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    What is a Diode? What Does It Do?

    With the development of technology, electrical circuits are used for various purposes in almost every part of our lives. Although we do not see it clearly, there are various electrical circuits in our household appliances such as lighting circuits, televisions and dishwashers, which are set up to illuminate our homes.

    Many different circuit elements are used in electrical or electronic circuits. Although each element has a different function, they work in harmony within the circuit and work in line with our needs. One of the circuit elements frequently used in circuits is Diodes.

    A diode is a circuit element that allows electric current to flow in only one direction. Diodes consist of two terminals made of semiconductor materials. The diode has no specific abbreviation, it is simply represented by a symbol in circuits. This is how we can answer the question of what is a diode. But "What does a diode do?" Many different questions are also asked frequently.

    In this article, we will answer the question of what are the features of the diode for you. We will also talk about the Usage Areas of the Diode and the Diode Types.

    What are the Features of the Diode?

    The most important feature of the diode is that it conducts electric current in one direction. The diode consists of 2 poles, P and N. The P pole of the diode is called the anode, and the N pole is called the cathode. By combining these two materials, a PN connection is created. 

    The neutral zone is formed at the junction of the PN junction. The neutral region acts as an insulator, that is, it does not allow any current to flow. When a positive voltage is applied from the positive side to the negative side, the neutral zone between the two materials disappears. Current starts flowing from the positive pole to the negative pole. So the diode is conducting.

    On the other hand, when a voltage is applied from the negative side to the positive side, the neutral zone expands and resists the flow of any current. However, a small amount of current can pass through this region. This current is called “leakage current”. If the amount of voltage applied in the reverse direction is high enough, the diode will fail, allowing the current to flow in the reverse direction as well. The amount of reverse voltage that will cause the diode to break is written in the diode's catalog.

    Usage Areas of Diode

    Diodes, one of the indispensable elements of electrical or electronic circuits, have many different uses.

    Some of the usage areas of the diode are as follows;

    • It is used for power and status indicators in electronic devices.
    • Some diodes can be used for lighting as they are quite efficient.
    • It is used in regulator circuits with power supply.
    • Large-area diodes are used in solar panels.
    • It is used in rectifiers where AC voltage is converted to DC voltage.
    • It is used in half-wave rectifier circuits.
    • It is used in phase shifter, modulator or microwave applications.
    • It is used to detect light.
    • Different types of diodes are used in areas such as optical communication, CD and DVD reader.
    • It is used as a demodulator in radio frequency circuits.

    The diode is used in many other fields such as these.

    Diode Types

    We have seen how wide the usage areas of the diode are. It will not surprise anyone that a circuit element with such a wide usage area has many different types. Diode can be used in different fields and in different ways with this diversity it has.

    Some types of diodes are as follows;

    • Light Emitting (LED) Diode: It is among the diode types that are frequently used in daily life. In other words, the LEDs we use for lighting processes are actually diodes.
    • Zener Diode: When connected normally, it works like a normal diode. However, if they are reversed into the circuit, they do not pass current up to a voltage called the "zener voltage". If this voltage can be exceeded, they will transmit.
    • Schottky Diode: While the current drop is 0.7 V in silicon diodes, this value is very low in Schottky diodes. They work fast at high frequencies. However, the leakage current value is very high compared to silicon diodes.
    • Laser Diode: A photon is released at the point where P and N type materials interact. These photons are collected by a lens and laser light is produced.
    • Photodiode: Used to convert light into electric current.
    • Bridge Diode: It converts the alternating (AC) voltage applied to its input to direct current (DC).
    • Gunn Diode
    • Varactor Diode
    • Dual Diode

    There are many different types of diodes such as these.

    In this article, we answered the question of What Does a Diode Do, What Are Its Features. We also talked about the Usage Areas of the Diode and the Diode Types. For more information about our products and services, you can contact us using one of our communication channels.

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