(a) The region on both sides of P-N junction in which there is deficiency of free current carriers, is known as the depletion layer.

(b) Its thickness is of the order of 1micro m (= 10–6)

(c) On two sides of it, there are ions of opposite nature. i.e. donor ion (+ve) on N-side and acceptor ions (–ve) on P-side.

(d) This stops the free current carriers to crossover the junction and consequently a potential barrier is formed at the junction.

(e) The potential difference between the ends of this layer is defined as the contact potential or potential barrier (VB).

(f) The value of VB is from 0.1 to 0.7 volt which depends on the temperature of the junction. It also depends on the nature of semiconductor and the doping concentration. For germanium and silicon its values are 0.3 V and 0.7 V respectively.

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