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Types of Diodes and Their Uses

4/2/2012 10:02:40 AM | by Anonymous


Semiconductors are solid substances which conduct electricity greater than insulators but less than good conductors. They are widely used in the manufacture of gadgets such as mobile phones and computers. These electronic devices contain a semiconductor called Diodes.


A diode is a semiconductor made from silicon or germanium that forbids a current in one direction and permits the current flow in the other at the same time. It is composed of PN junctions, the part where p-type and n-type semiconductor meet. P-type semiconductor is formed through the process of doping, adding a trivalent impurity atoms or those with three valence electrons, to increase the number of positive holes exceeding conduction electron. N-type, on the other hand, is created by donating pentavalent impurity atoms or five valence electrons which exceed the normal figure of four valences a semiconductor contains. This resulted to an excess of negatively charged electrons. Diodes have several types capable of performing different functions in things we commonly use today.


Light Emitting Diodes produce light. They are widely used because it is small in size and efficient in electrical consumption but still capable of giving out strong light. LED can emit different colors that are seen in traffic lights, lanterns, scoreboards, some Christmas lights, glow sticks which are usually seen during Halloween, alerts and warning signs and lighted billboards.


Laser Diodes emit light as well and are typically applied in small electronic gadgets such as CD and DVD drives, gaming consoles, laser printer and CD players. Some of its medical uses are treating cancer, removing hair and x-ray film marking. The light from laser diodes can create a powerful laser pointer which can melt plastics and laser plotter paper, leather or glass.


Photodiode serves as a light detector and can generate electricity. It is responsible for automatic doors to open and lights to turn on by detecting body movements. LED, laser and photodiodes are just a few of the many types of diodes. Their many applications have brought advancement and convenience on our daily routine.

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