A diode is a common electrical device that restricts flow of an electrical
current. It can be simply thought of as a check valve for an electrical circuit.
Any circuit that requires flow in a particular direction will contain diodes.
There are several different uses for diodes in the different electrical devices
Power Conversion - Rectifiers are power
converters constructed from diodes. Diodes are used to convert alternating
current (AC) power to direct current (DC) power. In voltage multipliers, diodes
are used to produce the reverse reaction, converting DC electricity into AC.
Over Voltage Protection - Diodes are commonly used in circuits
and other electronic devices to prevent high voltages from damaging sensitive
material. Integrated circuits that are used in computers use diodes to prevent
external voltages from damaging sensitive transistors. Diodes are also used in
relay circuits and other devices to de-energize components rapidly to avoid the
voltage spikes that would otherwise occur.
Temperature Measuring - In some cases, diodes can be used as temperature
measuring devices. When temperature drops, the voltage passing through the diode
changes, thus triggering a reaction.
Radio Demodulation - Radio demodulation was the first practical
use for the diode. Diodes are used for amplitude modulated (AM) radio broadcast
demodulation. A radio signal consists of alternating positive and negative peaks
of voltage, and the diode rectifies the signal to that of the desired audio
signal. The signal is then gathered and fed into a transducer which produces
About the author: Angela Oliver is an author for
H and R Enterprises specializes in the distribution of hard to find and obsolete
electronic components. Visit the site to view a complete inventory of electronic
components including various diodes.