Types Of Diodes
Of all the various electrical components that comprise modern circuitry, diodes are among the most common. A diode is basically a two terminal component that only allows current to pass in one direction. Diodes range in size from very large to almost microscopic and can be designed to fill a variety of different functions. Here are some of the jobs this important component can fill in an electrical circuit.
One of the most common types of diodes we use is a LED or Light-emitting Diode. The way one works is that as current is passed through the component, energy is released in the form of photons creating visible light. LED technology has many advantages over other light sources such as lower heat emission, longer component life and less energy consumption.
Another common use for diodes in an electrical circuit is for rectification or conversion of AC current into DC current. This type of rectification is key on many applications such as motor controls, power supplies and converters. The way this is achieved is through a special configuration of four diodes known a diode bridge. In this way AC can be rectified into DC with a much smaller and efficient package than by using a transformer to do the same job.
Laser Diodes are one of the most common application for specialized diodes in many industries. They can be found in laser scanning equipment, material engraving and etching, barcode readers and even in medical devices. A laser diode works by passing current through a semiconductor crystal in one direction creating a high-powered emission of light.
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