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AMS Semiconductor Tutorials

Tutorials Graphic We provide tutorials to help our customers better understand semiconductors and other electronic devices. Whether you have a question regarding a particular component, or simply want to know more about semiconductors, browse through our tutorial section for help. If you are still stuck, give us a call at (973) 377-9566 and we'll be happy to recommend a device for your application.

Bipolar Transistor
Bipolar transistors, having 2 junctions, are 3 terminal semiconductor devices. The three terminals are emitter, collector, and base. A transistor can be either NPN or PNP.
The diac is a bidirectional trigger diode which is designed specifically to trigger a triac or SCR. Basically the diac does not conduct (except for a small leakage current) until the breakover voltage is reached.
In this discussion the term diode and rectifier will be used interchangeably; however, the term diode usually implies a small signal device with current typically in the milliamp range; and a rectifier, a power device.
Diode Arrays
Multiple diode packaging or diode arrays have been an important semiconductor product. They save assembly time and improve reliability over individually packaged diodes.In general, the term diode array implies four or more diodes in a single package.
ECG, SK, and NTE Components
ECG semiconductors were originally intended for the replacement, hobbyist, and experimental markets and in time found applications in industrial repair and maintenance departments.
Germanium Diodes
Early semiconductor developments used germanium as the commercial, semiconductor material. Due to its ease of processing and more stable temperature characteristics, silicon became the semiconductor of choice.
Junction FET
The J-FET (Junction Field Effect Transistor ) and the MOS-FET (Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor FET) are voltage controlled devices: that is a small change in input voltage causes a large change in output current. FET operation involves an electric field which controls the flow of a charge (current ) through the device.
A FET with an oxide coating between gate and channel is called a MOSFET (metal- oxide semiconductor field effect transistor)
The Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR) is simply a conventional rectifier controlled by a gate signal. The main circuit is a rectifier, however the application of a forward voltage is not enough for conduction. A gate signal controls the rectifier conduction.
Tunnel Diode and Back Diode
A tunnel diode is a semiconductor with a negative resistance region that results in very fast switching speeds , up to 5 GHz. The operation depends upon a quantum mechanic principle known as "tunneling" wherein the intrinsic voltage barrier (0.3 Volt for Germanium junctions) is reduced due to doping levels which enhance tunneling.
Transient Voltage Supressor
Transient Voltage Suppressors (TVS) are semiconductor devices designed to provide protection against voltage and current transients.The silicon TVS is designed to operate in the avalanche mode and uses a large junction area to absorb large transient currents.
The triac is a three terminal semiconductor for controlling current in either direction. Below is the schematic symbol for the triac. Notice the symbol looks like two SCRs in parallel( opposite direction) with one trigger or gate terminal.The main or power terminals are designated as MT1 and MT2 .
Unijunction Transistor
The unijunction transistor(UJT) is a three terminal device with characteristics very different from the conventional 2 junction, bipolar transistor. It is a pulse generator with the trigger or control signal applied at the emitter .
Varactor diode
When a reverse voltage is applied to a PN junction , the holes in the p-region are attracted to the anode terminal and electrons in the n-region are attracted to the cathode terminal creating a region where there is little current.This region ,the depletion region, is essentially devoid of carriers and behaves as the dielectric of a capacitor.
Zener Diode
Zener diode tutorial
Pro Electron: Component Designation System
Pro Electron is the European type designation and registration system for active components (semiconductors, sensor devices, etc.).
Whats in a Name? Very little if you go by the acronymistic world we live in i.e. DOD, DOT, NASA, NATO and so on. Every field of endeavor has its own alphabetic soup. In the medical field I never did understand the medical difference between and ECG AND EKG.