Reading or listening to the word diode reconnects us back to the world of Physics. We are thrown back to the last time zone when we learned about diode in Physics, either in high school or college. But, does diode only belong to Physics, or people learning Physics should be concerned about it? However, the answer to this question is totally based on your understanding of diodes. For example, if you explain a diode as per Wikipedia’s definition, “A diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts current primarily in one direction; it has low resistance in one direction, and high resistance in the other,” then you will always relate the diode as a part of Physics. However, the meaning and use of a diode change when you understand that it is an electrical component allowing the current to flow continuously in only one direction.
A diode is a widely used semiconductor device in electronic circuits with its two-terminal electrical check valve allowing the continuous flow of current in a single direction. This is made of silicon or germanium; diodes have different properties and characteristics and are mostly used for rectification. Moreover, the diodes have different properties, and these properties and characteristics allow them to get modified in various types and for several purposes.
Types Of Diodes
Despite being the simplest semiconductor, diodes have several useful functions. In addition, their characteristics and properties make them useful in various applications and modified for different types of diodes. Here are some of the majorly used diodes types:
- P-N Junction Diode
- Small Signal Diode
- Rectifier Diode
- Schottky Diode
- Super Diode
- Light Emitting Diode
- Laser Diode
- Tunnel Diode
- Zener Diode
- Backward DiodeAvalanche Diode
- Constant Current Diode
- Vacuum Diode
- PIN Diode
- Point Contact Diode
Application Of Diodes
Diodes are simple two-pin semiconductor devices that are vital for modern electronics. A perfectly efficient diode may appear as an open circuit with a negative voltage, but its current-to-voltage nonlinear relationship will force you to open the datasheet. Here are some of the typical applications of diodes:
Among all the applications of diodes, one of the most significant applications is its ability to convert AC power to DC power. For example, a single diode transforms a 110V household power to DC by forming a halfwave and a full wave with four diodes. A diode does not allow the full AC waveform to travel through it; instead, it only allows only half. And when the voltage pulse charges a capacitor, the output voltage appears steady DC voltage with the minimum voltage ripple. Similarly, when you use a full-wave rectifier, the process becomes even more efficient by routing the AC pulses so that you see only positive pulses even when both the positive and negative halves of the input sine wave are present. It effectively doubles the frequency of the input pulses to the capacitor, which helps keep it charged and deliver a more stable voltage. The right configured capacitors and diodes can give both AC and DC outputs.
Protections From Over-Voltage
Diodes protect sensitive electronic components from high-voltage spikes. They function very well as protection devices. Moreover, when you use a diode as a voltage protection device, it is a nonconducting element in normal operations. However, it shortens the high-voltage spike to the ground and does not harm an integrated circuit. You can find transient voltage suppressors designed specifically as over-voltage protection and handle huge power spikes for short periods. Furthermore, the transient voltage suppressors handle typical characteristics of a voltage spike or electric shock that can damage components and even shorten an electronic product’s life. Further, a diode can act as a clipper or limiter that regulates voltage passing through a certain point.
Signals’ Extraction Or Demodulation
Diodes turn the negative signals into the positive half, which makes them very effective in removing the negative component of an AC signal. Moreover, since the negative portion of an AC waveform is more or less identical to its positive half, very little or no information is lost while stripping away the negative portion, leading to efficient signal processing. The application of signal demodulation is mostly made in radios as they help to filter the system in extracting the radio signal from the carrier wave.
A Relation Between Diodes And Light
A light-emitting diode illuminates an LED flashlight, and LEDs glow in the presence of positive voltage. However, a photodiode accepts the light through a collector and converts the light into a smaller amount of current.
Currents Steering In Right Direction
One of the most basic applications of diodes is the steering of current, especially in the correct direction. One of the finest applications of diodes is switching from the power supply to power running from a battery. In simple words, we can say, when a device is plugged in and is kept on charging, the device should draw the power from the external power supply and not the battery; while the device is plugged in, the battery must draw power and recharge. But, the instant power source is removed, and the battery must power from the device hence not letting the user get notified of the power cut.
The best example of diodes and current steering is that exchanging the wires while jump-starting your car doesn’t fry your car’s electrical system. This is because diodes adjacent to the battery block the wrong direction of current flow.
Apart from the applications mentioned above, there are various other applications of a diode, like a diode light wiring for towing big and small vehicles. Thus, when your vehicle stops in the middle of a journey of towing your client’s vehicle, contact Bills Mobile Hitch and Tow Bar Installation. We will come to your rescue and do the diode light working to help you keep your business a smooth flow.
Burris, M.A.T.T.H.E.W. 2021. Applications-of-diodes. 3rd March. What Are Diodes and What Are They Used For?. [Online]. [17 August 2022]. Available from: https://www.lifewire.com/applications-of-diodes-818815