Zener diodes are a type of semiconductor device that has different characteristics from a normal diode. Zener diodes allow current to flow from its anode to its cathode in either a forward or reverse direction, but only when exposed to enough voltage.
How does a Zener diode work?
Zener diodes are designed to change the direction of the current flow once the voltage reaches a specific, defined voltage level. This also means that Zener diodes can operate continuously in a breakdown mode. The voltage level that changes the direction of flow is called Zener Voltage or Breakdown Voltage. It could be defined for specific diodes anywhere from 1.8 to 200 V.
Types of Zener diodes
Zener diodes are offered in an array of different configurations such as different levels of power dissipation, mount types, and different configurations.
There are also different types of Zener diodes such as:
- ESD Protection
- General Purpose
Typical applications of Zener diodes?
Zener diodes are used in all kinds of electronic equipment and are used to protect circuits from overvoltage and electrostatic discharge or for switching applications. They are one of the basic building blocks of electronic circuits. Zener diodes work reliably in the breakdown region, unlike normal diodes which would overheat. They are the most common and handiest solutions to a number of needs in a circuit design.