Diodes – how to choose one

Diodes are semiconductor devices commonly used for many purposes. In general, you can imagine a diode to be a valve that passes current in one direction and stops it from flowing back. The first thing that comes to mind – this might be a good choice for reverse voltage protection. In reality, things are a bit different. First of all, diodes aren’t perfect devices. They have a so-called forward voltage drop, which is about 0.7V for standard diodes. If inserted diode into the power supply, say 5V, the after protection you will get 4.3V where part of voltage is lost in the diode. If you want to go this way, choose the Schottky diode instead, which has a smaller forward voltage drop. A forward voltage drop occurs when the diode is forward biased what means current flow from anode to the cathode.

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