Diodes

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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