Different Types of Breakdown Diode

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What is breakdown diode?

Breakdown diode is an electrical component which has two electrodes. Semiconductor materials like Silicon and Germanium are used for making of diodes. Diodes are used for their property of conducting electric current in just one direction and to block the current which comes in the opposite direction.

Different types of breakdown diodes

Following are the different types of breakdown diodes:

  • Zener diode
  • Schottky diode
  • Avalanche diode

What is Avalanche diode?

Avalanche diode is one of the semiconductor devices which is designed to work in the reverse breakdown region. When there is a surplus voltage in an electric device, the avalanche diode is used as a pressure guard. There are two terminals in an avalanche diode and they are cathode and anode. 

What is Avalanche breakdown?

Avalanche breakdown occurs in PN junction diode. The diode has a thick junction and is moderately doped. When a high reverse voltage is applied across the diode, avalanche breakdown occurs.

What are the applications of avalanche diode?

Following are the applications of avalanche diode:

  • It is used as an RF noise generator
  • It is used in a microwave frequency generator
  • It is used for voltage reference

What is Zener diode?

Zener diode is one of the breakdown diodes and is also a special diode as it conducts current in the opposite direction. The breakdown that occurs at a certain voltage in a Zener diode is known as Zener voltage. The design of the Zener diode is such that the diode can be used only where the Zener voltage is very low. For regular diodes, Zener voltage will be high and if the reverse current is passed through the diode, the diode gets damaged. The controlling of breakdown can be tested based on the damaging of the diode.

What are the applications of Zener diode?

Following are the applications of Zener diode:

  • Voltage stabilizers are also known as a regulator in shunt mode
  • Peak clippers
  • For device mode, Zener diodes are used as surge suppressors.

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