What is the Zener Diode?

What is the Zener Diode? – Explained

What is the Zener Diode

Zener Diode – Definition, Symbol, Circuit Diagram & Applications

What is the Zener Diode?

  • Zener diode is heavily doped than the normal p-n junction diode. Hence, it has very thin depletion region. Therefore, it allows more electric current than the normal p-n junction diodes.
  • If heavily doped, zener breakdown occurs at low reverse voltages. On the other hand, if lightly doped, the zener breakdown occurs at high reverse voltages. It is available with zener voltages in the range of 1.8V to 400V.

Definition of Zener Diode

  • Zener diode is defined as the semiconductor which is heavily doped to operate in reverse direction or in breakdown region. The semiconductor which is heavily doped to operate in reverse direction or in breakdown region. During specific conditions of fabrication, a special type of diode is formed that will not be ruined when the breakdown voltage is increased, given that the current does not exceed a defined limit to prevent the case of overheating. This type of devices is referred to as Zener diodes.
  • Itis a special type of device designed to operate in the zener breakdown region (reverse breakdown region), The breakdown voltage is carefully set by controlling the doping level during manufacture.
  • Zener diodes are the basic building blocks of electronic circuits and widely used in all kinds of electronic equipment’s to protect electronic circuits from over voltage.

Symbol for Zener Diode

Symbol for Zener Diode

The symbol of zener diode is shown in figure. It consists of two terminals: cathode and anode. Electric current flows from both anode to cathode and cathode to anode. The symbol is similar to the normal p-n junction diode, but with bend edges on the vertical bar.

Circuit Diagram for Zener Diode

Circuit Diagram for Zener Diode

Advantages :

  • Firstly,Power dissipation capacity is very high
  • High accuracy
  • The size is so small that it can be used in smaller circuits and also in cell phones.
  • Zener diodes are less expensive when compared to other diodes.
  • Zener diodes can be used for controlling, regulating, and also stabilizing the voltage in the circuit.
  • These diodes have a very high performance standard.
  • The compatibility of the Zener diodes is good that they are used in regulating voltage.

The Application of Zener Diode

The following are the Application of Zener Diode.

  • Zener diodes are used in voltage stabilizers or shunt regulators.
  • Zener diodes are used in switching operations
  • Zener diodes are used in clipping and also clamping circuits


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