When certain metals are exposed to the correct frequency of electromagnetic radiation, electrons are ejected from the surface. The interaction between light and electrons is called the photoelectric effect.
The work function is the minimum energy required to remove an electron from a metal (or solid).
The minimum frequency required to eject an electron from a surface.
A quantum of visible light or other form of electromagnetic radiation demonstrating both particle and wave properties.
Electrons - ground state
The lowest energy level of an electron.
Electrons - excited state
An electron which moves from its usual energy level to a higher energy level
Electrons - ionisation level
The energy level furthest from the ground level. Electrons at the ionisation level are so far from the nuclear that they are beyond its influence. They are ionised (freed).
Line emission spectra
As the energy levels have different values, each of the possible electron transitions within an atom will produce a photon with a different energy. This means that each electron transition will produce a photon of different frequency and hence a different colour.
The brightness of a spectral line is determined by the number of electrons making the particular energy change.
Line absorption spectra
· Sodium flames absorbs photons to fill energy gaps.
· Emits photons in all directions.
· Black lines appear where the colours of these particular energies would have been.
Electrons can often be raised from their ground state to an excited state; when they return to their ground state they emit photons of a particular frequency in the process.
If an electron is in an excited state and the energy of the stimulating photon matches the energy gap (E2 - E1), then the electron will jump down and emit an identical photon.
Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation
The deliberate addition of impurities into a semiconductor decreases its resistance.
The pure semiconductor with four electrons in its outer shell is doped with an impurity with five electrons in its outer shell. Four of the electrons in the outer shell of the impurity are ‘used up’ in bonding with the surrounding atoms, but the fifth electron is a free charge carrier. N-type material: the majority of the free charge carriers are negative
The pure semiconductor with four electrons in its outer shell is doped with an impurity with three electrons in its outer shell. The three electrons of the impurity are ‘used up’ in bonding with the surrounding atoms and there is a ‘hole’ where the ‘missing’ electron should be. P-type material: the majority of the free charge carriers are positive
Forward biased p-n junction
Negative terminal --> n-type
Positive terminal --> p-type
electrons --> to positive terminal = charge carriers enough
holes --> to negative terminal energy to overcome voltage barrier
Reverse biased p-n junction
Negative terminal --> p-type
Positive terminal -->n-type
electrons→ to positive terminal
holes→ to negative terminal = depletion layer widens
When light strikes the p-n junction, each photon of light creates electron/hole pairs.
Photodiode - photovoltaic mode
When light shines on the photodiode, a voltage is produced. In photovoltaic mode it can supply power to a load.
Photodiode - photoconductive mode
No light: it acts like a normal reverse biased diode, blocking all current.
Light: electron/hole pairs are created and a current is able to flow in the reverse direction – a LEAKAGE CURRENT!
In forward biased p-n junction diodes, electrons and holes going in opposite directions ‘recombine’. Each electron/hole pair which recombines produces energy. Usually this is heat energy, but in an LED the energy is emitted as photons of light.
One electron filling one hole = one photon of energy (E=hf)
MOSFET - how it works
· +V supplied to the gate = electrons within the substrate are attracted to the region below the gate (because it is formed by electrons it is an n-channel)
· V applied between the source and drain (+ drain, - source) – a current flows through the channel from the source to the drain
VGS > 2V the MOSFET is switched on. A current now flows from the source to the drain.
There are two ways to increase the drain current:
Increase VGS (beyond the threshold)
n-channel enhancement mode
Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor