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An avalanche diode is a diode (usually made from silicon).

Internally madeEdit

It can be made from another semiconductor that is designed to go through Avalanche breakdown at a specified reverse bias voltage and conduct as a type of voltage reference.

Zener diode-comparedEdit

The Zener diode exhibits an apparently similar effect, but its operation is caused by a different mechanism called Zener breakdown. Both effects are actually present in any such diode, but one usually dominates the other.

VoltageEdit

Zener diodes are typically restricted to a few tens of volts maximum, but silicon avalanche diodes are available with breakdown voltages of over 4000 V.

ComparisonEdit

The Zener diode exhibits an apparently similar effect, but its operation is caused by a different mechanism, called Zener breakdown. Both effects are actually present in any such diode, but one usually dominates the other. Zener diodes are typically restricted to a few tens of volts maximum, but silicon avalanche diodes are available with breakdown voltages of over 4000 V.

Uses Edit

Protection Edit

A common application is protecting electronic circuits against damaging high voltages.


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