Zener diode

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A type of semiconductor diode, consisting of a pn junction with high doping concentrations on either side of the junction. It acts as a rectifier until the applied reverse voltage reaches a certain value, the Zener breakdown voltage, when the device becomes conducting. This effect occurs as a result of electrons being excited directly from the valence band into the conduction band (see energy bands). Zener diodes are used in voltage-limiting circuits; they are named after the US physicist Clarence Melvin Zener (1905–93).

Subjects: Physics.

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