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Zener Diode- an unique rectifying diode


In recent years, with the continuous development of the miniaturization of electronic equipment, protection components are required to have higher performance. As a basic component of electronic circuits and protective components, Zener diode plays an important role in electronic manufacturing like PCB making and PCBA process.

What is a diode and Zener diode?

Before we can proceed to the Zener diode, let’s talk about what a diode is. When it comes to a diode, it is actually made of semiconductor material and it works or operates just like a one-way switch that helps the current flow in one direction.Meantime, it is capable of changing AC into DC just like a electronic check valve.
What-is-a-diode-and-Zener-diodeIt is, however, important to note that it also limits and stops the current from flowing the other way. Diodes can be divided into five types according to their applications, including zener, light emitting, rectifier, detector and schottky diode

On the other hand, Zener diode handles and manages a breakdown due to its reverse breakdown voltage. It can be considered a unique rectifying diode. P-type semiconductor and N-type semiconductor are fused together to form a PN junction, and a depletion layer with antiphase ions is formed around the PN junction.

What is Zener diode also called?

It can be said that the other names of the Zener diode are breakdown diode and silicon PN diode. It is generally because it serves to regulate voltage in the breakdown of reverse bias.

A Zener diode can be described as a silicon PN diode. Not to mention, it has a low reverse voltage, which makes it quite effective. In the breakdown, the diode has a constant voltage.

What are the types of Zener diode?

What-are-the-types-of-Zener-diodeTypically, there exist two different types of a Zener diode and they include Avalanche and Zener.It should be noted that a Zener breakdown occurs with a voltage of reverse bias in between 8-2V. In addition to it, it takes place primarily for different high-doped diodes that possess a large electric field in addition to a low voltage of breakdown.

On the other hand, when it comes to an Avalanche breakdown, it takes place when the voltage is at least 8V. Moreover, it occurs primarily for diodes that are lightly-doped and have a large voltage of breakdown.

What’s the use of the Zener diode?

Making use of the feature of constant voltage when the current changes, Zener diode prevents IC from being damaged by surge current and static electricity in constant voltage circuits as a protective component.Zener diodes are often used in series voltage stabilizing circuits, protection circuits, small load circuits, and arc suppression circuits.

Besides, Zener diodes also are utilized as reference elements, surge suppressors, and are utilized in different switching applications, clipper circuits. and different types of modern devices such as smartphones and Android devices.

What is the Zener diode made of?

It is worth noting that Zener diodes are often developed from highly doped silicon. It ensures that the depletion layer remains thin in the diode. In addition to it, its potential hill is rather and when a certain value is exceeded by potential difference, electrons are allowed to pass through the depletion layer.

What is the difference between a rectifier and a Zener diode?

difference-between-a-rectifier-and-a-Zener-diodeIn general, diodes are recognized as two-terminal devices that facilitate and enable the current’s flow in a single direction. It often has high resistance on one end while low resistance on the other. It should be noted that diodes are utilized for securing circuits through the limitation of voltage and are even used for the conversion of AC current into DC. Meanwhile, when it comes to rectifiers, they are used for the conversion of AC to DC. Some of the key differences between them include:

Zener diodeRectifier
Zener diodes are utilized for offering a stable voltagRectifiers are utilized for AC-DC conversion
Zener diodes are primarily p-n junction diodes and they are doped highlyRectifiers are plain diodes of p-n junction
Zener diodes might be utilized as voltage regulatorsRectifiers are used in different types of computers and batteries
Zener diodes have the capability of passing conduct in both directionsRectifiers have the capability of allowing current flow in an individual direction
Zener diodes have a weak capacity in terms of carrying currentRectifiers have a high capacity in terms of carrying current
Zener diodes are known for possessing a rather low inverse peak voltageThe opposite applies for rectifiers

What is the Zener diode symbol?

Zener diodes have symbols that are just like p-n junction diodes. The only difference is the bent edges of the vertical bar.

How do you test a Zener diode?

It is worth noting that two tests exist for checking if Zener diodes are working. They are often identified as Multimeter tests and ACDR tests or Anode-Cathode Diode Resistance Tests. Both of them are different from each other but can still help in checking if a Zener diode is working. In the multimeter test, it is simply placed across the diode leads.
How-do-you-test-a-Zener-diodeIn the case of ACDR tests, the ohm meter’s positive probe must be placed on the anode while the negative one should be placed on the cathode.

How do you determine the polarity of a Zener diode?

In case a Zener diode comes with no signs or unclear signs, a multimeter can be utilized for determining its polarity. Actually, a multimeter must be positioned in such a manner that Zener diodes can be measured. After that, the leads should be adjusted and the measurement should be read.

Once accurate readings are measured, the polarity and sides can be noted down. It is just as simple as that. In case you do not get any reading on the meter when you connect the probes, just reverse the probes and you will get a reading.

FAQ about Zener diode

Why Zener diode is voltage regulator?

Zener diodes are utilized for voltage’s regulation across different smaller loans. It is generally because they come with a sharp voltage of reverse breakdown.

Does the Zener diode have polarity?

The Zener diode has a polarity ( anodes or cathodes). In addition, since it is based on a p-n junction, it has two sides including a p side and an n side in the diode.


Zener diode is a kind of diode and a kind of commonly used electronic components in PCBA process. Zener diodes are suitable for compact protection of high-density circuits and provide voltage stabilization in most electronic applications.If you are looking for electronic components and PCB assembly manufacturer, then come to us-IBE. We can not only provide PCB design and assembly service, but also component procurement service.

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