Zener diode is an important part of the clamp and clipping circuitries. Zener diodes have major application for being used as a voltage regulator for providing stable reference voltages for use in power supplies, voltmeters, and other instruments. In the above circuit, during positive half cycle, once the input voltage is such that the zener diode is reverse biased, the output voltage is constant for a certain amount of time till the voltage starts decreasing. On August 9, 2019. As shown in the graph To understand the working of Zener diode let’s first understand what is Zener breakdown? Note that for load voltages up to 8V, a single Zener diode can be used. This breakdown is called Zener breakdown. As temperature increases, the valence electrons gain more energy to disrupt from the covalent bond and less amount of external voltage is required. Zener Diode Working. Normally, it is called the V-I characteristics of a Zener diode. It occurs for a lightly doped diodes with a large breakdown voltage. Working of the Zener diode is similar to a PN junction diode in forwarding biased condition, but the uniqueness lies in the fact that it can also conduct when it is connected in reverse bias above its threshold/breakdown voltage. As the negative voltage increases to the forwarding threshold voltage, the diode starts conducting and the negative side of the output voltage is limited to the threshold voltage. Zener diode is used as a Shunt voltage regulator for regulating voltage across small loads. Zener diode. It also used in electronics devices like mobile laptops, computer, etc. The Zener diode consists of dynamic resistance r z and d.c.battery having voltage equal to the Zener potential (Vz). The only conditions are that the input voltage should be greater than Zener voltage and the series resistor should have a minimum value such that the maximum current flows through the device. This acts as a potential barrier for the flow of majority charge carriers and the device does not conduct. Due to this commutative phenomenon, very soon, huge free electrons get created in the depletion layer, and the entire diode will become conductive. At a certain point, this voltage is such that it causes the breakdown of the depletion region, causing a massive increase in the flow of current. Working Principle of Zener Diode. This electric potential is actually the threshold voltage of the diode and is around 0.6V for silicon and 0.2V for Germanium. Zener diode is a silicon semiconductor with a p-n junction that is specifically designed to work in the reverse biased condition. This makes it possible to use a Zener diode as a constant voltage device or a voltage regulator. Working Principle of Zener Diode When a PN junction diode is reverse biased, the depletion layer becomes wider. When we forward biased the Zener diode, it behaves just like a normal signal diode due to 0.7 V forward voltage drop which follows the diode equation. You must understand its working before you can use it in any circuits. As voltage increases, the kinetic energy (velocity) of the electrons also increases and the covalent bonds are more easily disrupted, causing an increase in electron-hole pairs. At the same time, there will be a constant reverse saturation current due to minority carriers. Thus the holes diffuse to the n-side and the electrons diffuse to the p-side. After certain reverse voltage across the junction, the minority carriers get sufficient kinetic energy due to the strong electric field. There are two types of mechanism by which breakdown can occur at reverse PN junction that are avalanche and Zener breakdown. Some Zener diodes have a sharp, highly doped p–n junction with a low Zener voltage, in which case the reverse conduction occurs due to … The depletion region of the Zener diode is very thin because of the impurities. Although at that condition current through the diode can be of any value depending on the load connected with the diode. These Bluetooth devices require about 3V voltage for operation. In case this kind of reverse biased voltage throughout the diode is raised consistently, the depletion layer will become a lot more larger. The breakdown voltage of Zener diodes will be constant for a wide range of current. Now, discussing about the diode circuits we should look through the graphical representation of the operation of the zener diode. Here is a simple question for the readers – Why are regulator ICs mostly preferred over Zener diode in regulated DC power supply? It is because multimeters usually do not have enough input voltage to put the zener into breakdown region. These newly created free electrons also get sufficient kinetic energy due to the same electric field, and they create more free electrons by collision cumulatively. It is a very helpful device in electronics and works in various ways. Try the Circuit! We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Working of Zener Diode The Zener diode is made up of heavily doped semiconductor material. But do you think its good enough? The value of the series resistor is chosen to be. Zener diode is basically like an ordinary PN junction diode but normally operated in reverse biased condition. When forward biased, it behaves like a normal signal diode, but when the reverse voltage is applied to it, the voltage remains constant for a wide range of currents. If this reverse biased voltage across the diode is increased continually, the depletion layer becomes more and more wider. It used in many security circuitries. The approximate value of this field is about 2*10^7 V/m. Any sure? Zener diode is a type of diode that flows of current also in reverse bias and in applications it always connected in reverse bias and Zener diode limit the voltage, this diode is used for regulating the voltage in any circuit. Here, let's assume the value of the Zener diode is 4.7 V and the supply voltage V in is 8.0 V. Thus Zener breakdown voltage decreases with temperature. It is because multimeters usually do not have enough input voltage to put the zener into breakdown region. We hope we have been able to provide precise yet essential information about Zener diode working and its applications. If the applied reverse voltage across the diode is more than Zener voltage, the diode provides a conductive path to the current through it hence, there is no chance of further avalanche breakdown in it. Zener diodes are normal PN junction diodes operating in a reverse-biased condition. Many diodes described as Zener diodes rely instead on avalanche breakdown. In Analog Electronics. As Voltage Stabilizer – The Zener diode is used for voltage regulation. An electric polarity or electric dipole is formed across the junction, causing the flow of flux from n side top side. If you can recall, a simple PN junction diode is formed by a combination of p-type semiconductor material with an n-type semiconductor material. In power supplies and many other circuits, Zener diode finds its application as a constant voltage provider or a voltage reference. great points altogether, you just won a new reader. It is also the knee voltage because at this point the current increases very rapidly. However, the Zener Diode or Breakdown Diode, as they are sometimes referred too, are basically the same as the standard PN junction diode but they are specially designed to have a low and specified Reverse Breakdown Voltage which takes advantage of any reverse voltage applied to it. Hello! However, a zener shows variation from a normal … Let’s say it is Zener Diode No. Of course, these days, practical temperature compensated Zener diodes are used. What may you suggest about your submit that you just made some days ago? However, the only constraint being, the current through Zener diode should not be less than minimum Zener diode current. When the diode is connected in forward bias, this diode acts as a normal diode but when the reverse bias voltage is greater than zener voltage, a sharp breakdown takes place. Full disclaimer here. In any power supply circuit, a regulator is used to provide a constant output (load) voltage irrespective of variation in input voltage or variation in load current. This higher concentration of impurity atoms causes the higher concentration of ions in the depletion layer hence for same applied reverse biased voltage, the width of the depletion layer becomes thinner than that in a normally doped diode. Zener Diode Working Principle This device is named after Zener. These projects involve the use of Bluetooth technology-based devices. A Zener diode is a special type of diode designed to reliably allow current to flow "backwards" when a certain set reverse voltage, known as the Zener voltage, is reached. The above diagram shows the V-I characteristics of a zener diode. We have discussed the application of Zener diode as voltage regulator and now we will discuss the other two points. This regulated DC voltage is used to drive the control circuit, used to control the switching of light, as in an automated lighting control system. A Zener diode is one in which the reverse breakdown occurs due to electron quantum tunneling under high electric field strength called Zener effect. Normally there are two types of breakdown- Zener and Avalanche. So it’s the same as Zener Diode operation. This region is after the reverse-biased voltage has exceeded the breakdown voltage (breakdown point). Hence a negative temperature coefficient diode is used for compensation. I shall be coming back to your blog for extra soon. These are among the basic types of diodes used frequently, apart from the normal diodes. Because of its unusual properties it fills a long-standing need in electronic circuitry. In a DC circuit, Zener diode can be used as a voltage regulator or to provide voltage reference. Now when a normal diode is biased such that a negative voltage is applied to the n side and positive voltage to the p side, the diode is said to be in forward biasing condition. The Zener voltage of the diode gets adjusted during manufacturing with the help of required and proper doping. Zener diodes are normal PN junction diodes operating in a reverse-biased condition. In the breakdown region, Zener diode works as a Voltage regulator by adjusting current flowing through it when Voltage across it becomes greater than breakdown voltage Vz. The diode can be used to limit the peak of the output voltage to Zener voltage at one side and to about 0V at another side of the sinusoidal waveform. Due to this thinner depletion layer, voltage gradient or electric field strength across the depletion layer is quite high. In other words, the maximum current through the device should be:-. Working of Zener diode The operation of a zener diode is like a normal diode in forward biased mode. Now during the negative half cycle, the Zener diode is in forwarding biased connection. When one side of a semiconductor crystal is doped with donor impurities and the other side with acceptor impurities, a PN junction is formed. At this point, there happens a steady reverse saturation current because of minority charge carriers. We go over the characteristics & working principle of a Zener Diode. When a PN junction diode is reverse biased, the depletion layer becomes wider. It has a Zener Diode voltage equal to 3 volts. A Zener diode is a specially designed, highly doped PN junction diode. In a circuit involving the AC input source, different from the normal PN diode clamping circuit, a Zener diode can also be used. When a PN junction is diode is highly doped, the concentration of impurity atoms will be high in the crystal. If this reverse biased voltage across the diode is increased continually, the depletion layer becomes more and more wider. It converts the fluctuating voltage of the source to a constant voltage and supplies it to the load. With the growing popularity of smartphones, android based projects are being preferred these days. A Zener diode is very often used in a lot of electronic circuits for instance in various power supplies, voltage detectors, etc.. A simple circuit involving Zener diode as a regulator requires a resistor of the low value connected in series with the input voltage source. 10 (i)]. This results in varying negative electric field intensity, generating an electric potential across the junction. A zener diode can operate in any of three regions: forward, leakage, and breakdown. This results in the formation of mobile electron-hole pairs, increasing the flow of current across the device. This results in the accumulation of charges around the junction, forming a depletion region. Free electrons with sufficient kinetic energy collide with stationary ions of the depletion layer and knock out more free electrons. At this point and afterward, the majority carriers cross the potential barrier and the device starts conducting with the flow of current through it. Zener diode working Zener diode Zener diode is a type of diode that flows of current also in reverse bias and in applications it always connected in reverse bias and Zener diode limit the voltage, this diode is used for regulating the voltage in any circuit. Note that to get an output voltage in positive range only, use two oppositely biased Zener diodes in series. In such cases, a Zener diode is used to provide a 3V reference to the Bluetooth device. The Zener diode is a special type of diode that is designed to work in reverse bias and in the so-called Zener region of the diode characteristic curve. Forward Bias Region. This type of breakdown occurs at the reverse bias voltage above 8V and higher. As this reverse bias voltage increases, the reverse current tends to increase gradually. A SIMPLE explanation of Zener Diodes. As stated above the basic principle behind the working of a Zener diode lies in the cause of breakdown for a diode in reverse biased condition. Zener discovered this electrical property. Here the AC voltage is rectified by the diode D1 and filtered by the capacitor. It provides, among other useful functions, a constant voltage reference Zener diodes cannot be tested individually with a multimeter. The Zener breakdown is much sharper than avalanche breakdown. Zener Diode , V-I Characteristics, Working, and Applications. This type of break down occurs normally for a highly doped diode with low breakdown voltage and a larger electric field. Zener diode is connected parallel to the load to make it reverse bias and once the Zener diode exceeds knee voltage, the voltage across the load will become constant. Il diodo Zener è un tipo di diodo a giunzione p-n, il cui comportamento è determinato dalla combinazione dell' effetto Zener e dell'effetto di breakdown a valanga, ed è caratterizzato dalla tensione Zener V z, corrispondente alla tensione di breakdown, dipendente dalla resistività del materiale (cioè dal drogaggio delle zone p ed n) nonché dalla temperatura di lavoro. The zener diode is a semiconductor device unique in its mode of operation and completely unreplaceable by any other electronic device. However, for all applications, r z may be neglected as compared to the large external resistance. Zener Diode Working Principle. So, it is the detailed article on the Zener diode, I have each and everything related to the Zener diodes… While supplying the current through R1 to Zener diode via K, cathode and pin A, Anode is grounded. A Zener diode is similar to conventional PN Junction diode except that it is properly doped to achieve sharp breakdown voltage. The circuit symbol of a Zener diode is also shown below. That means a large majority current flows through the device when the forward potential is applied to it. Both types are used with the Zener effect predominating under 5.6 V and avalanche breakd… R =(Vin – Vz)/(Izmin + IL), where IL  = Load Voltage/Load resistance. Since the input voltage and the required output voltage is known, it is easier to choose a Zener diode with a voltage approximately equal to the load voltage, i.e. 1N5225 or BZX55C3V0 (3V) 0.5 watts. This type of breakdown of the depletion layer is known as avalanche breakdown, but this breakdown is not quite sharp. - Structure & Tuning Methods. What is the Difference between 8051, PIC, AVR and ARM? The regulating voltage of the zener diode is the voltage that will remain practically constant for as long as the diode is in operation. However, it does allow the flow of minority carriers (holes in n-type and electrons in p-type). Zener Diode is nothing but a single diode connected in a reverse bias, we have already stated that. A diode connected in reverse bias position in a circuit is shown below, When a zener diode is connected across a voltage source, and the source voltage is more than Zener voltage, the voltage across a Zener diode remain fixed irrespective of the source voltage. The Zener diode is a diode that is employed specifically to operate in reverse bias. But zener diode also conducts current in reverse bias connection with specified condition. zener diode as voltage regulator. V1 (BAT1) is a DC source , a load is connected and denoted as RL, a zener diode … The avalanche breakdown voltage increases with temperature. While designing a voltage regulator using a Zener diode, the latter is chosen with respect to its maximum power rating. Zener diodes are manufactured with a great variety of Zener voltages and some are even variable. Zener diode working: Zener diode also known as breakdown diode is made up of silicon PN junction. When working as a zener diode, we must take into account some parameters such as its regulating voltage, minimum current and maximum operating current. Hence the equivalent circuit of Zener diode as shown in the figure. This applied voltage tends to decrease the potential barrier after it goes beyond the threshold voltage. It always works in Zener breakdown voltage. In normal conditions, holes from the p side tend to diffuse to a low concentration region and the same thing happens for electrons from the n-side. (i) If the zener diode is working properly, the voltage V0 across the load (= 5 kΩ) will be nearly 6V [See Fig. But ordinary PN junction diode connected in reverse biased condition is not used as Zener diode practically. This constant voltage drop across the Zener diode produced by reverse breakdown is represented by a DC voltage symbol. A Zener diode operating in breakdown acts as a voltage regulator because it maintains a nearly constant voltage, which is equal to the Zener voltage, across its terminals over a specified range of reverse-current values. 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That is why we use a Zener diode mainly for controlling voltage in different circuits. (i) If the zener diode is working properly, the voltage V0 across the load (= 5 kΩ) will be nearly 6V [See Fig. The low value is required so as to allow the maximum flow of current through the diode, connected in parallel. In the reverse biased condition, the diode’s depletion layer gets broad and upon enhancement of voltage levels, the layer extremely wider. This is because the Zener diode at higher voltage follows the avalanche breakdown principle, having a positive temperature of the coefficient. I simply would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great data you’ve here on this post. Give your answers and of course your feedback in the comment section below. Simply put, for a minimum input voltage and a maximum load current, the Zener diode current should always be Izmin. Theoretically, Zener breakdown occurs at a lower voltage level then avalanche breakdown in a diode, especially doped for Zener breakdown. Electrical4U is dedicated to the teaching and sharing of all things related to electrical and electronics engineering. With the switch down, the Zener will not conduct, and Vout will be 3 volts (less a bit, due to the current drawn by R2) Without R1, when the switch is up, infinite current would flow through the Zener diode as V1 tries to deliver 5 volts, and D1 tries to hold the voltage to 4 volts. This filtered DC voltage is regulated by the diode to provide a constant reference voltage of 15V. (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs): Basics, Types & Applications, Diode: Definition, Symbol, and Types of Diodes, Thermistor: Definition, Uses & How They Work, Half Wave Rectifier Circuit Diagram & Working Principle, Lenz’s Law of Electromagnetic Induction: Definition & Formula. As the applied reverse voltage tends to increase that result in the increment of the width of the depletion region. When forward-biased, Zener diodes behave much the same as ordinary silicon diodes and start conducting at … Zener diodes cannot be tested individually with a multimeter. What are Ferromagnetic Materials – Types & Their Applications. By StudentsHeart Team. The diode doesn’t suffer from an avalanche breakdown, but a slightly different kind of breakdown that is now called the Zener breakdown.One can infer from the graph that, following the avalanche breakdown, even a small increase in voltage would cause the diode to draw a huge amount of current, that is, the diode still exhibits variation. Basic Zener Diode Circuit Working A standard voltage regulator circuit, using a single resistor and a Zener diode, can be witnessed in the following image. This type of breakdown occurs for a reverse bias voltage between 2 to 8V. Enter your email below to receive FREE informative articles on Electrical & Electronics Engineering, SCADA System: What is it? With the switch up, the Zener will limit Vout to 4 volts. When the diode is biased in reverse condition to above, the applied voltage is such that it adds to the potential barrier and hinders the flow of majority carriers. The variation in input voltage is called line regulation, whereas the variation in load current is called load regulation. Working Principle of Zener Diode Whenever a PN junction diode is reverse biased, the depletion layer results in being wider. Vz ~=Vo. Another application involves the use of Zener diode as a voltage regulator. Working of the Zener diode is similar to a PN junction diode in forwarding biased condition, but the uniqueness lies in the fact that it can also conduct when it is connected in reverse bias above its threshold/breakdown voltage. The Zener diode is always connected in parallel with the load, and it maintains a constant voltage VZ, thus stabilizing the voltage. The main use of Zener diode lies in the fact that the voltage across a Zener diode remains constant for a larger change in current. There is another type of breakdown in depletion layer which is sharper compared to avalanche breakdown, and this is called Zener breakdown. Let's have a look at what Zener Diodes are, and how they work! Let’s understand this through the I-V graph of a zener diode. In the V-I characteristics above Vz is the zener voltage. We try to understand how zener diode works and regulate the voltage. 6.70 (i)]. As minority charge carriers (electrons) flow across the device, they tend to collide with the electrons in the covalent bond and cause the covalent bond to disrupt. If the reverse voltage is continued to increase, after a certain applied voltage, the electrons from the covalent bonds within the depletion region come out and make the depletion region conductive. After breakdown Zener diode operates in the breakdown region. However for load voltages beyond 8V, requiring Zener voltages of higher voltage value, it is advisable to use a forward-biased diode in series with the Zener diode. The voltage at which this breakdown occurs is called Zener voltage. The heavily doped means the high-level impurities is added to the material for making it more conductive. Even at this low voltage, the electric field intensity is strong enough to exert a force on the valence electrons of the atom such that they are separated from the nuclei. This is where the Zener diode working comes into play. Junction, forming a depletion region of the Zener diode as a voltage regulator provide voltage reference diodes... 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Requires a resistor of the diode blog for extra soon are normal PN junction diode is reverse biased condition of. The same time, there will be a constant voltage drop across the junction and many other,! To work zener diode working the formation of mobile electron-hole pairs, increasing the flow of current a voltage! The minority carriers these Bluetooth devices require about 3V voltage for operation breakdown, but breakdown. Dc power supply related to electrical and electronics engineering, highly doped junction. Will limit Vout to 4 volts electron quantum tunneling under high electric field strength called Zener..