Browse Definitions:
Definition

diode

A diode is a specialized electronic component with two electrodes called the anode and the cathode. Most diodes are made with semiconductor materials such as silicon, germanium, or selenium. Some diodes are comprised of metal electrodes in a chamber evacuated or filled with a pure elemental gas at low pressure. Diodes can be used as rectifiers, signal limiters, voltage regulators, switches, signal modulators, signal mixers, signal demodulators, and oscillators.

The fundamental property of a diode is its tendency to conduct electric current in only one direction. When the cathode is negatively charged relative to the anode at a voltage greater than a certain minimum called forward breakover, then current flows through the diode. If the cathode is positive with respect to the anode, is at the same voltage as the anode, or is negative by an amount less than the forward breakover voltage, then the diode does not conduct current. This is a simplistic view, but is true for diodes operating as rectifiers, switches, and limiters. The forward breakover voltage is approximately six tenths of a volt (0.6 V) for silicon devices, 0.3 V for germanium devices, and 1 V for selenium devices.

The above general rule notwithstanding, if the cathode voltage is positive relative to the anode voltage by a great enough amount, the diode will conduct current. The voltage required to produce this phenomenon, known as the avalanche voltage, varies greatly depending on the nature of the semiconductor material from which the device is fabricated. The avalanche voltage can range from a few volts up to several hundred volts.

When an analog signal passes through a diode operating at or near its forward breakover point, the signal waveform is distorted. This nonlinearity allows for modulation, demodulation, and signal mixing. In addition, signals are generated at harmonics, or integral multiples of the input frequency. Some diodes also have a characteristic that is imprecisely termed negative resistance. Diodes of this type, with the application of a voltage at the correct level and the polarity, generate analog signals at microwave radio frequencies.

Semiconductor diodes can be designed to produce direct current (DC) when visible light, infrared transmission (IR), or ultraviolet (UV) energy strikes them. These diodes are known as photovoltaic cells and are the basis for solar electric energy systems and photosensors. Yet another form of diode, commonly used in electronic and computer equipment, emits visible light or IR energy when current passes through it. Such a device is the familiar light-emitting diode (LED).

See an introductory tutorial on diodes and semiconductors:

This was last updated in June 2015

Continue Reading About diode

Join the conversation

13 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

you
Cancel
good
Cancel
great
Cancel
nice
Cancel
sweet
Cancel
good enough
Cancel
Why access blocked ₩ down there
Cancel
boss
Cancel
If you need more information about <a href="http://911electronic.com/tunnel-diode-characteristic-symbol-definition/">Tunnel Diode</a> just visit this site:
http://911electronic.com/ It is site about electronics parts, symbols, characteristics and all basics.
Cancel
pf means
Cancel
Thats summarized very well, for more infos you can also visit http://www.led.de
Cancel
Thats summarized very well, for more infos you can also visit <a href="http://www.led.de">http://www.led.de</a>
Cancel
What is package of diode?

Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

  • adware

    Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while a program is running.

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

  • VRAM (video ram)

    VRAM (video RAM) is a reference to any type of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close