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Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics, Sixth Edition, 6th Edition by Simon Monk, Stan Gibilisco

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20

CHAPTER

Diode Applications

IN THE EARLY YEARS OF ELECTRONICS, MOST DIODES WERE VACUUM TUBES. TODAY, MOST DIODES are made from semiconductor materials. Contemporary diodes can do almost everything that the old vacuum-tube ones could, and a few things that people in the tube era never imagined.

Rectification

A rectifier diode passes current in only one direction, as long as we don’t exceed its specifications. This property makes the device useful for changing AC to DC. Generally speaking:

•   When the cathode has a more negative charge than the anode, current flows.

•   When the cathode has a more positive charge than the anode, current does not flow.

The constraints on this behavior are, as we’ve learned, the forward breakover and avalanche ...

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