Drift and Diffusion currents

The flow of charge (or) current through a semi conductor material is of two types. Similarly the net current that flows through a PN diode is also of two types (i) Drift current and  (ii) Diffusion current.

Drift current:-

When an Electric field is applied across the semi conductor, the charge carriers attains certain velocity known as drift velocity v_{d}= \mu E with this velocity electrons move towards positive terminal and holes move towards negative terminal of the battery. This movement of charge carriers constitutes a current known as ‘Drift current’.

Drift current is defined as the flow of electric current due to the motion of the charge carriers under the influence of an external field.

Drift current density due to free electrons J_{n} = qn\mu _{n}E atoms/Cm2  and the Drift current density due to free holes J_{p} = qp\mu _{p}E atoms/Cm2.

The current densities are perpendicular to the direction of current flow.


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Author: Lakshmi Prasanna

Completed M.Tech in Digital Electronics and Communication Systems and currently working as a faculty.