Uses of Zener Diode

Dhristi JEE 2022-24

What is Zener Diode?

We know about the employment of Zener Diode which is to allow the current stream in forwarding or invert course. Zener Diode is a semiconductor gadget consisting of a P-N intersection that leads the current in a switch course when a specifically determined voltage is reached. 

It has a converse breakdown voltage which implies it can constantly work in an opposite predisposition mode without getting harmed. A Zener Diode does not just permit current to move from anode to cathode yet in addition, in the opposite bearing on arriving at the Zener voltage. Because of this usefulness, Zener Diodes are the most generally utilized semiconductor diodes.

In the device, a reverse-biased, strongly doped p-n junction diode operating in the breakdown region is utilized. In the breakdown zone, conventional diodes and rectifiers are never used, but the Zener diode can be safely employed at the designated point.

It has a reverse breakdown voltage, which implies it can function in an opposite tendency condition for an unlimited period without being destroyed.

To obtain the Zener voltage, a Zener Diode permits the current to flow not only from anode to cathode but also in the opposite direction. Due to their versatility, Zener diodes are the most commonly used semiconductor diodes.

Zener Diode - Functions and Applications

  • When in forward-bias mode, the Zener diode works just like a regular diode, with a turn-on voltage of between 0.3 and 0.7 V. In any case, when converse one-sided voltage is applied to the Zener diode, it works in various ways. 

  • A little leakage current may flow in the reverse mode.

  • A current begins to flow through the diode when the reverse voltage reaches the predetermined breakdown value (Vz). Now, a little expansion in invert voltage will quickly expand the electric flow. On account of this abrupt ascent in electric flow, a breakdown happens called Zener breakdown. Nonetheless, Zener Diode displays a controlled breakdown that harms the gadget.

  • After reaching a maximum point defined by the series resistor, the current stabilizes. It remains constant throughout a wide range of applied voltage.

  • At the point when opposite one-sided voltage is applied to a Zener Diode, it permits just a modest quantity of spillage current until the voltage is not exactly Zener voltage. At the point when the converse one-sided voltage applied to the Zener diode comes to Zener voltage, it begins permitting an enormous measure of electric flow. 

Zener Breakdown

The Zener breakdown effect, which occurs below 5.5 V, or impact ionization, which occurs above 5.5 V, causes the breakdown. The same behavior can be obtained by both processes. They also do not necessitate any additional circuitry. However, the temperature coefficient of each mechanism is different

The temperature coefficient of the Zener effect is negative, whereas the temperature coefficient of the impact effect is positive.

At 5.5 V, the two temperature effects are nearly equivalent and cancel one other out. It makes 5.5 V Zener diodes the most stable over a wide variety of temperature settings.


Zener Diode is a Voltage Controller: At the point when the heap voltage approaches the breakdown voltage, the resistors which are associated in arrangement restrict the current through the diode when there is an abundance measure of voltage while the diode is leading. 

While doing that the diode produces some sort of commotion which can be smothered by adding enormous worth decoupling capacitors across the Diode. The heap voltage rises to the breakdown voltage VZ of the Diode. The arrangement resistor restricts the current through the Diode and drops the overabundance voltage when the Diode is directed. 

Overvoltage Protection

The current through the diode generates a drop across the resistor as the voltage rises to the Zener breakdown value. This results in a brief descent to the bottom.

When the information voltage exceeds the Zener breakdown voltage, current flows through the diode, causing a voltage drop across the resistor, activating the SCR, and generating a short to ground. The breaker is opened by the short out, which separates the heap from the inventory.

Switching a signal from one voltage to the next is the most common application for Zener Diodes. In breakdown regions, it can maintain a constant yield voltage. The Zener Diode is an ideal component of the activity due to its voltage-moving usage.

Zener Diode is utilized to Cut Circuits 

Trimmer circuits are utilized to keep the yield signal from going past a decided incentive without transforming anything of the info signal. Employment of Zener Diode incorporates adjusting and moulding the AC waveform cutting circuits. The section circuits restrict one piece of the AC waveform to shape the waveform or give security. 

These sorts of circuits are by and large utilized in TV and FM transmitters for eliminating obstruction. Zener Diodes are utilized to alter or shape AC waveform cutting circuits. The cut-out circuit cutoff points or clasps off pieces of either of the half patterns of an AC waveform to shape the waveform or give insurance.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Why is Zener Diode Used as a Voltage Regulator?

A Zener Diode is constantly working in its opposite one-sided condition. A particularly straightforward voltage controller circuit can be planned utilizing a Zener Diode to keep a steady DC yield voltage across the heap despite varieties in the information voltage or changes in the heap current. 

The Zener voltage controller comprises a current restricting resistor RS associated in arrangement with the info voltage VS with the Zener Diode associated with the heap RL in this opposite one-sided condition. The balanced out yield voltage is constantly chosen to be equivalent to the breakdown voltage VZ of the diode.

2. What is a Zener Breakdown?

The Zener breakdown happens in vigorously doped P-N intersection diodes due to their limited exhaustion district. At the point when a conversely one-sided voltage applied across the P-N diode, the electric field in the consumption locale is sufficiently able to pull electrons from their valence band. 

The valence electrons which acquire adequate energy from the solid electric field of the exhaustion area will break holding with the parent iota. The valence electrons that break holding with the parent molecule will turn out to be free electrons. These free electrons convey electric flow starting with one spot then onto the next place. At the Zener breakdown locale, a little expansion in voltage will quickly expand the electric flow.

3. What is the Difference Between a Zener Diode and a Normal Diode?

The Diode and Zener Diode are unique in relation to one another as for their images, development, activities, and applications, a significant distinction among diode and Zener Diode is the electric flow conduction ordinary diode can lead one way though Zener Diode can direct in both forward and switch direction. 

In terms of their applications, a typical Diode is utilized as amendment activity, cutting tasks, voltage multipliers, and so forth while a Zener Diode is utilized as a voltage controller. 

As far as their breakdown voltage, an ordinary diode has exceptionally low breakdown voltage it can support less measure of opposite voltage, though a Zener Diode has an extremely high breakdown voltage which implies it can support more noteworthy converse voltage contrasted with the typical diode.

4. How Zener Diode is used in Trimmer Circuits?

Trimmer circuits are used to prevent the output signal from exceeding a predefined threshold while maintaining the integrity of the data stream. Modifying and shaping the AC waveform cutting circuits with Zener Diodes is possible. Section circuits shape or secure an AC waveform by limiting one component of it.

To eliminate interference, these circuits are extensively employed in TV and FM transmitters. Alternating current waveform cutting circuits are modified or shaped using Zener Diodes. The cut-out circuit cuts out points or clasps off sections of either half pattern of an AC waveform to modify the waveform or offer insurance.

5. What do you understand by the term Zener Breakdown?

Zener breakdown occurs in aggressively doped P-N intersection diodes due to their limited exhaustion district. The electric field in the consumption zone is strong enough to take electrons from their valence band when a reversibly one-sided voltage is applied across the P-N diode.

Valence electrons that gain enough energy from the exhaustion area's solid electric field will lose their grasp on the parent iota. Free electrons are valence electrons that have lost their link with the parent molecule. These freed electrons transport electricity from one place to another.

6. State the difference between a Zener Diode and a Regular Diode?

The images, development, activities, and uses of the Diode and Zener Diode are separate. The electric flow conduction between a diode and a Zener Diode differs significantly. A diode can only direct in one way, whereas a Zener Diode can direct in both forward and switch directions.

A traditional diode is used for things like modifications, cutting duties, and voltage multipliers, but a Zener diode is used to manage voltage.

An ordinary diode has an incredibly low breakdown voltage, meaning that it can only support a little amount of opposite voltage, whereas a Zener Diode has an extremely high breakdown value, implying that it can support a much larger amount of opposite power than the average diode.

7. Explain how a Zener diode works in both forward and reverse mode.

Zener diode V-I Characteristics:

Only a small amount of leakage current is allowed when a reverse-biased voltage is applied to a Zener diode until the voltage falls below the Zener voltage.

A Zener diode's V-I characteristics are frequently separated into two parts:

Forward Characteristics: When a diode is forward biassed, current (IF) is conducted in the forward direction. The quantity of forwarding voltage has a direct effect on the value of IF.

Reverse Characteristics: A small reverse saturation current occurs across the diode when a reverse voltage is applied to a Zener voltage. Thermally produced minority carriers are responsible for this current. The reverse current grows dramatically and sharply as the reverse voltage is increased up to a certain point. This is a sign that there has been a breakdown. This value is known as the Zener breakdown voltage and is represented by the letter Vz.

8. How smartphones and phone chargers are benefited by Zener Diode?

A diode is a device that allows just one direction of current to flow. This is accomplished by the utilization of a built-in electric field.

As smartphones grow increasingly common, so do Android-based projects. These projects use Bluetooth-enabled gadgets. These Bluetooth devices require a voltage of roughly 3V. In such instances, a Zener diode is employed to supply 3V to the Bluetooth device.

Because AC current will not be able to reverse the chemical reaction that is discharging the battery, it cannot be charged. As a result, to convert AC current to DC, a diode is utilized in the charger. The operational voltage of a battery is DC (Direct Current). It must also be charged using DC electricity.

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