The diode is two terminal semiconductor devices that allow an electric current to pass in one direction while blocking it in the reverse direction. The diode is made up of a semiconductor device with P-type material and N-type material. Typical material used in a diode is silicon and germanium. They conduct when a minimum forward voltage (~ 0.7V for Silicon) is applied across it and remain off during reverse bias condition.

The diode symbol is represented as below and their physical packages.

types-of-diodes.jpgtypes-of-diodes.jpgTypes of diode

Applications of diode:

  • Power conversion (AC to DC)/ rectification
  • Clamping the voltage
  • Zener diode as a voltage regulator
  • Overvoltage protection
  • ESD protection
  • Demodulation of signals

Type of diodes:

  • Rectifier diode
  • Switching diode
  • Light-emitting diode
  • Zener diode
  • Schottky diode
  • ESD diode
  • Tunnel diode
  • Varicap diode
  • Photodiode
  • The laser diode in optical communication

Size of diode packages

Diodes are available in through-hole (DIP) and SMD versions.

E.g. DIP: DO214, SMA, TO- 220 with heatsink  SMD 1206, 1210, SOD323, SOT23, TO-252, D2PAK,

Diode selection parameters

While selecting a diode in any circuit users need to take care of the following parameters apart from the application/usage.

  • Forward bias voltage
  • Maximum forward current
  • Average forward current
  • Power dissipation
  • Reverse breakdown voltage/peak inverse voltage
  • Max reverse current
  • Operating junction temperature
  • Reverse recovery time
  • Size

Manufacturers: Rohm Semiconductor, Diodes Incorporated, On Semi, Vishay, etc.

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