Tunnel Diodes

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Hi

I am writing this post to ask you about tunnel diodes. I am doing my Phd and want to use them to my new project but as far as I managed to search the internet they are hard to find.

What I want to obtain is the curve of tunnel diode as you can see in the first picture. It can also be a parabolic (sine) curve as you can see in the second picture, but then there is a need of substitution of tunne diode.

How to substitute tunnel diode by using simple electronic devices such as : transistors, diodes ?

I have read in one article:

Quote:
Now, says Tek's John Rettig, "we have better technology to get flatter steps for roughly the same speed. We use a switch made of two Schottky diodes back to back. You drive current into a base line, then, as quickly as you can, you switch currents out of a front diode and into a back diode. And since you cut off to zero volts all the time, there is no thermal associated with the switch." The tunnel diode generated heat, Rettig points out.

What does it mean how the circuit will look like ??

Do you know maybe there are some sources from where I could obtain tunnel diodes ?

Maybe you have some and you no longer need them?

I would be really grateful if you could help me with this.

Thanks in advance

Adam

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I remember playing with them 40 years ago. I don't think anyone still uses them.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

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I know of exactly one product that used them. In the late '60s Heathkit had a solid state version of the classic grid dip meter that they called the "Tunnel Dipper"

If you can't find a commercial tunnel diode, you can make make your own with a rock:

http://home.earthlink.net/~lenyr...

edit: Oops, I almost forgot about Gunn diodes! Lots of speeding tickets over the years issued with their help!

Tom Pappano
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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They were used by Tektronix in their scope trigger circuits.

Leon

Leon Heller G1HSM

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You could go completely left-field and consider a tetrode valve (tube)...

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I have been shown one a tunnel diode at university years ago.

These days it looks as if most parts are obsolete, but there are a few companies still manufacturing some. Try http://www.metelics.com or http://www.mpulsemw.com I have no idea if these companies talk to mere mortals.

If you want an obsolete part Tek used one in a scope, a 1N3129. Here you can get one, for $15 a piece: http://www.sphere.bc.ca/test/tek...

Distrelect offers a dioda tunelowa, too. You get a 1N3716 at https://www.distrelec.com/ishopW... for 10 Euro.

Stealing Proteus doesn't make you an engineer.

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No, you cannot make a regular transistor or diode into a tunnel diode.

They ARE still available. MaCOM is one source and there are a couple of others.

They never really became a mainstream device (much same as unijunction, and a few other similar devices). I DO have a Heath Tunnel Dipper and it still works.

You CAN simulate a tunnel diode at low frequencies with a pair of transistors and a zener. I can provide that circuit, if desired. But, it is good only to a few hundred KHz.

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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There is also a simulating circuit based on one P and one N Type JFET. It should work up to frequencies in the MHz range.

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Thank you guys for all interasting replies :)
I am glad that there are still companies which make tunnel diodes.

Actually tunnel diodes are not so popular in the mainstream but the research is being conduct in army and universities.

Jim wrote:
You CAN simulate a tunnel diode at low frequencies with a pair of transistors and a zener. I can provide that circuit, if desired. But, it is good only to a few hundred KHz.

Kleinstein wrote:
There is also a simulating circuit based on one P and one N Type JFET. It should work up to frequencies in the MHz range.

Could you provide me with these designs please ?
It would help me a lot.

Adam

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You can find a lot of information about tunnel diodes on Tektronix Yahoo Group:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/gro...

Just be aware that subscription is needed.

Best regards,
Gintaras

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I found the FET ciruit here:
http://users.tpg.com.au/users/ld...

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I have several tunel diodes somewhere in my parts. If you can't find any on internet or somewhere near your place, I can send you several. Just give me some address in PM.

Regards.

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Here is my "sort-of-like-a-tunnel-diode" circuit. It is from my 1965 MS thesis though I did not invent the circuit. It came from another Tek engineer.

The peak voltage is defined by the zener voltage. The valley voltage occurs when Q1 saturates. I will leave it to the student to determine what the valley voltage is and what the currents are at the peak and valley. It can be analyzed piecewise-linearly.

Jim

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Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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Thank you for designes !

I like lambda diode which cosists of two JFET transistors.(only two elements to obtain negative resistance !) I have already found a patent of this design on the internet. The curve of this design is exactly what I wanted to obtain.

Design which proposed Jim is also nice. Although you need more elements you can change the curve of this diode.

Probably design on JFETs will be faster then this one on bipolar transistors. As far as I have read in the patent datasheet you can change a slope of this Lambda diode (2 JFET transistors) too by replacing one Fet with bipolar transistor.

I am still making a research at this amazing field of science so if you find something interesting please let me know.

Adam

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My circuit is limited in frequency partially due to the need for one of the transistors to saturate for the region at voltages above the valley voltage.

Also, for reasonable zener values, you need resistors that are a bit large to keep the currents from being too high. This also limits bandwidth.

Jim

 

Until Black Lives Matter, we do not have "All Lives Matter"!

 

 

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Hi folks

I would like to once again thank you for your suggestions.
Also from this place I want to say more than thank you to Johnfound who sent me tunnel diodes ! :)

Gush I love this forum!
I know that if I have a problem or want to discuss something I can always count on you.

Thanks for this - you are great!

Now it is time to make measurments ;)

Adam

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I have found some usefull informations about tunnel diodes:

Tunnel diode – semiconductor diode characterized by a small thickness of the pn junction, a very high concentration of dopants on both sides and a negative dynamic resistance for a certain range of polarizing voltages. It was invented in 1957 by the Japanese physicist Leo Esaki (hence sometimes it can be named Esaki diode). During research on semiconductor junctions he noticed their thus far unprecedented feature based on the tunnel phenomenon. This phenomenon causes charge carriers move through the narrow barrier layer at a very low voltage. *Link removed by moderator*

 

Last Edited: Sat. Oct 10, 2015 - 10:36 PM
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Must have been some search - seven years!

 

David

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Smells like a spammer planting a seed. *Link removed*

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

Last Edited: Sat. Oct 10, 2015 - 10:37 PM
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Doesn't New York have Tunnel Diodes? Big lines of orange cones keeping the traffic flowing only one direction at the entrance to the Tunnels?

 

Imagecraft compiler user

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Curious. My post above seems to have been edited, not by me, and a *link removed*. Thing is, I don't recall posting a link. Is this early onset senility?

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Moderator X was simply saying the seed in the offending post was removed.

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Ah!

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Sorry my brevity caused confusion Joey. No slight intended.

 

Ross

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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At least the topic is about Tunnel diodes and not about Gunn diodes, or the topic wouldn't be allowed, and would have had to have been locked from the get-go!

 

JC

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I sense a theme...

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Forgive my pathetic attempt at levity. You guys are sooooo serious.

 

Imagecraft compiler user

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In the 70's, I asked Dad, "What are tunnel diodes good for." If I recall, his answer was, "Not much."

If you don't know my whole story, keep your mouth shut.

If you know my whole story, you're an accomplice. Keep your mouth shut. 

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bobgardner wrote:
Forgive my pathetic attempt at levity. You guys are sooooo serious.
[sigh]

 

joeymorin wrote:
I sense a theme...

 

No?  OK.  Let me spell it out for you...

 

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Mancini?

Imagecraft compiler user

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Yup :)

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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I envy you musically-endowed/educated/equipped folks.

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia

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You don't have to be endowed/educated/equipped to enjoy/extol/esteem :)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=peter+gunn

https://www.google.ca/search?q=peter+gunn+theme+sheet+music

 

 

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Ain't that the truth...

 

Ross McKenzie ValuSoft Melbourne Australia