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Diodes

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Index Symbol Diode Function Forward Voltage Drop Reverse Voltage Diode Construction Standard Rectifiers Fast Rectifiers Ultra Fast Rectifiers Schottky Diodes Varicap Diodes Zener Diodes Transient Supressors
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This means that there is a small voltage across a conducting diode. rather like a person pushing through a door with a spring.html Photo Diodes PIN Diodes Avalanche Photodiodes Germanium diodes Light Emitting Diodes (LED) SMD Diodes Symbol Diode Function Diodes allow electricity to flow in only one direction.0catch. The forward voltage drop of a diode is almost constant whatever the current passing through the diode so they have a very steep characteristic (current-voltage graph). Forward Voltage Drop Electricity uses up a little energy pushing its way through the diode.Diodes http://clivetec. 2 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 . Diodes are the electrical version of a valve and early diodes were actually called valves. The arrow of the circuit symbol shows the direction in which the current can flow.7V for all normal diodes which are made from silicon. it is called the forward voltage drop and is about 0.com/Diodes.

For the diode to switch OFF. N type silicon substrate heated to ~1000oC in presence of vapour containing positive charged impurity atoms.com/Diodes. all diodes have a maximum reverse voltage (usually 50V or more) and if this is exceeded the diode will fail and pass a large current in the reverse direction. When a diode is reverse biased ie. an electric field is formed between the cathode and anode specifically across the depletion region. To counteract this the physical distance between the anode and cathode is increased by increasing the size of the bulk region and changing impurity atom doping levels. The resultant effect is to cause more charge carriers to be present within the diode when it is conducting.html Reverse Voltage When a reverse voltage is applied a perfect diode does not conduct. this is called breakdown. Diode Construction The physical construction of a diode with a diffusion junction is shown in the figure below. However. diodes with higher voltage ratings have larger bulk 3 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 . Put simply. However. if the electric field becomes too strong 'avalanche breakdown' occurs and the diode will become a short circuit and often be damaged. P region diffused into N region. but all real diodes leak a very tiny current of a few µA or less. The diode is 'reverse biased' and cannot conduct except for small leakage currents. the charge carriers must either recombine (minority) or be removed.0catch. In the construction process. the latter mechanism appearing as a reverse current (reverse recovery) flowing in the diode as it turns OFF.Diodes http://clivetec. a positive voltage is applied to the cathode with respect to the anode. This can be ignored in most circuits because it will be very much smaller than the current flowing in the forward direction.

trr: Reverse Recovery Time is the time required for the current to reach a specified reverse current (IR) after instantaneous switching from a specified forward condition (IF).Diodes http://clivetec. Standard Rectifiers Rectifiers are electronic high voltage diodes. IR: Reverse Current flows when reverse bias is applied to a semiconductor junction. The performance of high voltage diodes is determined by a number of voltage. Essentially. Tj: Junction Operating Temperature is the range of temperatures in which the high voltage diodes are designed to operate. which allow current to flow in only one direction.html regions. You can find listings for standard rectifier diodes at the links below: Asahi Engineering Mouser Electronics 4 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 . they act as one-way valves. IF: Forward Current is the current flowing through the diode in the direction of lower resistance.0catch. VF: Forward Voltage. and are used to convert AC current to DC current. which is the voltage across the diode terminals resulting from the flow of current in the forward direction.com/Diodes. require more time to remove internal charges at turn OFF and are thus slower switching. current and time coefficients: VRRM: Maximum Reverse Voltage. which is the maximum reverse voltage of the diode.

is the total reverse recovery charge Qrr and represents the charge removal from the junction and the bulk regions of the diode and is effectively independent of the forward current in the diode.html Fast Rectifiers Figure 3a and b show typical styles of reverse recovery. 5 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 . The effect of reverse recovery on the output voltage of a rectifier feeding a resistive load is shown in figure 4. Qrr can be found from manufacturers specifications thus the maximum reverse recovery current Irr is given by: If ta is very small compared to ta then ta trr and knowing the rate of decrease of current di/dt = Irr/ta Irr/trr leads to: Figure 3: (a) Reverse recovery of a general purpose diode.com/Diodes. The recovery time t2 .t0.0catch. Figure 4: Bridge rectifier output voltage showing diode reverse recovery effects. (b) fast diode.t1 is dependant on the size of the bulk region thus high di/dt currents can be obtained when using fast diodes. If the di/dt of the snap recovery is too high and stray inductance exists in the circuit then extremely high and possibly damaging voltage spikes can be induced. Reverse recovery time trr = t2 . The area within the negative portion of each curve.Diodes http://clivetec. (Note: ). .

although their current and voltage ratings are restricted. schottky diodes can be used. Interface between the metal and N layer creates a barrier potential. The new product series has been developed to meet today's requirement of high frequency operation and power ratings. Schottky Diodes To achieve very fast switching. forward voltage drop and reverse recovery. 6 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 .html Ultra Fast Rectifiers ABSTRACT: International Rectifier's new series of Ultra-fast recovery diodes are aimed specifically at the 12/24/48V SMPS output stage. Polished pre-doped N+ epitaxial substrate with a thin N layer barrier metal deposit. Recovery is dependant on the capacitance of the metalsilicon junction. using a technology platform flexible enough to match the performance improvement curve of the market requirements in the years to come.0catch. This assumption is verified by the diode loss calculation used for the IR MUR1620 operating in a typical output rectification in a forward converter. With this approach. the best trade off for leakage current.fast diode family would be up to 500-750kHz.Diodes http://clivetec. and extend the company's current product range of Ultra-fast recovery diodes with industry standard part number products. the maximum allowable switching frequency for this Ultra. With this type of performance. has been achieved with a maximum operating junction temperature of 175 degrees Celsius and a reverse recovery time as low as 15-20ns. The new IR Ultra-fast recovery diode series (200-400V) adopts platinum diffusion in order to overcome the limitation of gold diffusion and the electron irradiation technology.com/Diodes. Rectifying action is dependant solely on majority carriers therefore no minority carrier recombination.

nonlinearity.com/Diodes.0catch. lower voltage rating and a more limited range. then decreases (called hyperabrupt). which can be used in tuned circuits.Diodes http://clivetec. n can be made as high as n = 2. Vo is approximately the forward voltage of the diode.5.33. which makes its use advantageous in many applications. For an abrupt junction (constant doping density). The exponent n depends on the doping density of the semiconductors PN junction and the distance away from the junction. where Co and Vo are constants. Zener Diodes Symbol 7 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 . according to the relation C = Co/ (1 + V/Vo)n. n = 0. If the density jumps abruptly at the junction. n = 0. For a graded junction (linear variation). Its disadvantages compared to a manually controlled variable capacitor are a lower Q.html Varicap Diodes Symbol It provides an electrically controllable capacitance. It is small and inexpensive. The capacitance decreases as the reverse bias increases.

The most common range of zener voltage is 3.html The diagram below shows the forward conduction and reverse breakdown voltage of a zener diode. and 50 Watts. Notice that as the reverse voltage is increased the leakage current remains essentially constant until the breakdown voltage is reached where the current increases dramatically.05 % are available . Popular power ranges are: 1/4.0catch. This breakdown voltage is the zener voltage for zener diodes. 8 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 . To help in your selection process I have prepared a table of the more common zener diodes aranged in order of watage. however voltages out of this range are available. a tolerance of the specified voltage must be stated. 1/2. A test current (Iz) must be specified with the voltage and tolerance. the zener diode is intended to operate at that voltage.3 volts to 75 volts. While for the conventional rectifier or diode it is imperative to operate below this voltage. more precision tolerances as low as 0.com/Diodes. 1 .Diodes http://clivetec. 10. The most popular tolerances are 5% and 10%. When specifying zener diodes. and so finds its greatest application as a voltage regulator. The power handling capability also needs to be specified for the zener diode. 5.

There are two main forms of zener diode transient suppressor. 9 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 . and 800 nm to 2.html Transient Supressors Although there are other types of transient suppressor we are looking here at an enhanced zener diode that has improved clamping properties. When these devices are not active they dissipate less than a milli-watt making them very efficient.Diodes http://clivetec. which is the main limitation of this device. Uni-directional for use in DC circuits and Bi-directional for use in AC circuits. lead selenide (PbSe). A uni-directional suppressor acts just like a zener diode clamping voltage spikes. indium arsenide (InAs). Photo Diodes Photodiodes are fabricated from semiconductor materials.0 µm for GaAs. When these devices are active they dissipate a lot of power and substantial heat is generated in a small area. The bi-directional suppressor is made from two zener diodes connected by their cathodes. for example: 250 nm to 1100 nm for silicon. They should be specified according to their working peak reverse voltage Vrwm often abbreviated to Vr which should be equal or greater than the peak operating voltage. and others include indium antimonide (InSb). and lead sulfide (PbS). Current passes through a semiconductor when the charge carriers separate and move in opposite directions. These materials absorb light over a characteristic wavelength range. this means that they can act on either negative or positive spikes. When a photon of light is absorbed.0catch.com/Diodes. The other important factor being the power handling of the device. it excites an electron and produces a single pair of charge carriers—an electron and a hole. The most popular choices are silicon (Si) or gallium arsenide (GaAs). where a hole is simply the absence of an electron in the semiconductor lattice.

10 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 .Diodes http://clivetec. Although it offers high gain. the only device that provided such gain was the photomultiplier tube (PMT). Avalanche Photodiodes One limitation of the p-i-n photodiode is the lack of internal gain—an incoming photon produces only one electron-hole pair. many of them eventually entering the depletion region to be swept rapidly across the junction. the PMT has a number of practical limitations: It is a bulky vacuum tube. however.com/Diodes. which can be detected at the electrodes. the avalanche photodiode (APD) now offers a solid-state alternative for most PMT applications (see figure below). and a low QE (< 25%). Some of them will recombine and disappear without ever reaching the depletion region.0catch. In a generic p-i-n photodiode. For many years. Absorption causes light intensity to drop exponentially with penetration depth. Fortunately.html PIN Diodes The trick in a photodiode is to collect the photon-induced charge carriers as current or voltage at the electrodes. a narrow spectral response range. Charge carriers created outside the depletion region will move randomly. This movement of charge carriers across the junction upsets the electrical balance and produces a small photocurrent. it offers limited linearity. it generates heat. Any photons absorbed in the depletion region produce charge carriers that are immediately separated and swept across the junction by the natural internal bias. Low-light applications require detectors with internal gain to boost the signal above the noise floor of subsequent electronics and signal processors. before they have a chance to recombine. and compared to a photodiode. This is achieved using a pn or P-(Intrinsic layer)-N diode junction structure—hence the term p-i-n photodiode. light enters the device through the thin p-type layer.

which accelerates the photon-generated electrons.6V drop of a Silicone based diode) and this makes them suitable to use in radio circuits as detectors which extract the audio signal from the weak radio signal. hence the name. The electrons collide with the atomic lattice. Light Emitting Diodes (LED) Symbol 11 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 . These secondary electrons also are accelerated. and they have very low leakage currents when a reverse voltage is applied. where the size of the forward voltage drop is less important. Germanium diodes Germanium diodes such as the OA90 have a lower forward voltage drop of 0. which results in an avalanche of carriers. silicon diodes are better because they are less easily damaged by heat when soldering.com/Diodes. the APD is operated with a large reverse bias (up to 2 kV for beveled-edge designs). For general use. they have a lower resistance when conducting. as with any other photodiode. however. releasing additional electrons via secondary ionization.html In an APD. incoming photons produce electron-hole pairs.0catch.Diodes http://clivetec.2V (as opposed to the 0.

the diagram may be labelled a or + for anode and k or . The cathode is the short lead and there may be a slight flat on the body of round LEDs. not c.Diodes http://clivetec. for cathode!).for cathode (yes.com/Diodes. it really is k.0catch. If you can see inside the LED the cathode is the larger electrode (but this is not an official identification method).html LEDs must be connected the correct way round. MELF/SOD80 Diode Identification Back to Hobby Page 12 de 12 24/03/2014 19:28 .