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Semiconductor Zener Diode
Zener diodes are used to provide an accurate reference voltage. They "break down" at a specified voltage in "reverse bias".
Zener Diode in the Lushprojects Simulator Slide the resistance slider to simulate different load currents. The 4 V Zener level does not change.
All diodes allow current to pass in one direction only. In normal use, diodes never suffer a reverse breakdown which would destroy the diode.
Zener Diodes are special because they can break down without being damaged. They do this at a specific voltage (the Zener voltage) which is accurately determined by the manufacturing process. It is possible to purchase Zener diodes with a range of breakdown voltages between about 3.3 up to 200 volts.
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