Zener diodes - physical basics, parameters and application examples

Nexperia datasheets for Zener diodes generally cover a series of products, with each type number having a specified working voltage. When biased in the forward direction Zener diodes have the same characteristic as a silicon p-n diode. Most important for Zener diode applications is the characteristic when biased in the reverse direction, where Zener diodes have a small leakage current below a specific breakdown voltage. Above the breakdown voltage, the I-V characteristic shows a steep increase in current. Zener diodes can operate constantly as voltage stabilizers at or above the breakdown voltage, Vz.

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