Diodes

Diodes are a device that blocks current in one direction while allowing current to flow in the other. They are the simplest kind on semiconductor device and are typically made from silicon with a single PN junction. One terminal is an anode and the other is a cathode. Different diodes can handle small or large currents, high frequencies and voltage. The type of diode used depends on the type and amount of the transmission as well as its application. There are many types but one of the most common is the photodiode which is used with light-activated functions such as in solar cells to generate electricity. Another common type is the light-emitting diode (or LED) which dissipates energy by emitting photons in a concentrated stream. The rectifier diode converts AC into DC power while the laser diode is a basic component of many devices. Other kinds include the zenor, Schottky and transient voltage suppression diodes. Diodes have a wide number of uses in electronic devices. Digital logic gates are made up of diodes while they are used in conjunction with capacitors to make voltage multiplier circuits. For domestic use, they can be found in CD and DVD players and LED lighting.

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