What is a rectifier diode?
A rectifier is a device for turning alternating current to direct current. Alternating current (AC) flows in both directions, switching back and forth many times every second. Direct current (DC) flows only in one direction. The power lines transport electricity as AC, but most appliances need DC for work. Inside almost every appliance you own is a rectifier that provides direct current. A rectifier diode is an electronic device designed to convert AC to DC power. This is a two-electrode device, which has only one-sided (unipolar) electrical conductivity. Corrective diode from semiconductor materials and the so-called diode bridges (when four diodes are connected diagonally in pairs in one case).
A semiconductor rectifier diode is used in electrical engineering, electronic and electrical devices. It transforms alternating current (voltage) into a current of one polarity (pulsating direct current). This type of rectification is needed in the art of opening and closing electrical circuits, switching and detecting electrical signals and pulses, and for many other similar transformations. The rectifier diode is often abbreviated as a rectifier. As a component of an electrical circuit, it exerts a high resistance to a current flowing in one direction, and a low one flowing in the opposite direction. This causes the current to be corrected. The operating frequency for industrial use of such a device when converting AC to DC is 50 Hz. The limiting frequency is considered to be not more than 20 kHz.
PN junction diode
PN junctions are used to make components called diodes. With the exception of a few very specialized diodes, a diode is nothing more than a PN junction, identical to the one seen in the previous section. Its two terminals are called respectively anode and cathode. The anode corresponds to the P-doped semiconductor, while the cathode corresponds to the N-doped semiconductor. The most common use of a diode is to only let current flow in one direction, from the anode to the cathode, but not the other way around. The diode is called locked when she does not let the current pass when the current passes.
Typical work systems of rectifying diodes
There are two basic systems in which semiconductor diodes (which act as rectifiers) operate -
One-wave (half-wave) rectifier or a two-wave (full-wave) rectifier. In a one-way rectifier, only the positive or negative half of the wave is conducted and the other half is blocked. Since only half of the input waveform reaches the output, the average output voltage of such a system is lower than the input voltage. Half-wave rectification requires a single diode in a single-phase arrangement or three in a three-phase arrangement. These rectifiers produce a pulsating DC current with a high ripple level and need much larger filters to eliminate output noise. In turn, a full-wave rectifier converts the entire input waveform to DC - it uses both halves of the input sine wave and gives a higher average voltage at the output. It consists of four (for a single-phase system) or six (for a three-phase system) diodes in the so-called Graetz bridge configuration. A full-wave rectifier offers a much lower output ripple.
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