Types of Power Diodes


Electronics engineers know if circuits are working in a piece of electronics by using diode detectors. Diode detectors convert energy from a photon or incident particle found within electrical circuits. Photons are elementary particles, and incident particles are pieces of physical matter. These diode detectors come in a variety of forms that function well with different kinds of electrical circuits.

Silicon Diodes

  • The diode detector verifies the radiation response and electrical characteristics of the PIN diode, which is a diode made out of silicon. Silicone is capable of handling high electrical fields without losing any of the electricity.

PIN Diodes

  • PIN photodiodes are used as radiation detectors that are used for X-ray measurements and for charged particles. The PIN diode spectrometer uses the radiation detector, signal processing electronics and a computer that analyzes and stores the information. Bias voltage is delivered to the detector. The charged particles or X-rays are sent through a preamplifier, an amplifier and a multichannel analyzer system (MCA). The charged particle creates a charged motion that influences the electric field, which produces a current pulse for the external circuit. An integrated current pulse is created that is proportional to the energy lost, whether that energy be the charged particles or the X-ray photons. The MCA is either a dedicated instrument or an analog-to-digital converter that is connected and interfaced to the computer.

Reverse-Biased Diodes

  • Diode detectors can be reverse-biased, which causes very little current to pass through the diode until the reverse breakdown voltage is surpassed, according to Newport.

Small Signal Diodes

  • Diode detectors operate at low voltages in the square law region. These diodes are known as small signal types, according to Newport. The higher voltage diodes operate more in the linear region and are known as the large signal types.

Log Detector Amplifiers

  • Log detector amplifiers use a series of amplifiers and diode detectors to detect output voltage. These detectors have a very good range for detection, but they are very large, which can make them inconvenient in some circumstances.

Gunn Diodes

  • Gunn diodes are diodes that are used as local oscillators that have negative resistance. This power diode produces very little noise and can operate at a very high frequency. These diodes are commonly used with microwaves because of the diode's efficiency and the frequency of the operation.


  • The epicap is a voltage-variable diode used for electronic tuning. When circuits are tuned electronically and electrically, they can function very quickly and reliably in a small form, according to Educypedia. These diodes are also more thermally stable and have less current leakage.

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