, and a gate potential can "enhance" the conduction. For depletion

mode, the channel is on at zero bias, and a gate potential (of the opposite polarity) can "deplete" the channel, reducing conduction. For either mode, a more positive gate voltage corresponds to a higher current for N-channel devices and a lower current for P-channel devices. Nearly all JFETs are depletion-mode as the diode junctions would forward bias and conduct if they were enhancement mode devices; most IGFETs are enhancement-mode types.

Usage of bipolar and field effect transistors


The bipolar junction transistor (BJT) was the most commonly used transistor in the 1960s and 70s. Even after MOSFETs became widely available, the BJT remained the transistor of choice for many analog circuits such as amplifiers because of their greater linearity and ease of manufacture. In integrated circuits, the desirable properties of MOSFETs allowed them to capture nearly all market share for digital circuits. Discrete MOSFETs can be applied in transistor applications, including analog circuits, voltage regulators, amplifiers, power transmitters and motor drivers.

Other transistor types

Transistor symbol drawn on Portuguese pavement in the University of Aveiro. This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. Please help to clean it up to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Where appropriate, incorporate items into the main body of the article. (September 2009) For early bipolar transistors, see Bipolar junction transistor#Bipolar transistors.

Bipolar junction transistor o Heterojunction bipolar transistor, up to several hundred GHz, common in modern ultrafast and RF circuits o Schottky transistor o Avalanche transistor o Darlington transistors are two BJTs connected together to provide a high current gain equal to the product of the current gains of the two transistors. o Insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) use a medium power IGFET, similarly connected to a power BJT, to give a high input impedance. Power diodes are often connected between certain terminals depending on specific use. IGBTs are

particularly suitable for heavy-duty industrial applications. The Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) 5SNA2400E170100 illustrates just how far power semiconductor technology has advanced.[29] Intended for three-phase power supplies, this device houses three NPN IGBTs in a case measuring 38 by 140 by 190 mm and weighing 1.5 kg. Each IGBT is rated at 1,700 volts and can handle 2,400 amperes. o Photo transistor o Multiple-emitter transistor, used in transistortransistor logic o Multiple-base transistor, used to amplify very low level signals in noisy environments such as the pickup of a record player or radio front ends. Effectively, it is a very large number of transistors in parallel where, at the output, the signal is added constructively, but random noise is added only stochastically.[30] Field-effect transistor o Carbon nanotube field-effect transistor (CNFET) o JFET, where the gate is insulated by a reverse-biased p-n junction o MESFET, similar to JFET with a Schottky junction instead of a p-n junction High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT, HFET, MODFET) o MOSFET, where the gate is insulated by a shallow layer of insulator o Inverted-T field effect transistor (ITFET) o FinFET, source/drain region shapes fins on the silicon surface. o FREDFET, fast-reverse epitaxial diode field-effect transistor o Thin film transistor, in LCDs. o OFET Organic Field-Effect Transistor, in which the semiconductor is an organic compound o Ballistic transistor o Floating-gate transistor, for non-volatile storage. o FETs used to sense environment Ion-sensitive field effect transistor, to measure ion concentrations in solution. EOSFET, electrolyte-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (Neurochip) DNAFET, deoxyribonucleic acid field-effect transistor Diffusion transistor, formed by diffusing dopants into semiconductor substrate; can be both BJT and FET Unijunction transistors can be used as simple pulse generators. They comprise a main body of either P-type or N-type semiconductor with ohmic contacts at each end (terminals Base1 and Base2). A junction with the opposite semiconductor type is formed at a point along the length of the body for the third terminal (Emitter). Single-electron transistors (SET) consist of a gate island between two tunneling junctions. The tunneling current is controlled by a voltage applied to the gate through a capacitor.[31] Nanofluidic transistor, controls the movement of ions through sub-microscopic, waterfilled channels.[32] Multigate devices o Tetrode transistor o Pentode transistor

Trigate transistors (Prototype by Intel) Dual gate FETs have a single channel with two gates in cascode; a configuration optimized for high frequency amplifiers, mixers, and oscillators. Junctionless Nanowire Transistor (JNT), developed at Tyndall National Institute in Ireland, was the first transistor successfully fabricated without junctions. (Even MOSFETs have junctions, although its gate is electrically insulated from the region the gate controls.) Junctions are difficult and expensive to fabricate, and, because they are a significant source of current leakage, they waste significant power and generate significant waste heat. Eliminating them held the promise of cheaper and denser microchips. The JNT uses a simple nanowire of silicon surrounded by an electrically isolated "wedding ring" that acts to gate the flow of electrons through the wire. This method has been described as akin to squeezing a garden hose to gate the flow of water through the hose. The nanowire is heavily n-doped, making it an excellent conductor. Crucially the gate, comprising silicon, is heavily p-doped; and its presence depletes the underlying silicon nanowire thereby preventing carrier flow past the gate. Vacuum channel transistor: In 2012, NASA and the National Nanofab Center in South Korea were reported to have built a prototype vacuum channel transistor in only 150 nanometers in size, can be manufactured cheaply using standard silicon semiconductor processing, can operate at high speeds even in hostile environments, and could consume just as much power as a standard transistor.[33]

o o

Part numbering standards / specifications


The types of some transistors can be parsed from the part number. There are three major semiconductor naming standards; in each the alphanumeric prefix provides clues to type of the device.

Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS)


JIS Transistor Prefix Table Prefix 2SA 2SB 2SC 2SD 2SJ Type of Transistor high frequency PNP BJTs audio frequency PNP BJTs high frequency NPN BJTs audio frequency NPN BJTs P-channel FETs (both JFETs and MOSFETs)

2SK

N-channel FETs (both JFETs and MOSFETs)

The JIS-C-7012 specification for transistor part numbers starts with "2S",[34] e.g. 2SD965, but sometimes the "2S" prefix is not marked on the package a 2SD965 might only be marked "D965"; a 2SC1815 might be listed by a supplier as simply "C1815". This series sometimes has suffixes (such as "R", "O", "BL"... standing for "Red", "Orange", "Blue" etc.) to denote variants, such as tighter hFE (gain) groupings.

European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association (EECA)


The Pro Electron standard, the European Electronic Component Manufacturers Association part numbering scheme, begins with two letters: the first gives the semiconductor type (A for germanium, B for silicon, and C for materials like GaAs); the second letter denotes the intended use (A for diode, C for general-purpose transistor, etc.). A 3-digit sequence number (or one letter then 2 digits, for industrial types) follows. With early devices this indicated the case type. Suffixes may be used, with a letter (e.g. "C" often means high hFE, such as in: BC549C[35]) or other codes may follow to show gain (e.g. BC327-25) or voltage rating (e.g. BUK854-800A[36]). The more common prefixes are: Pro Electron / EECA Transistor Prefix Table Prefix class AC AD AF AL AS AU BC BD BF BS BL BU CF CL Type and usage Germanium small-signal AF transistor Germanium AF power transistor Germanium small-signal RF transistor Germanium RF power transistor Germanium switching transistor Germanium power switching transistor Silicon, small signal transistor ("general purpose") Silicon, power transistor Silicon, RF (high frequency) BJT or FET Silicon, switching transistor (BJT or MOSFET) Silicon, high frequency, high power (for transmitters) Silicon, high voltage (for CRT horizontal deflection circuits) Gallium Arsenide small-signal Microwave transistor (MESFET) Gallium Arsenide Microwave power transistor (FET) Example Equivalent Reference AC126 AD133 AF117 ALZ10 ASY28 AU103 BC548 BD139 BF245 BS170 BLW60 NTE102A NTE179 NTE160 NTE100 NTE101 NTE127 2N3904 NTE375 NTE133 2N7000 NTE325 Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet Datasheet

BU2520A NTE2354 Datasheet CF739 CLY10 Datasheet Datasheet

Joint Electron Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC)


The JEDEC EIA370 transistor device numbers usually start with "2N", indicating a threeterminal device (dual-gate field-effect transistors are four-terminal devices, so begin with 3N), then a 2, 3 or 4-digit sequential number with no significance as to device properties (although early devices with low numbers tend to be germanium). For example 2N3055 is a silicon NPN power transistor, 2N1301 is a PNP germanium switching transistor. A letter suffix (such as "A") is sometimes used to indicate a newer variant, but rarely gain groupings.

Proprietary
Manufacturers of devices may have their own proprietary numbering system, for example CK722. Note that a manufacturer's prefix (like "MPF" in MPF102, which originally would denote a Motorola FET) now is an unreliable indicator of who made the device. Some proprietary naming schemes adopt parts of other naming schemes, for example a PN2222A is a (possibly Fairchild Semiconductor) 2N2222A in a plastic case (but a PN108 is a plastic version of a BC108, not a 2N108, while the PN100 is unrelated to other xx100 devices). Military part numbers sometimes are assigned their own codes, such as the British Military CV Naming System. Manufacturers buying large numbers of similar parts may have them supplied with "house numbers", identifying a particular purchasing specification and not necessarily a device with a standardized registered number. For example, an HP part 1854,0053 is a (JEDEC) 2N2218 transistor[37][38] which is also assigned the CV number: CV7763[39]

Naming problems
With so many independent naming schemes, and the abbreviation of part numbers when printed on the devices, ambiguity sometimes occurs. For example two different devices may be marked "J176" (one the J176 low-power Junction FET, the other the higher-powered MOSFET 2SJ176). As older "through-hole" transistors are given Surface-Mount packaged counterparts, they tend to be assigned many different part numbers because manufacturers have their own systems to cope with the variety in pinout arrangements and options for dual or matched NPN+PNP devices in one pack. So even when the original device (such as a 2N3904) may have been assigned by a standards authority, and well known by engineers over the years, the new versions are far from standardized in their naming.

Construction
Semiconductor material
Semiconductor material characteristics

Semiconductor material Ge Si GaAs

Junction forward Max. Electron mobility Hole mobility voltage junction temp. 2 2 m /(Vs) @ 25 C m /(Vs) @ 25 C V @ 25 C C 0.27 0.71 1.03 0.39 0.14 0.85 0.19 0.05 0.05 70 to 100 150 to 200 150 to 200 150 to 200

Al-Si junction 0.3

The first BJTs were made from germanium (Ge). Silicon (Si) types currently predominate but certain advanced microwave and high performance versions now employ the compound semiconductor material gallium arsenide (GaAs) and the semiconductor alloy silicon germanium (SiGe). Single element semiconductor material (Ge and Si) is described as elemental. Rough parameters for the most common semiconductor materials used to make transistors are given in the table to the right; these parameters will vary with increase in temperature, electric field, impurity level, strain, and sundry other factors. The junction forward voltage is the voltage applied to the emitter-base junction of a BJT in order to make the base conduct a specified current. The current increases exponentially as the junction forward voltage is increased. The values given in the table are typical for a current of 1 mA (the same values apply to semiconductor diodes). The lower the junction forward voltage the better, as this means that less power is required to "drive" the transistor. The junction forward voltage for a given current decreases with increase in temperature. For a typical silicon junction the change is 2.1 mV/C.[40] In some circuits special compensating elements (sensistors) must be used to compensate for such changes. The density of mobile carriers in the channel of a MOSFET is a function of the electric field forming the channel and of various other phenomena such as the impurity level in the channel. Some impurities, called dopants, are introduced deliberately in making a MOSFET, to control the MOSFET electrical behavior. The electron mobility and hole mobility columns show the average speed that electrons and holes diffuse through the semiconductor material with an electric field of 1 volt per meter applied across the material. In general, the higher the electron mobility the faster the transistor can operate. The table indicates that Ge is a better material than Si in this respect. However, Ge has four major shortcomings compared to silicon and gallium arsenide:

Its maximum temperature is limited; it has relatively high leakage current; it cannot withstand high voltages;

it is less suitable for fabricating integrated circuits.

Because the electron mobility is higher than the hole mobility for all semiconductor materials, a given bipolar NPN transistor tends to be swifter than an equivalent PNP transistor type. GaAs has the highest electron mobility of the three semiconductors. It is for this reason that GaAs is used in high frequency applications. A relatively recent FET development, the high electron mobility transistor (HEMT), has a heterostructure (junction between different semiconductor materials) of aluminium gallium arsenide (AlGaAs)-gallium arsenide (GaAs) which has twice the electron mobility of a GaAs-metal barrier junction. Because of their high speed and low noise, HEMTs are used in satellite receivers working at frequencies around 12 GHz. Max. junction temperature values represent a cross section taken from various manufacturers' data sheets. This temperature should not be exceeded or the transistor may be damaged. AlSi junction refers to the high-speed (aluminumsilicon) metalsemiconductor barrier diode, commonly known as a Schottky diode. This is included in the table because some silicon power IGFETs have a parasitic reverse Schottky diode formed between the source and drain as part of the fabrication process. This diode can be a nuisance, but sometimes it is used in the circuit.

Packaging
See also: Semiconductor package and Chip carrier

Assorted discrete transistors Discrete transistors are individually packaged transistors. Transistors come in many different semiconductor packages (see image). The two main categories are through-hole (or leaded), and surface-mount, also known as surface mount device (SMD). The ball grid array (BGA) is the latest surface mount package (currently only for large integrated circuits). It has solder "balls" on the underside in place of leads. Because they are smaller and have shorter interconnections, SMDs have better high frequency characteristics but lower power rating. Transistor packages are made of glass, metal, ceramic, or plastic. The package often dictates the power rating and frequency characteristics. Power transistors have larger packages that can be clamped to heat sinks for enhanced cooling. Additionally, most power transistors have the collector or drain physically connected to the metal enclosure. At the other extreme, some surface-mount microwave transistors are as small as grains of sand. Often a given transistor type is available in several packages. Transistor packages are mainly standardized, but the assignment of a transistor's functions to the terminals is not: other transistor

types can assign other functions to the package's terminals. Even for the same transistor type the terminal assignment can vary (normally indicated by a suffix letter to the part number, q.e. BC212L and BC212K).

See also

Band gap Digital electronics Moore's law Semiconductor device modeling Transistor count Transistor model Transresistance Very-large-scale integration

Directory of external websites with datasheets

2N3904/2N3906, BC182/BC212 and BC546/BC556: Ubiquitous, BJT, general-purpose, low-power, complementary pairs. They have plastic cases and cost roughly ten cents U.S. in small quantities, making them popular with hobbyists. AF107: Germanium, 0.5 watt, 250 MHz PNP BJT. BFP183: Low power, 8 GHz microwave NPN BJT. LM394: "supermatch pair", with two NPN BJTs on a single substrate. 2N2219A/2N2905A: BJT, general purpose, medium power, complementary pair. With metal cases they are rated at about one watt. 2N3055/MJ2955: For years, the venerable NPN 2N3055 has been the "standard" power transistor. Its complement, the PNP MJ2955 arrived later. These 1 MHz, 15 A, 60 V, 115 W BJTs are used in audio power amplifiers, power supplies, and control. 2SC3281/2SA1302: Made by Toshiba, these BJTs have low-distortion characteristics and are used in high-power audio amplifiers. They have been widely counterfeited [1]. BU508: NPN, 1500 V power BJT. Designed for television horizontal deflection, its high voltage capability also makes it suitable for use in ignition systems. MJ11012/MJ11015: 30 A, 120 V, 200 W, high power Darlington complementary pair BJTs. Used in audio amplifiers, control, and power switching. 2N5457/2N5460: JFET (depletion mode), general purpose, low power, complementary pair. BSP296/BSP171: IGFET (enhancement mode), medium power, near complementary pair. Used for logic level conversion and driving power transistors in amplifiers. IRF3710/IRF5210: IGFET (enhancement mode), 40 A, 100 V, 200 W, near complementary pair. For high-power amplifiers and power switches, especially in automobiles.

Transfofmer

Transformer
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the electrical device. For the media and toy franchise, see Transformers. For other uses, see Transformer (disambiguation).

Pole-mounted distribution transformer with center-tapped secondary winding used to provide 'split-phase' power for residential and light commercial service, which in North America is typically rated 120/240 volt.[1][2] A transformer is a static electrical device that transfers energy by inductive coupling between its winding circuits. A varying current in the primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic flux through the secondary winding. This varying magnetic flux induces a varying electromotive force (emf) or voltage in the secondary winding. Transformers range in size from thumbnail-sized used in microphones to units weighing hundreds of tons interconnecting the power grid. A wide range of transformer designs are used in electronic and electric power applications. Transformers are essential for the transmission, distribution, and utilization of electrical energy.

Contents

1 Basic principles o 1.1 The ideal transformer 1.1.1 Polarity o 1.2 The real transformer 1.2.1 Real transformer deviations from ideal 1.2.2 Induction law 1.2.3 Leakage flux 1.2.4 Equivalent circuit 2 Basic transformer parameters and construction o 2.1 Effect of frequency

2.2 Energy losses 2.3 Core form and shell form transformers 3 Construction o 3.1 Cores 3.1.1 Laminated steel cores 3.1.2 Solid cores 3.1.3 Toroidal cores 3.1.4 Air cores o 3.2 Windings o 3.3 Cooling o 3.4 Insulation drying o 3.5 Bushings 4 Classification parameters 5 Types 6 Applications 7 History o 7.1 Discovery o 7.2 Induction coils o 7.3 Early devices for use with alternating current o 7.4 Early series circuit transformer distribution o 7.5 Closed-core transformers and parallel power distribution o 7.6 Other early transformers 8 See also 9 Notes 10 References 11 Bibliography 12 External links

o o

Basic principles
The ideal transformer

Ideal transformer circuit diagram

Consider the ideal or lossless transformer shown in the circuit diagram at right having primary and secondary windings with NP and NS turns, respectively. The ideal transformer induces secondary voltage (Vs) as a proportion of the primary voltage (Vp) and respectively winding turns as given by the equation

, where Np/Ns = a is the winding turns ratio, the value of this ratio being respectively higher and lower than unity for step-down and step-up transformers.[3][4][a] Any load impedance connected to the ideal transformer's secondary winding causes current to flow without losses from primary to secondary circuits, the resulting input and output apparent power therefore being equal as given by the equation .

Combining the two equations yields the following ideal transformer identity

This formula is a reasonable approximation for the typical commercial transformer, with voltage ratio and winding turns ratio both being inversely proportional to the corresponding current ratio. The load impedance is defined in terms of secondary circuit voltage and current as follows

. The apparent impedance of this secondary circuit load referred to the primary winding circuit is governed by a squared turns ratio multiplication factor relationship derived as follows[6]

.[7] Polarity

Instrument transformer, with polarity dot and X1 markings on LV side terminal A dot convention is often used in transformer circuit diagrams, nameplates or terminal markings to define the relative polarity of transformer windings. Positively-increasing instantaneous current entering the primary winding's dot end induces positive polarity voltage at the secondary winding's dot end.[8][9][10][b] Transformer polarity can also be identified by terminal markings H0,H1,H2... on primary terminals and X1,X2, (and Y1,Y2, Z1,Z2,Z3... if windings are available) on secondary terminals. Each letter prefix designates a different winding and each numeral designates a termination or tap on each winding. The designated terminals H1,X1, (and Y1, Z1 if available) indicate same instantaneous polarities for each winding as in the dot convention.[12]

The real transformer


Real transformer deviations from ideal The ideal model neglects the following basic linear aspects in real transformers:

Core losses collectively called magnetizing current losses consisting of:[13] o Hysteresis losses due to nonlinear application of the voltage applied in the transformer core o Eddy current losses due to joule heating in core proportional to the square of the transformer's applied voltage Whereas the ideal windings have no impedance, the windings in a real transformer have finite non-zero impedances in the form of: [13] o Joule losses due to resistance in the primary and secondary windings o Leakage flux that escapes from the core and passes through one winding only resulting in primary and secondary reactive impedance. The changing magnetic field induces an emf across each winding. [14] The primary emf, acting as it does in opposition to the primary voltage, is sometimes termed the counter emf.[15] This is in accordance with Lenz's law, which states that induction of emf always opposes development of any such change in magnetic field.

Induction law The transformer is based on two principles: first, that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and second that a changing magnetic field within a coil of wire induces a voltage across the ends of the coil (electromagnetic induction). Changing the current in the primary coil changes the magnetic flux that is developed. The changing magnetic flux induces a voltage in the secondary coil. Referring to the basic transformer in the figure below, current passing through the primary coil creates a magnetic field. The primary and secondary coils are wrapped around a core of very high magnetic permeability, such as iron, so that most of the magnetic flux passes through both the primary and secondary coils. If a load is connected to the secondary winding, the load current and voltage will be in the directions indicated, given the primary current and voltage in the directions indicated (each will be AC in practice).

The basic transformer The voltage induced across the secondary coil may be calculated from Faraday's law of induction, which states that:

where Vs is the instantaneous voltage, Ns is the number of turns in the secondary coil and is the magnetic flux through one turn of the coil. If the turns of the coil are oriented perpendicularly to the magnetic field lines, the flux is the product of the magnetic flux density B and the area A through which it cuts. The area is constant, being equal to the cross-sectional area of the

transformer core, whereas the magnetic field varies with time according to the excitation of the primary. Since the same magnetic flux passes through both the primary and secondary coils in a quasi ideal transformer,[6] the instantaneous voltage across the primary winding equals

Taking the ratio of these two equations, gives the basic equation,

. If a load is connected to the secondary winding, current will flow in this winding, and electrical energy will be transferred from the primary circuit through the transformer to the load. Transformers may be used for AC-to-AC conversion frequencies ranging from power to audio or radio frequencies and higher. By appropriate selection of the ratio of turns, a transformer thus enables an AC voltage to be stepped-up by making Ns greater than Np, or stepped-down by making Ns less than Np. Transformer winding coils are usually wound around ferromagnetic cores but can also be aircore wound. Leakage flux Main article: Leakage inductance

Leakage flux of a transformer The ideal transformer model assumes that all flux generated by the primary winding links all the turns of every winding, including itself. In practice, some flux traverses paths that take it outside the windings.[16] Such flux is termed leakage flux, and results in leakage inductance in series with the mutually coupled transformer windings.[15] Leakage flux results in energy being alternately stored in and discharged from the magnetic fields with each cycle of the power supply. It is not

directly a power loss (see Stray losses below), but results in inferior voltage regulation, causing the secondary voltage to not be directly proportional to the primary voltage, particularly under heavy load.[16] Transformers are therefore normally designed to have very low leakage inductance. Nevertheless, it is impossible to eliminate all leakage flux because it plays an essential part in the operation of the transformer. The combined effect of the leakage flux and the electric field around the windings is what transfers energy from the primary to the secondary.[17] In some applications increased leakage is desired, and long magnetic paths, air gaps, or magnetic bypass shunts may deliberately be introduced in a transformer design to limit the short-circuit current it will supply.[15] Leaky transformers may be used to supply loads that exhibit negative resistance, such as electric arcs, mercury vapor lamps, and neon signs or for safely handling loads that become periodically short-circuited such as electric arc welders.[18] Air gaps are also used to keep a transformer from saturating, especially audio-frequency transformers in circuits that have a DC component flowing through the windings.[19] Knowledge of leakage inductance is for example useful when transformers are operated in parallel. It can be shown that if the percent impedance (Z) and associated winding leakage reactance-to-resistance (X/R) ratio of two transformers were hypothetically exactly the same, the transformers would share power in proportion to their respective volt-ampere ratings (e.g. 500 kVA unit in parallel with 1,000 kVA unit, the larger unit would carry twice the current). However, the impedance tolerances of commercial transformers are significant. Also, the Z impedance and X/R ratio of different capacity transformers tends to vary, corresponding 1,000 kVA and 500 kVA units' values being, to illustrate, respectively, Z ~ 5.75%, X/R ~ 3.75 and Z ~ 5%, X/R ~ 4.75.[20][21] Equivalent circuit See also: Steinmetz equivalent circuit Referring to the diagram, a practical transformer's physical behavior may be represented by an equivalent circuit model, which can incorporate an ideal transformer.[22] Winding joule losses and leakage reactances are represented by the following series loop impedances of the model:

Primary winding: RP, XP Secondary winding: RS, XS.

In normal course of circuit equivalence transformation, RS and XS are in practice usually referred to the primary side by multiplying these impedances by the turns ratio squared, (NP/NS) 2 = a2.

Basic transformer equivalent circuit Core loss and reactance is represented by the following shunt leg impedances of the model:

Core or iron losses: RC Magnetizing reactance: XM.

RC and XM are collectively termed the magnetizing branch of the model. Core losses are caused mostly by hysteresis and eddy current effects in the core and are proportional to the square of the core flux for operation at a given frequency.[23] The finite permeability core requires a magnetizing current IM to maintain mutual flux in the core. Magnetizing current is in phase with the flux, the relationship between the two being non-linear due to saturation effects. However, all impedances of the equivalent circuit shown are by definition linear and such non-linearity effects are not typically reflected in transformer equivalent circuits.[23] With sinusoidal supply, core flux lags the induced emf by 90. With opencircuited secondary winding, magnetizing branch current I0 equals transformer no-load current.[22] The resulting model, though sometimes termed 'exact' equivalent circuit based on linearity assumptions, retains a number of approximations.[22] Analysis may be simplified by assuming that magnetizing branch impedance is relatively high and relocating the branch to the left of the primary impedances. This introduces error but allows combination of primary and referred secondary resistances and reactances by simple summation as two series impedances. Transformer equivalent circuit impedance and transformer ratio parameters can be derived from the following tests: Open-circuit test, short-circuit test, winding resistance test, and transformer ratio test.

Basic transformer parameters and construction


Effect of frequency
Transformer universal emf equation

If the flux in the core is purely sinusoidal, the relationship for either winding between its rms voltage Erms of the winding, and the supply frequency f, number of turns N, core cross-sectional area a in m2 and peak magnetic flux density Bpeak in Wb/m2 or T (tesla) is given by the universal emf equation:[13]

If the flux does not contain even harmonics the following equation can be used for half-cycle average voltage Eavg of any waveshape:

The time-derivative term in Faraday's Law shows that the flux in the core is the integral with respect to time of the applied voltage.[24] Hypothetically an ideal transformer would work with direct-current excitation, with the core flux increasing linearly with time.[25] In practice, the flux rises to the point where magnetic saturation of the core occurs, causing a large increase in the magnetizing current and overheating the transformer. All practical transformers must therefore operate with alternating (or pulsed direct) current.[25] The emf of a transformer at a given flux density increases with frequency.[13] By operating at higher frequencies, transformers can be physically more compact because a given core is able to transfer more power without reaching saturation and fewer turns are needed to achieve the same impedance. However, properties such as core loss and conductor skin effect also increase with frequency. Aircraft and military equipment employ 400 Hz power supplies which reduce core and winding weight.[26] Conversely, frequencies used for some railway electrification systems were much lower (e.g. 16.7 Hz and 25 Hz) than normal utility frequencies (50 60 Hz) for historical reasons concerned mainly with the limitations of early electric traction motors. As such, the transformers used to step-down the high over-head line voltages (e.g. 15 kV) were much heavier for the same power rating than those designed only for the higher frequencies.

Power transformer over-excitation condition caused by decreased frequency; flux (green), iron core's magnetic characteristics (red) and magnetizing current (blue).

Operation of a transformer at its designed voltage but at a higher frequency than intended will lead to reduced magnetizing current. At a lower frequency, the magnetizing current will increase. Operation of a transformer at other than its design frequency may require assessment of voltages, losses, and cooling to establish if safe operation is practical. For example, transformers may need to be equipped with 'volts per hertz' over-excitation relays to protect the transformer from overvoltage at higher than rated frequency. One example of state-of-the-art design is traction transformers used for electric multiple unit and high speed train service operating across the,country border and using different electrical standards, such transformers' being restricted to be positioned below the passenger compartment. The power supply to, and converter equipment being supply by, such traction transformers have to accommodate different input frequencies and voltage (ranging from as high as 50 Hz down to 16.7 Hz and rated up to 25 kV) while being suitable for multiple AC asynchronous motor and DC converters & motors with varying harmonics mitigation filtering requirements. Large power transformers are vulnerable to insulation failure due to transient voltages with highfrequency components, such as caused in switching or by lightning.[27]

Energy losses
An ideal transformer would have no energy losses, and would be 100% efficient. In practical transformers, energy is dissipated in the windings, core, and surrounding structures. Larger transformers are generally more efficient, and those rated for electricity distribution usually perform better than 98%.[28] Experimental transformers using superconducting windings achieve efficiencies of 99.85%.[29] The increase in efficiency can save considerable energy, and hence money, in a large heavily loaded transformer; the trade-off is in the additional initial and running cost of the superconducting design. As transformer losses vary with load, it is often useful to express these losses in terms of no-load loss, full-load loss, half-load loss, and so on. Hysteresis and eddy current losses are constant at all loads and dominate overwhelmingly at no-load, variable winding joule losses dominating increasingly as load increases. The no-load loss can be significant, so that even an idle transformer constitutes a drain on the electrical supply and a running cost. Designing transformers for lower loss requires a larger core, good-quality silicon steel, or even amorphous steel for the core and thicker wire, increasing initial cost so that there is a trade-off between initial cost and running cost (also see energy efficient transformer).[30] Transformer losses arise from: Winding joule losses Current flowing through winding conductors causes joule heating. As frequency increases, skin effect and proximity effect causes winding resistance and, hence, losses to increase. Core losses

Hysteresis losses Each time the magnetic field is reversed, a small amount of energy is lost due to hysteresis within the core. According to Steinmetz's formula, the heat energy due to hysteresis is given by , and, hysteresis loss is thus given by where, f is the frequency, is the hysteresis coefficient and max is the maximum flux density, the empirical exponent of which varies from about 1.4 to 1 .8 but is often given as 1.6 for iron.[30][31][32] Eddy current losses Ferromagnetic materials are also good conductors and a core made from such a material also constitutes a single short-circuited turn throughout its entire length. Eddy currents therefore circulate within the core in a plane normal to the flux, and are responsible for resistive heating of the core material. The eddy current loss is a complex function of the square of supply frequency and inverse square of the material thickness.[30] Eddy current losses can be reduced by making the core of a stack of plates electrically insulated from each other, rather than a solid block; all transformers operating at low frequencies use laminated or similar cores. Magnetostriction related transformer hum Magnetic flux in a ferromagnetic material, such as the core, causes it to physically expand and contract slightly with each cycle of the magnetic field, an effect known as magnetostriction, the frictional energy of which produces an audible noise known as mains hum or transformer hum.[3][33] This transformer hum is especially objectionable in transformers supplied at power frequencies[c] and in high-frequency flyback transformers associated with PAL system CRTs. Stray losses Leakage inductance is by itself largely lossless, since energy supplied to its magnetic fields is returned to the supply with the next half-cycle. However, any leakage flux that intercepts nearby conductive materials such as the transformer's support structure will give rise to eddy currents and be converted to heat.[34] There are also radiative losses due to the oscillating magnetic field but these are usually small. Mechanical vibration and audible noise transmission In addition to magnetostriction, the alternating magnetic field causes fluctuating forces between the primary and secondary windings. This energy incites vibration transmission in interconnected metalwork, thus amplifying audible transformer hum.[35]

Core form and shell form transformers

Core form = core type; shell form = shell type Closed-core transformers are constructed in 'core form' or 'shell form'. When windings surround the core, the transformer is core form; when windings are surrounded by the core, the transformer is shell form. Shell form design may be more prevalent than core form design for distribution transformer applications due to the relative ease in stacking the core around winding coils.[36] Core form design tends to, as a general rule, be more economical, and therefore more prevalent, than shell form design for high voltage power transformer applications at the lower end of their voltage and power rating ranges (less than or equal to, nominally, 230 kV or 75 MVA). At higher voltage and power ratings, shell form transformers tend to be more prevalent.[36][37][38][39] Shell form design tends to be preferred for extra high voltage and higher MVA applications because, though more labor intensive to manufacture, shell form transformers are characterized as having inherently better kVA-to-weight ratio, better short-circuit strength characteristics and higher immunity to transit damage.[39]

Construction
Cores
Laminated steel cores

Laminated core transformer showing edge of laminations at top of photo

Power transformer inrush current caused by residual flux at switching instant; flux (green), iron core's magnetic characteristics (red) and magnetizing current (blue). Transformers for use at power or audio frequencies typically have cores made of high permeability silicon steel.[40] The steel has a permeability many times that of free space and the core thus serves to greatly reduce the magnetizing current and confine the flux to a path which closely couples the windings.[41] Early transformer developers soon realized that cores constructed from solid iron resulted in prohibitive eddy current losses, and their designs mitigated this effect with cores consisting of bundles of insulated iron wires.[42] Later designs constructed the core by stacking layers of thin steel laminations, a principle that has remained in use. Each lamination is insulated from its neighbors by a thin non-conducting layer of insulation.[43] The universal transformer equation indicates a minimum cross-sectional area for the core to avoid saturation. The effect of laminations is to confine eddy currents to highly elliptical paths that enclose little flux, and so reduce their magnitude. Thinner laminations reduce losses,[44] but are more laborious and expensive to construct.[45] Thin laminations are generally used on high-frequency transformers, with some of very thin steel laminations able to operate up to 10 kHz.

Laminating the core greatly reduces eddy-current losses

One common design of laminated core is made from interleaved stacks of E-shaped steel sheets capped with I-shaped pieces, leading to its name of 'E-I transformer'.[45] Such a design tends to exhibit more losses, but is very economical to manufacture. The cut-core or C-core type is made by winding a steel strip around a rectangular form and then bonding the layers together. It is then cut in two, forming two C shapes, and the core assembled by binding the two C halves together with a steel strap.[45] They have the advantage that the flux is always oriented parallel to the metal grains, reducing reluctance. A steel core's remanence means that it retains a static magnetic field when power is removed. When power is then reapplied, the residual field will cause a high inrush current until the effect of the remaining magnetism is reduced, usually after a few cycles of the applied AC waveform.[46] Overcurrent protection devices such as fuses must be selected to allow this harmless inrush to pass. On transformers connected to long, overhead power transmission lines, induced currents due to geomagnetic disturbances during solar storms can cause saturation of the core and operation of transformer protection devices.[47] Distribution transformers can achieve low no-load losses by using cores made with low-loss high-permeability silicon steel or amorphous (non-crystalline) metal alloy. The higher initial cost of the core material is offset over the life of the transformer by its lower losses at light load.[48] Solid cores Powdered iron cores are used in circuits such as switch-mode power supplies that operate above mains frequencies and up to a few tens of kilohertz. These materials combine high magnetic permeability with high bulk electrical resistivity. For frequencies extending beyond the VHF band, cores made from non-conductive magnetic ceramic materials called ferrites are common.[45] Some radio-frequency transformers also have movable cores (sometimes called 'slugs') which allow adjustment of the coupling coefficient (and bandwidth) of tuned radiofrequency circuits. Toroidal cores

Small toroidal core transformer

Toroidal transformers are built around a ring-shaped core, which, depending on operating frequency, is made from a long strip of silicon steel or permalloy wound into a coil, powdered iron, or ferrite.[49] A strip construction ensures that the grain boundaries are optimally aligned, improving the transformer's efficiency by reducing the core's reluctance. The closed ring shape eliminates air gaps inherent in the construction of an E-I core.[18] The cross-section of the ring is usually square or rectangular, but more expensive cores with circular cross-sections are also available. The primary and secondary coils are often wound concentrically to cover the entire surface of the core. This minimizes the length of wire needed, and also provides screening to minimize the core's magnetic field from generating electromagnetic interference. Toroidal transformers are more efficient than the cheaper laminated E-I types for a similar power level. Other advantages compared to E-I types, include smaller size (about half), lower weight (about half), less mechanical hum (making them superior in audio amplifiers), lower exterior magnetic field (about one tenth), low off-load losses (making them more efficient in standby circuits), single-bolt mounting, and greater choice of shapes. The main disadvantages are higher cost and limited power capacity (see Classification parameters below). Because of the lack of a residual gap in the magnetic path, toroidal transformers also tend to exhibit higher inrush current, compared to laminated E-I types. Ferrite toroidal cores are used at higher frequencies, typically between a few tens of kilohertz to hundreds of megahertz, to reduce losses, physical size, and weight of inductive components. A drawback of toroidal transformer construction is the higher labor cost of winding. This is because it is necessary to pass the entire length of a coil winding through the core aperture each time a single turn is added to the coil. As a consequence, toroidal transformers rated more than a few kVA are uncommon. Small distribution transformers may achieve some of the benefits of a toroidal core by splitting it and forcing it open, then inserting a bobbin containing primary and secondary windings. Air cores A physical core is not an absolute requisite and a functioning transformer can be produced simply by placing the windings near each other, an arrangement termed an 'air-core' transformer. The air which comprises the magnetic circuit is essentially lossless, and so an air-core transformer eliminates loss due to hysteresis in the core material.[15] The leakage inductance is inevitably high, resulting in very poor regulation, and so such designs are unsuitable for use in power distribution.[15] They have however very high bandwidth, and are frequently employed in radio-frequency applications,[50] for which a satisfactory coupling coefficient is maintained by carefully overlapping the primary and secondary windings. They're also used for resonant transformers such as Tesla coils where they can achieve reasonably low loss in spite of the high leakage inductance.

Windings

Windings are usually arranged concentrically to minimize flux leakage. Main article: Windings The conducting material used for the windings depends upon the application, but in all cases the individual turns must be electrically insulated from each other to ensure that the current travels throughout every turn.[51] For small power and signal transformers, in which currents are low and the potential difference between adjacent turns is small, the coils are often wound from enamelled magnet wire, such as Formvar wire. Larger power transformers operating at high voltages may be wound with copper rectangular strip conductors insulated by oil-impregnated paper and blocks of pressboard.[52]

Cut view through transformer windings. White: insulator. Green spiral: Grain oriented silicon steel. Black: Primary winding made of oxygen-free copper. Red: Secondary winding. Top left: Toroidal transformer. Right: C-core, but E-core would be similar. The black windings are made of film. Top: Equally low capacitance between all ends of both windings. Since most cores are at least moderately conductive they also need insulation. Bottom: Lowest capacitance for one end of the secondary winding needed for low-power high-voltage transformers. Bottom left: Reduction of leakage inductance would lead to increase of capacitance.

High-frequency transformers operating in the tens to hundreds of kilohertz often have windings made of braided Litz wire to minimize the skin-effect and proximity effect losses.[24] Large power transformers use multiple-stranded conductors as well, since even at low power frequencies non-uniform distribution of current would otherwise exist in high-current windings.[52] Each strand is individually insulated, and the strands are arranged so that at certain points in the winding, or throughout the whole winding, each portion occupies different relative positions in the complete conductor. The transposition equalizes the current flowing in each strand of the conductor, and reduces eddy current losses in the winding itself. The stranded conductor is also more flexible than a solid conductor of similar size, aiding manufacture.[52] The windings of signal transformers minimize leakage inductance and stray capacitance to improve high-frequency response. Coils are split into sections, and those sections interleaved between the sections of the other winding. Power-frequency transformers may have taps at intermediate points on the winding, usually on the higher voltage winding side, for voltage adjustment. Taps may be manually reconnected, or a manual or automatic switch may be provided for changing taps. Automatic on-load tap changers are used in electric power transmission or distribution, on equipment such as arc furnace transformers, or for automatic voltage regulators for sensitive loads. Audio-frequency transformers, used for the distribution of audio to public address loudspeakers, have taps to allow adjustment of impedance to each speaker. A center-tapped transformer is often used in the output stage of an audio power amplifier in a push-pull circuit. Modulation transformers in AM transmitters are very similar. Dry-type transformer winding insulation systems can be either of standard open-wound 'dip-andbake' construction or of higher quality designs that include vacuum pressure impregnation (VPI), vacuum pressure encapsulation (VPE), and cast coil encapsulation processes.[53] In the VPI process, a combination of heat, vacuum and pressure is used to thoroughly seal, bind, and eliminate entrained air voids in the winding polyester resin insulation coat layer, thus increasing resistance to corona. VPE windings are similar to VPI windings but provide more protection against environmental effects, such as from water, dirt or corrosive ambients, by multiple dips including typically in terms of final epoxy coat.[54]

Cooling

Cutaway view of liquid-immersed construction transformer. The conservator (reservoir) at top provides liquid-to-atmosphere isolation as coolant level and temperature changes. The walls and fins provide required heat dissipation balance. See also: Arrhenius equation To place the cooling problem in perspective, the accepted rule of thumb is that the life expectancy of insulation in all electric machines including all transformers is halved for about every 7C to 10C increase in operating temperature, this life expectancy halving rule holding more narrowly when the increase is between about 7C to 8C in the case of transformer winding cellulose insulation.[55][56][57] Small dry-type and liquid-immersed transformers are often self-cooled by natural convection and radiation heat dissipation. As power ratings increase, transformers are often cooled by forced-air cooling, forced-oil cooling, water-cooling, or combinations of these.[58] Large transformers are filled with transformer oil that both cools and insulates the windings.[59] Transformer oil is a highly refined mineral oil that cools the windings and insulation by circulating within the transformer tank. The mineral oil and paper insulation system has been extensively studied and used for more than 100 years. It is estimated that 50% of power transformers will survive 50 years of use, that the average age of failure of power transformers is about 10 to 15 years, and that about 30% of power transformer failures are due to insulation and overloading failures.[60][61] Prolonged operation at elevated temperature degrades insulating properties of winding insulation and dielectric coolant, which not only shortens transformer life but can ultimately lead to catastrophic transformer failure.[55] With a great body of empirical study as a guide, transformer oil testing including dissolved gas analysis provides valuable maintenance information. This can translate in a need to monitor, model, forecast and manage oil and winding conductor insulation temperature conditions under varying, possibly difficult, power loading conditions.[62][63] Building regulations in many jurisdictions require indoor liquid-filled transformers to either use dielectric fluids that are less flammable than oil, or be installed in fire-resistant rooms.[64] Air-

cooled dry transformers can be more economical where they eliminate the cost of a fire-resistant transformer room. The tank of liquid filled transformers often has radiators through which the liquid coolant circulates by natural convection or fins. Some large transformers employ electric fans for forcedair cooling, pumps for forced-liquid cooling, or have heat exchangers for water-cooling.[59] An oil-immersed transformer may be equipped with a Buchholz relay, which, depending on severity of gas accumulation due to internal arcing, is used to either alarm or de-energize the transformer.[46] Oil-immersed transformer installations usually include fire protection measures such as walls, oil containment, and fire-suppression sprinkler systems. Polychlorinated biphenyls have properties that once favored their use as a dielectric coolant, though concerns over their environmental persistence led to a widespread ban on their use.[65] Today, non-toxic, stable silicone-based oils, or fluorinated hydrocarbons may be used where the expense of a fire-resistant liquid offsets additional building cost for a transformer vault.[64][66] PCBs for new equipment was banned in 1981 and in 2000 for use in existing equipment in United Kingdom[67] Legislation enacted in Canada between 1977 and 1985 essentially bans PCB use in transformers manufactured in or imported into the country after 1980, the maximum allowable level of PCB contamination in existing mineral oil transformers being 50 ppm.[68] Some transformers, instead of being liquid-filled, have their windings enclosed in sealed, pressurized tanks and cooled by nitrogen or sulfur hexafluoride gas.[66] Experimental power transformers in the 500-to-1,000 kVA range have been built with liquid nitrogen or helium cooled superconducting windings, which, compared to usual transformer losses, eliminates winding losses without affecting core losses.[69][70]

Insulation drying
Construction of oil-filled transformers requires that the insulation covering the windings be thoroughly dried of residual moisture before the oil is introduced. Drying is carried out at the factory, and may also be required as a field service. Drying may be done by circulating hot air around the core, or by vapor-phase drying (VPD) where an evaporated solvent transfers heat by condensation on the coil and core. For small transformers, resistance heating by injection of current into the windings is used. The heating can be controlled very well, and it is energy efficient. The method is called lowfrequency heating (LFH) since the current is injected at a much lower frequency than the nominal of the power grid, which is normally 50 or 60 Hz. A lower frequency reduces the effect of the inductance in the transformer, so the voltage needed to induce the current can be reduced.[71] The LFH drying method is also used for service of older transformers.[72]

Bushings

Larger transformers are provided with high-voltage insulated bushings made of polymers or porcelain. A large bushing can be a complex structure since it must provide careful control of the electric field gradient without letting the transformer leak oil.[73]

Classification parameters
Transformers can be classified in many ways, such as the following:

Power capacity: From a fraction of a volt-ampere (VA) to over a thousand MVA. Duty of a transformer: Continuous, short-time, intermittent, periodic, varying. Frequency range: Power-frequency, audio-frequency, or radio-frequency. Voltage class: From a few volts to hundreds of kilovolts. Cooling type: Dry and liquid-immersed - self-cooled, forced air-cooled; liquid-immersed - forced oil-cooled, water-cooled. Circuit application: Such as power supply, impedance matching, output voltage and current stabilizer or circuit isolation. Utilization: Pulse, power, distribution, rectifier, arc furnace, amplifier output, etc.. Basic magnetic form: Core form, shell form. Constant-potential transformer descriptor: Step-up, step-down, isolation. General winding configuration: By EIC vector group - various possible two-winding combinations of the phase designations delta, wye or star, and zigzag or interconnected star;[d] other - autotransformer, Scott-T, zigzag grounding transformer winding.[74][75][76][77] Rectifier phase-shift winding configuration: 2-winding, 6-pulse; 3-winding, 12-pulse; . . . n-winding, [n-1]*6-pulse; polygon; etc..

Types
For more details, see Transformer types or specific main articles, as shown. A wide variety of transformer designs are used for different applications, though they share several common features. Important common transformer types include:

Autotransformer: Transformer in which part of the winding is common to both primary and secondary circuits.[78] Capacitor voltage transformer: Transformer in which capacitor divider is used to reduce high voltage before application to the primary winding. Distribution transformer, power transformer: International standards make a distinction in terms of distribution transformers being used to distribute energy from transmission lines and networks for local consumption and power transformers being used to transfer electric energy between the generator and distribution primary circuits.[78][79][e] Phase angle regulating transformer: A specialised transformer used to control the flow of real power on three-phase electricity transmission networks. Scott-T transformer: Transformer used for phase transformation from three-phase to twophase and vice versa.[78]

Polyphase transformer: Any transformer with more than one phase. Grounding transformer: Transformer used for grounding three-phase circuits to create a neutral in a three wire system, using a wye-delta transformer,[75][80] or more commonly, a zigzag grounding winding.[75][77][78] Leakage transformer: Transformer that has loosely coupled windings. Resonant transformer: Transformer that uses resonance to generate a high secondary voltage. Audio transformer: Transformer used in audio equipment. Output transformer: Transformer used to match the output of a valve amplifier to its load. Instrument transformer: Potential or current transformer used to accurately and safely represent voltage, current or phase position of high voltage or high power circuits.[78]

Applications

An electrical substation in Melbourne, Australia showing 3 of 5 220kV/66kV transformers, each with a capacity of 150 MVA.[81]

Transformer at the Limestone Generating Station in Manitoba, Canada Transformers are used to increase voltage before transmitting electrical energy over long distances through wires. Wires have resistance which loses energy through joule heating at a rate corresponding to square of the current. By transforming power to a higher voltage transformers

enable economical transmission of power and distribution. Consequently, transformers have shaped the electricity supply industry, permitting generation to be located remotely from points of demand.[82] All but a tiny fraction of the world's electrical power has passed through a series of transformers by the time it reaches the consumer.[34] Transformers are also used extensively in electronic products to step-down the supply voltage to a level suitable for the low voltage circuits they contain. The transformer also electrically isolates the end user from contact with the supply voltage. Signal and audio transformers are used to couple stages of amplifiers and to match devices such as microphones and record players to the input of amplifiers. Audio transformers allowed telephone circuits to carry on a two-way conversation over a single pair of wires. A balun transformer converts a signal that is referenced to ground to a signal that has balanced voltages to ground, such as between external cables and internal circuits. The principle of open-circuit (unloaded) transformer is widely used for characterization of soft magnetic materials, for example in the internationally standardised Epstein frame method.[83]

History
Discovery

Faraday's experiment with induction between coils of wire[84] The principle behind the operation of a transformer, electromagnetic induction, was discovered independently by Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry in 1831. However, Faraday was the first to publish the results of his experiments and thus receive credit for the discovery.[85] The relationship between emf and magnetic flux is an equation now known as Faraday's law of induction:

where is the magnitude of the emf in volts and B is the magnetic flux through the circuit in [86] webers. Faraday performed the first experiments on induction between coils of wire, including winding a pair of coils around an iron ring, thus creating the first toroidal closed-core transformer.[87] However he only applied individual pulses of current to his transformer, and never discovered the relation between the turns ratio and emf in the windings.

Induction coils

Faraday's ring transformer The first type of transformer to see wide use was the induction coil, invented by Rev. Nicholas Callan of Maynooth College, Ireland in 1836. He was one of the first researchers to realize the more turns the secondary winding has in relation to the primary winding, the larger the induced secondary emf will be. Induction coils evolved from scientists' and inventors' efforts to get higher voltages from batteries. Since batteries produce direct current (DC) rather than AC, induction coils relied upon vibrating electrical contacts that regularly interrupted the current in the primary to create the flux changes necessary for induction. Between the 1830s and the 1870s, efforts to build better induction coils, mostly by trial and error, slowly revealed the basic principles of transformers.

Early devices for use with alternating current


By the 1870s, efficient generators producing alternating current (AC) were available, and it was found AC could power an induction coil directly, without an interrupter. In 1876, Russian engineer Pavel Yablochkov invented a lighting system based on a set of induction coils where the primary windings were connected to a source of AC. The secondary windings could be connected to several 'electric candles' (arc lamps) of his own design.[88] [89] The coils Yablochkov employed functioned essentially as transformers.[88]

In 1878, the Ganz factory, Budapest, Hungary, began manufacturing equipment for electric lighting and, by 1883, had installed over fifty systems in Austria-Hungary. Their AC systems used arc and incandescent lamps, generators, and other equipment.[90] Lucien Gaulard and John Dixon Gibbs first exhibited a device with an open iron core called a 'secondary generator' in London in 1882, then sold the idea to the Westinghouse company in the United States.[42] They also exhibited the invention in Turin, Italy in 1884, where it was adopted for an electric lighting system.[91] However, the efficiency of their open-core bipolar apparatus remained very low.[91]

Early series circuit transformer distribution


Induction coils with open magnetic circuits are inefficient at transferring power to loads. Until about 1880, the paradigm for AC power transmission from a high voltage supply to a low voltage load was a series circuit. Open-core transformers with a ratio near 1:1 were connected with their primaries in series to allow use of a high voltage for transmission while presenting a low voltage to the lamps. The inherent flaw in this method was that turning off a single lamp (or other electric device) affected the voltage supplied to all others on the same circuit. Many adjustable transformer designs were introduced to compensate for this problematic characteristic of the series circuit, including those employing methods of adjusting the core or bypassing the magnetic flux around part of a coil.[91] Efficient, practical transformer designs did not appear until the 1880s, but within a decade, the transformer would be instrumental in the War of Currents, and in seeing AC distribution systems triumph over their DC counterparts, a position in which they have remained dominant ever since.[92]

Shell form transformer. Sketch used by Uppenborn to describe ZBD engineers' 1885 patents and earliest articles.[91]

Core form, front; shell form, back. Earliest specimens of ZBD-designed high-efficiency constant-potential transformers manufactured at the Ganz factory in 1885.

The ZBD team consisted of Kroly Zipernowsky, Ott Blthy and Miksa Dri

Stanley's 1886 design for adjustable gap open-core induction coils[93]

Closed-core transformers and parallel power distribution


In the autumn of 1884, Kroly Zipernowsky, Ott Blthy and Miksa Dri (ZBD), three engineers associated with the Ganz factory, had determined that open-core devices were impracticable, as they were incapable of reliably regulating voltage.[94] In their joint 1885 patent applications for novel transformers (later called ZBD transformers), they described two designs with closed magnetic circuits where copper windings were either a) wound around iron wire ring core or b) surrounded by iron wire core.[91] The two designs were the first application of the two basic transformer constructions in common use to this day, which can as a class all be termed as either core form or shell form (or alternatively, core type or shell type), as in a) or b), respectively (see images).[36][95][96][37] The Ganz factory had also in the autumn of 1884 made delivery of the

world's first five high-efficiency AC transformers, the first of these units having been shipped on September 16, 1884.[97] This first unit had been manufactured to the following specifications: 1,400 W, 40 Hz, 120:72 V, 11.6:19.4 A, ratio 1.67:1, one-phase, shell form.[97] In both designs, the magnetic flux linking the primary and secondary windings traveled almost entirely within the confines of the iron core, with no intentional path through air (see Toroidal cores below). The new transformers were 3.4 times more efficient than the open-core bipolar devices of Gaulard and Gibbs.[98] The ZBD patents included two other major interrelated innovations: one concerning the use of parallel connected, instead of series connected, utilization loads, the other concerning the ability to have high turns ratio transformers such that the supply network voltage could be much higher (initially 1,400 to 2,000 V) than the voltage of utilization loads (100 V initially preferred).[99][100] When employed in parallel connected electric distribution systems, closed-core transformers finally made it technically and economically feasible to provide electric power for lighting in homes, businesses and public spaces.[101][102] Blthy had suggested the use of closed cores, Zipernowsky had suggested the use of parallel shunt connections, and Dri had performed the experiments;[103] Transformers today are designed on the principles discovered by the three engineers. They also popularized the word 'transformer' to describe a device for altering the emf of an electric current,[101][104] although the term had already been in use by 1882.[105][106] In 1886, the ZBD engineers designed, and the Ganz factory supplied electrical equipment for, the world's first power station that used AC generators to power a parallel connected common electrical network, the steam-powered Rome-Cerchi power plant.[107] Although George Westinghouse had bought Gaulard and Gibbs' patents in 1885, the Edison Electric Light Company held an option on the US rights for the ZBD transformers, requiring Westinghouse to pursue alternative designs on the same principles. He assigned to William Stanley the task of developing a device for commercial use in United States.[108] Stanley's first patented design was for induction coils with single cores of soft iron and adjustable gaps to regulate the emf present in the secondary winding (see image).[93] This design[109] was first used commercially in the US in 1886[92] but Westinghouse was intent on improving the Stanley design to make it (unlike the ZBD type) easy and cheap to produce.[109] Westinghouse, Stanley and associates soon developed an easier to manufacture core, consisting of a stack of thin 'E-shaped' iron plates,insulated by thin sheets of paper or other insulating material. Prewound copper coils could then be slid into place, and straight iron plates laid in to create a closed magnetic circuit. Westinghouse applied for a patent for the new low-cost design in December 1886; it was granted in July 1887.[103][110]