Main distinction – Diode vs. Zener Diode

Diodes are common components in electronic circuits, made utilizing doped semiconductors and the main difference in between diode and Zener diode is the Zener diodes allow reverse currents come pass through them without coming to be damaged, conversely, ordinary diodes acquire damaged if existing flows through them in the reverse direction. Diode’s action in a circuit is dependency on which way around they room connected. Therefore, diodes are valuable for make circuits whereby the direction of existing flow is important. Zener diodes themselves space a special kind of diodes. In Zener diodes, the capacity to tolerate turning back currents is achieved by doping the semiconductors that kind the p-n junction in a Zener diode to a higher level compared to those in common diodes.

You are watching: Difference between diode and zener diode

What is a Diode

diode is a an equipment formed by joining a p-type semiconductor come an n-type semiconductor, forming a p-n junction. An simple diode is designed to conduct existing only in one direction. I.e., the terminals must be offered a voltage in the forward direction or else existing would not be conducted. Because that this reason, diodes are regularly used as rectifiers—meaning lock ensure that existing flows follow me a preferred direction in a circuit.

The circuit symbol for a diode is:


Diode Symbol

However, this is an idealisation. Under sufficiently big voltages, Zener failure and avalanche malfunction occurs and big reverse currents can flow through the diode. This reasons ordinary diodes to come to be damaged.

Below is a typical current vs. Voltage characteristic of a diode:


Current – Voltage characteristics of a Diode

What is a Zener Diode

Zener diodes space a special type of diodedesigned to carry reverse currents together well. Zener diodes achieve this by gift comparatively highly-doped contrasted to simple diodes. Therefore, the space charge an ar of a Zener diode is much smaller. Consequently, Zener diodes undergo malfunction at lot smaller turning back voltages, called the Zener voltage (

). As soon as this voltage is reached, the Zener diode allows a reverse existing to pass through without coming to be damaged. Even as the reverse present through Zener diode increases, the voltage is preserved around 

The circuit symbol because that a Zener diode is:


Zener Diode Symbol

The figure below shows the current-voltage characteristic for a typical Zener diode:


Zener Diode Current-Voltage Characteristic

The forms of the 2 characteristic curves might look similar, however, it have to be provided that the Zener diode breaks under at a smaller sized reverse voltage.

The fact that Zener diodes have the right to maintain voltage around 

way that they deserve to be provided as regulators in circuits for providing a continuous voltage across its terminals.

Difference in between Diode and also Zener Diode 

Effects of reverse Currents

Diodes: Normal diodes come to be damaged once reverse currents happen through them.

Zener Diodes: Zener diodes conduct reverse currents without coming to be damaged.

Relative Doping Levels

Diodes: Comparatively, doping level on normal diodes space low.

Zener Diodes: Compared to normal diodes, doping levels on Zener diodes is high.

Relative value of malfunction Voltage

Diodes: Typical break down voltages for diodes space larger compared to break down voltages in Zener diodes (Zener voltage).

See more: What Does Lightning Bolt Tattoo Under Eye Meaning, Lightning Bolt Tattoos: The Meaning Behind Them

Zener Diodes: Typically, malfunction occurs in Zener diodes at much lower voltages contrasted to typical diodes.

Image Courtesy“The circuit diagram symbol for a diode.” by Omegatron (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons“Current vs voltage because that a semiconductor diode rectifier” through User:Hldsc(Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons“The circuit diagram symbol for a Zener diode. When offered in a circuit diagram, the native “Anode” and “Cathode” space not consisted of with the graphics symbol. (Revised to conform come ANSI Y32.2-1975 and also IEEE-Std. 315-1975.)” through Omegatron (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons“Schematic V-A characteristics of avalanche or Zener diode. (Note: with breakdown voltage end ca. 6 V avalanche diodes room used rather of Zener diodes.)” by Filip Dominec (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons