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Diode – The Most Versatile Electronic Component

Diode: this is a one way electronic device that permits the passage of electric current in one direction. This is analogous to opening a water tap and the water starts flowing. This water can never flow back into that with which it has been released. This simply means that a diode will always block any electric current coming in the reversed direction provided the reversed blocking voltage is not exceeded.

Reverse blocking voltage is the maximum reversed voltage a particular diode can withstand. diodes have different sizes, functions and or applications. They have different electric current and voltage handling capabilities depending on fabrication. Rectifier Diodes & Schottky Diodes as a semiconductor can be connected either in series and in parallel depending on what an individual want to achieve. Diodes are connected in series to increase the voltage handling capacity while they can be connected in parallel to increase their current holding capacities.

The diode structurally is a two terminal device; the anode ( the positive terminal) and the cathode ( the negative terminal). Signal ( current or voltage) from the anode and received at the cathode only in one direction. this is the more reason why the diode find its applications as rectifiers. It can also be used in logic and binary circuits. diode ranges from signal diode to power diode based on the manufacturer’s data sheet.

Before going ahead, it is important to understand what a diode actually is. It is a two-terminal device, which has two active electrodes, and between which the device permits the flow of current in just one direction. These diodes are known for their unidirectional existing property, whereas the electric current is permitted to transfer in just one direction. These devices are actually used for the idea of rectifying the waveforms. They can be used within the power supplies or the radio detectors.

These devices are also used in the circuits where the one-way effect of diode is most needed. Most of the Rectifier Diodes & Schottky Diodes are made using the semi-conductor materials such as silicon and germanium. The diodes are known to send out the electric currents in just one direction. However, the method can vary a lot. There are different kinds of diodes that can be used in the electronics design. Some of them are mentioned below:

Light Emitting Diode (LED): This is the most popular type that allows the flow of electric current between the electrodes; and light is produced. In most of the cases, the infrared light is not visible because of its frequencies which do not permit visibility. At the time when the diodes are switched on or forward-biased, electrons re-combine with the holes and transmit energy in the form of light. Furthermore, the color of the light is dependent on the semi-conductor’s energy-gap.

Avalanche Diode: The device operates in the reverse-bias, and utilized the avalanche outcome for its operation. This breakdown usually occurs across the whole PN junction, when the voltage remains constant and independent of the electric current.

Laser Diode: This is quite different from the LED type, as it is known to produce coherent light. The devices also find their application in the laser pointers, DVD and CD drives, etc. They are more expensive than LEDs but cheaper than other types of laser generators.

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