Semiconductor Avalanche Diode

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Semiconductor Avalanche Diode


a semiconductor diode at whose terminals the voltage remains nearly constant when the magnitude of the electric current through the diode varies within certain limits. The working region of the volt-ampere characteristic of such a diode lies in a narrow range of reverse voltages corresponding to the electrical breakdown of the diode’s p-n junction. At breakdown voltages Ubr < 5 volts (V), the mechanism of the abrupt increase of current, or breakdown, is associated with the tunnel effect. When Ubr > 6.5 V, the mechanism is associated with the avalanche multiplication of charge carriers. At intermediate voltages, the charge carriers initially generated as a result of the tunnel effect create the conditions necessary for a controllable avalanche breakdown.

In the USSR in 1975 silicon semiconductor avalanche diodes were manufactured for various rated stabilization voltages from 3 to 180 V. Semiconductor avalanche diodes are used to stabilize voltage and limit pulse amplitude. They are also used as sources of reference voltages and in potentiometric devices.


Mikhin, D. V. Kremnievye stabilitrony. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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