Zener diode is like a normal diode, but instead of being destroyed by a big reverse voltage, it lets electricity through. The voltage needed for this is called the breakdown voltage or Zener voltage. Because it can be built with a known breakdown voltage, it can be used to accurately measure voltage.
Zener diode is a special type of p-n junction diode with high doping concentration to operate at breakdown region. It can handle high current at reverse bias too which is not expected from a normal diode.
- Zener diode has high doping concentration.
- Width of depletion layer of Zener diode is smaller than the normal diodes.
- This type of diode is designed to operate at forward bias as well as at reverse bias condition. Specially, it can operate at breakdown voltage in reverse bias condition.
All other properties of Zener diode are similar to that of a normal p-n junction diode.
Zener diode is used as a voltage regulator. That means it can fix the output voltage to a constant value for long time. In this purpose a Zener diode regulator circuit is used at the output of diode rectifier circuit.
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