avalanche breakdown

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avalanche breakdown

[′av·ə‚lanch ′brāk‚dau̇n]
(electronics)
Nondestructive breakdown in a semiconductor diode when the electric field across the barrier region is strong enough so that current carriers collide with valence electrons to produce ionization and cumulative multiplication of carriers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.