A Zener diode is a semiconductor diode that becomes strongly conductive for voltages above a given value, called the diode's Zener voltage. The Zener voltage applies to the blocking direction of the diode. In the conduction direction, the Zener diode behaves like a normal semiconductor diode. The Zener diodes are mainly characterized by the magnitude of the breakdown voltage (Zener voltage, breakthrough voltage). There are two different physical phenomena that lead to the stress limitation of the blocking direction. The actual Zener effect applies to voltages below 5-6 volts. For higher voltages, due to voltage limit the so-called "avalanche breakdown” occurs. The Zener effect has a negative temperature coefficient and the avalanche breakdown a positive one. For Zener diodes where the Zener voltage is set to about 5.6 volts, both effects work simultaneously and such diodes, therefore, exhibit fairly temperature-stable voltages. Most small signal bipolar transistors have a usable good Zener diode in the range 5–6 volts for the BE diode. If you’re looking for a high-quality Zener diode, check offer.

Zener diode - more information

The Zener diode is a silicon semiconductor diode that is operated in the reverse direction. In the reverse direction, the Zener or avalanche effect occurs in a silicon diode, in which the current increases abruptly from a certain reverse voltage (breakdown voltage). In the forward direction, the Zener diode works like a normal diode. Typically, Zener diodes are used to stabilize pulsating DC voltages or to set reference voltages. Zener diodes are also characterized by the maximum power that can be applied to the diode, in combination with how well it can be cooled.

Further characteristics of Zener diodes are their dynamic resistance, the leakage current for lower voltages than the Zener voltage, the noise produced, and, the temperature coefficient of the voltage. The noise is broadband and white with high quality.

As a component, Zener diodes can be supplied in the voltage range 1.5 to 100 volts, and for higher voltages in special cases. The division of the voltage values ​​is usually taken from the rows E6, E12 and E24 (see resistance ), so they are delivered divided between 6 and 24 values ​​per decade.


Zener diodes are best suited for voltage stabilization in circuits with low power consumption. The voltage limitation of voltage peaks is also an option. With a suitable Zener voltage, they are suitable as setpoint transmitters in measurement and control technology. Or where reference voltages are required. Zener diodes are very often used to set a voltage to a polite value in a given application. A very typical way of use is to supply the diode via a series resistor from a somewhat varying voltage source and use the voltage across the diode as a stable voltage (which cannot be charged much). Such a configuration is called a parallel controller. If two identical Zener diodes are connected in series back to back, we have a component that, together with a current-limiting resistor, cuts alternating voltage signals symmetrically with an amplitude that is slightly above the Zener voltage. The Zener voltage is not very accurate, not very stable over power supply or temperature. Zener diodes are therefore rarely used in precision couplings.

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Diodes are installed in almost all circuits. There are many different types of diodes and they all have a specific task. Diodes only allow the current to flow in one direction. The Zener diode is designed to be operated permanently in the reverse direction without breaking immediately. Are you looking for a Zener diode for your project? If so, check the large selection of products available at Buy a Zener diode online at a reasonable price and with fast shipping.