Pin Diode Construction And Working Pdf

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PIN Diode Basics, Working and Applications

One type that is used for a variety of circuits is the PIN diode. This form of diode is used in a number of areas. The PIN diode found its first applications in as a low frequency high power rectifier. It was also used in a number of microwave applications, although it took until around before its use became more popular in this application. A further use of the PIN diode is as a photo-detector photodetector or photo-diode where its structure is particularly suited to absorbing light.

It is a 3-layer device in which an intrinsic layer i. Thus, making it a PIN diode. The presence of intrinsic region exhibits high resistance property. Due to this, the magnitude of the electric field also becomes large. This resultantly increases the electron and hole pair generation in the region. Hence, it allows the operation of the weak input signal.

After the PN-junction diode was developed in the year s, the diode was first exercised as a high-power rectifier, low-frequency during the year The occurrence of an intrinsic layer can significantly increase the breakdown voltage for the application of high-voltage. This intrinsic layer also offers exciting properties when the device operates at high frequencies in the range of radio wave and microwave. A PIN diode is a one kind of diode with an undoped, wide intrinsic semiconductor region between a P-type and N-type semiconductor region. These regions are normally heavily doped as they are used for Ohmic contacts. The wider intrinsic region is indifference to an ordinary p—n diode. This region makes the diode an inferior rectifier but it makes it appropriate for fast switches,attenuators, photo detectors and high voltage power electronics applications.

PIN Diode Working Principle

A PIN diode is a diode with a wide, undoped intrinsic semiconductor region between a p-type semiconductor and an n-type semiconductor region. The p-type and n-type regions are typically heavily doped because they are used for ohmic contacts. The wide intrinsic region is in contrast to an ordinary p—n diode. The wide intrinsic region makes the PIN diode an inferior rectifier one typical function of a diode , but it makes it suitable for attenuators, fast switches, photodetectors, and high-voltage power electronics applications. A PIN diode operates under what is known as high-level injection. In other words, the intrinsic "i" region is flooded with charge carriers from the "p" and "n" regions. Its function can be likened to filling up a water bucket with a hole on the side.

In general, all the electronic devices need DC power supply but it is impossible to generate DC power so, we need an alternative to get some DC power thus the usage of diodes comes into the picture to convert AC power to DC power. A diode is a tiny electronic component used in almost all the electronic circuits to enable the flow of current in only one direction unidirectional device. We can say that the usage of semiconductor materials to build the electronic components was started with diodes. Before the invention of diode there were with vacuum tubes, where the applications of both these devices are similar but the size occupied by the vacuum tube will be much greater than the diodes. The construction of vacuum tubes is a bit complex and they are difficult to maintain when compared with the semiconductor diodes. Few applications of diodes are rectification, amplification, electronic switch, conversion of electrical energy into light energy and light energy into electrical energy.

Click here to go to our main diode page. Click here to go to our page on PIN diode switches. Click here to go to our page on reflection phase shifters. Click here to go to our page on reflection attenuators. PIN diodes are the workhorse of the solid-state microwave switch industry! PIN diodes can be made both on GaAs or silicon.


A PIN diode is an advancement of normal PN junction diode. It is a 3-layer device in which an intrinsic layer i.e., undoped semiconductor is sandwiched between.


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When forward-biased, it acts like a current-controlled variable resistance. This is shown in Figure b and c. The PIN diode operates in exactly the same way as a normal diode.

Photodiode Theory of Operation

The differences in the operation of the different types of photodiode enables their individual characteristics to be utilised in different ways, and in this way their advantages can be maximised and the best circuit operation gained. To achieve this it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the actual way in which they work. Light energy can be considered in terms of photons or packets of light. When a photon of sufficient energy enters the depletion region of a semiconductor diode, it may strike an atom with sufficient energy to release the electron from the atomic structure. This creates a free electron and a hole i. The electron is negatively charged, while the hole is positively charged. The electrons and holes may remain free, or other electrons may combine with holes to form complete atoms again in the crystal lattice.

Definition: The diode in which the intrinsic layer of high resistivity is sandwiched between the P and N-region of semiconductor material such type of diode is known as the PIN diode. The high resistive layer of the intrinsic region provides the large electric field between the P and N-region. The electric field induces because of the movement of the holes and the electrons. The direction of the electric field is from n-region to p-region. The high electric field generates the large electron holes pairs due to which the diode process even for the small signals.

Working of PIN Diode

Definition: PIN diode is formed by sandwiching intrinsic layer high resistivity about 0. Due to this large magnitude of the electric field, the electron-hole pair generation will augment up to a large extent and this, in turn, can process even a weak input signal. The width of these depletion layers is large due to which capacitance will decrease because capacitance decreases with the separation between electrodes. Here P-type and N-type region are acting as anode and cathode respectively. The symbolic representation of the PIN diode is shown below:.

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