Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are pn junctions composed of GaAs
or GaP. Depending on the desired wavelength of light, the
substrates are doped with various elements. When the pn junctions
are connected to a current source in the forward direction,
electrons and holes flood the barrier layer and recombine there.
When they do, the expended energy is released in the form of
visible or infra-red light.
In the reverse direction, LEDs behave the same as normal diodes.
However, the maximum reverse voltage is quite small. For some LED
types, it is even less than 10 V.
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What are the characteristics of light-emitting diodes and what
are they used for?
- Investigate the relationship between current and voltage for a
light-emitting diode in forward and reverse direction as well as
the electrical power received by the diode.
- Test the suitability of light-emitting diodes for determining
the type of current and the polarity of the current source.