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Schottky Diodes: Make Efficiency Your Priority

  • August 17, 2021

Quickly becoming the preferred device in low voltage, high current applications, Schottky diodes are popular for their use in solar panel applications and renewable energy. More so, Schottky diodes have low turn-on voltage, fast recovery time, and low-loss energy at higher frequencies.

Low turn-on voltage

The Schottky diode consumes less voltage to turn on compared to traditional silicon diodes. A Schottky diode will drop around 0.2 to 0.3 volts across the terminals compared to conventional diodes, which drop about 0.6 to 0.7 volts.

Fast recovery time

A lower voltage drop allows a higher switching speed. It takes 0.2 to 0.3 volts to turn on a Schottky diode. In this diode, free electrons stop crossing from the n-type semiconductor to the metal when the voltage is less than 0.2 volts, switching from an on (conducting) to an off (non-conducting) state. In this state, the stored charges in the depletion region are removed.

Low-loss energy at higher frequencies

Higher frequencies are due to two factors. The first factor is the low turn-on voltage of the Schottky diode, which enables the rest of the frequency to cross easily. The second factor is the small depletion region that can easily overcome the built-in voltage (responsible for preventing electron flow). These two factors make a small voltage enough to produce even a large current.

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Rectron Cross Reference Table

Rectron Semiconductor

Widely known as a manufacturer of discrete semiconductors, Rectron Semiconductor presents a list of active products for Security and Automotive applications. Chip 1 Exchange is one of the exclusive and authorized distributors of Rectron.

Rectron Cross Reference Table With a highly integrated manufacturing and assembly process, Rectron supports quality products and has equivalent matches for various brands. One of which is the Schottky diode. Its main feature includes low leakage current, metallurgically bonded construction, AEC-Q101 qualified and ideal for surface mounted applications. Schottky Diodes - FM340

Applications of Schottky Diode

Quick transitions from conducting to non-conducting state due to low turn-on voltage, fast recovery time, and low-loss energy at higher frequencies — Schottky diodes have become an ideal choice for semiconductor devices in many applications. Here are six of the most common applications for Schottky diodes.

1. Radio Frequency

Because of very low forward voltage, high switching speeds, and high-frequency capabilities, the Schottky diode has become ideal for RF mixer and detector applications.

2. Power Rectification

The Schottky diode is also valuable for high power application circuits, mixer circuits, or power detectors.
Schottky diodes are the best semiconductor devices to use in applications involving power rectifications because these devices have both a low forward voltage drop and high current density. These advantages contribute to smaller heat sinks included in the design and lower heat levels. As a plus, the lower levels lead to an overall increased efficiency of the electronic system.

3. Signal Detection

The critical element in a detector circuit can be a Schottky diode. RF devices must efficiently control the transmitted power to minimize RF interference and power consumption with other electronic devices. Power detection works by rectifying the AC signal through a Schottky diode and then transferring the rectified signal through an integrator (to obtain the DC component).

Even at frequencies as high as 24 GHz, a Schottky diode’s low barrier height and very small forward voltage make this series of devices an ideal choice for mixer functions and power detection. The Schottky will even determine the frequency range of the detector circuit.


4. Logic Circuits

The Schottky diode can be used in applications in the transistor-transistor logic circuit where two parallel power supplies are used. A Schottky diode’s low forward voltage drop makes it well-adapted for use in power or circuit applications. Further, these diodes prevent reverse current flow from one supply entering the other, making them an ideal choice for digital computers.


5. Solar Cells

Solar cells are often connected to rechargeable batteries to store energy because the sun is not available as an energy source all the time. The Schottky diodes prevent the solar cells’ batteries from discharging at night.


6. Security

Schottky diodes are ideal for the detection and are being used in the terahertz frequency range (100 GHz – 10 THz) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Potential applications in imaging are used for

● concealed weapon detection
● aviation assistance
● secured high-speed data communication
● short-range radar
● spectroscopy

These THz detectors for imaging have become popular due to their potential for low cost, high yield, and excellent integration with other signal processing circuits.


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