If am external d.c. voltage is connected in such a way that the p-region
terminal is connected to the positive of the d.c. voltage and the
n-region is connected to the negative of the d.c. voltage, the biasing
condition is called forward biasing. The p-n junction is said to be
forward biased.

The Fig. 1(a) shows the connection of forward biasing of a p-n
junction. To limit the current, practically a current limiting resistor
is connected in series with the p-n junction diode. The Fig. 1(b) shows
the symbolic representation of a froward biased diode.

__1.1 Operation of Forward Biased Diode__

When the p-n junction is forward biased as long as the applied voltage
is less than the barrier potential, there can not be any conduction.

When the applied voltage becomes more than the barrier potential, the
negative terminal of battery pushes the free electrons against barrier
potential from n to p-region. Similarly positive terminal pushes the
holes from p to n-region. Thus holes get repelled by positive terminal
and cross the junction against barrier potential. Thus the applied
voltage overcomes the barrier potential. This reduces the width of
depletion region.

As forward voltage is increased, at a particular value the depletion
region becomes very much narrow such that large number of majority
charge carriers can cross the junction.

The large number of majority carriers constitute a current called
forward current. Once the conduction electrons enter the p-region, they
become valence electrons. Then they move from hole to hole towards the
positive terminal of the battery. The movement of valence electrons is
nothing but movement of holes in opposite direction to that of
electrons, in the p-region. So current in the p-region is the movement
of holes which are majority carriers. This is the hole current. While
the current inn the n-region is the movement of free electrons which are
majority carriers. This is the electron current. Hence the overall
forward current is due to the majority charge carriers. The action is
shown in the Fig. 2. These majority carriers can then travel around the
closed circuit and a relatively large current flows. The direction of
flow of electrons is from negative to positive of the battery. While
direction of the conventional current is from positive to negative of
the battery as shown in the Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 Forward current in a diode |

**Note**: The direction of low of electrons and conventional current is opposite to each other.

__1.2 Effect on the Depletion Region__

Due to the forward bias voltage, more electrons flow into the depletion
region, which reduces the number of positive ions. Similarly flow of
holes reduces the number of negative ions. This reduces the width of the
depletion region. This is shown in the Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 |

__1.3 Effect of the Barrier Potential__

Under the influence of applied forward bias voltage, the free electrons
get the energy equivalent to the barrier potential so that they can
easily overcome the barrier, which is a sort of a hill and cross the
junction. While crossing the junction, the electrons give up the amount
of energy equivalent to the barrier potential. This loss of energy
produces a voltage drop across the p-n junction which is almost equal to
the barrier potential.

**Note**: The polarities of voltage drop across the p-n junction in forward biased condition are opposite to that of barrier potential but the value is almost equal to the barrier potential.

Thus the total voltage drop across a p-n junction diode in a forward biased condition is and it is made up of

1. Drop due to barrier potential2. Drop due to internal resistance.

V

_{f }= V

_{γ }+ I

_{f }r

_{f }

_{ }

**Note**: The total V

_{f }is of the order of 0.7 V for silicon and 0.3 V for the germanium.

__1.4 Forward V-I Characteristics of Diode__

The response of p-n junction can be easily indicated with the help of
characteristics called V-I characteristics of p-n junction. It is the
graph of voltage applied across the p-n junction and the current flowing
through the p-n junction.

The Fig. 3 shows the forward biased diode. The applied voltage is V while the voltage across the diode is V

The forward characteristics of a diode is shown in the Fig. 4._{f}. The current flowing in the circuit is the forward current I_{f}. The graph of forward current against the forward voltage V_{f }across the diode is called forward characteristics of a diode.Fig. 4 Forward characteristics of a diode |

Basically forward characteristics can be divided into two regions :

1. Region O to P : As long as is less than cut-in voltage (V

_{γ}), the current flowing is very small. Practically this current is assumed to be zero.
2. Region P to Q and onwards : As V

The point P, after which the forward current starts increasing exponentially is called knee of the curve._{f}increases towards V_{γ }the width of depletion region goes on reducing. When V_{f}exceeds V_{γ }i.e. cut-in voltage, the depletion region becomes very thin and current I_{f }increases suddenly. This increase in the current exponential as shown in the Fig. 4 by the region P to Q.**Note**: The normal forward biased operation of the diode is above the knee point of the curve. i.e. in the region P-Q.

The forward current is the conventional current, hence it is treated as positive and the forward voltage V

_{f}is also treated positive. Hence the forward characteristics is plotted in the first quadrant.__1.5 Forward Resistance of Diode__

The resistance offered by the p-n junction diode in forward biased
condition is called forward resistance. The forward resistance is
defined in two ways :

**1) Static forward resistance :**

This is the forward resistance of p-n junction diode when p-n junction
is used in d.c. circuit and the applied forward voltage is d.c. This
resistance is denoted as R

_{f }and is calculated at a particular point on the forward characteristics.
Thus at a point E shown in the forward characteristics, the static resistance R

_{f }is defined as the ratio of the d.c. voltage applied across the p-n junction to the d.c. current flowing through the p-n junction.
R

_{f }= Forward d.c. voltage/Forward d.c. current = OA/OC at point E**2) Dynamic forward resistance :**

The resistance offered by the p-n junction under a.c. condition is called dynamic resistance denoted as r

_{f}.

**Note**: The dynamic resistance is reciprocal of the slope of the forward characteristics.

Consider the change in applied voltage from point A to B shown in the Fig. 4. This is denoted as ΔV

_{f}. The corresponding change in the forward current is from point C to D. It is denoted as ΔI_{f}. Thus the slope of the characteristics is ΔI_{f}/ΔV_{f}. The reciprocal of the slope is dynamic resistance r_{f}.
r

_{f }= ΔV_{f}/ΔI_{f }=1/(ΔI_{f}/ΔV_{f}) = 1/Slope of forward characteristics**Note**: Generally the value of r

_{f }is very small of the order of few ohms, in the operating region i.e. above the knee.

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