Tutorials

Tutorials

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) 377-9566and we’ll be happy to recommend a device for your application.

The UJIT, CUJT, PUT, FLD, SUS, SBS, SCS…

What’s 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....

Pro Electron: Component Designation System

The Association Internationale Pro Electron is the European type designation and registration system for active components (semiconductors, sensor devices, and cathode ray tubes, etc.). The part numbering system provides a concise and unambiguous type designation to the components. The system administered by Pro Electron is described below. A basic...

Zener Diode

Refer to the characteristic curve of a typical rectifier(diode) in the figure below. The forward characteristic of the curve we have previously described above in the DIODEsection. It is the reverse characteristics we will discuss here. Notice that as the reverse voltage is increased the leakage current remains essentially constant...

Varactor diode

The varactor diode symbol is shown below with a diagram representation. When a reverse voltage is applid 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...

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 . This trigger voltage is a fraction (n) of interbase voltage, Vbb.The UJT circuit symbol,...

Triac

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 ....

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. Operation in the avalanche mode insures a low impedance ; also the...

Tunnel Diode and Back Diode

A tunnel diode is a semiconductor diode with a negative resistance region that allows very fast switching speeds, up to 5 GHz. The operation of the tunnel diode depends upon a quantum mechanic principle known as “tunneling” wherein the intrinsic voltage barrier (0.3 Volt for Germanium tunnel diodes and...

SCR

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. The schematic representation is: The rectifier circuit (anode-cathode) has...

MOSFETs

A FET with an oxide coating between gate and channel is called a MOSFET (metal- oxide semiconductor field effect transistor) The figure below shows the oxide, insulating the gate from the channel. As a result, the MOSFET has very high input resistance, higher than the JFET ; and as...

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....

Germanium Diodes

Early semiconductor developments used germanium as the commercial, semiconductor material. 1) However, due to its ease of processing and more stable temperature characteristics, silicon eventually became the semiconductor of choice. And as a consequence of that, most early germanium semiconductors were replaced with silicon. 2) These devices were primarily...

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. Sylvania was an early manufacturer of semiconductors and they evolved the ECG series concept. Other manufacturers using the same idea were Motorola, G.E., and Raytheon. The...

Diode Arrays

Diode Arrays have been used for many years in both digital and linear circuits and American Microsemiconductor Inc. has supplied and continues to supply the largest selection of diode arrays. American Microsemiconductor diode arrays have many advantages over using multiple discrete diodes: reliability, high density packaging, fewer assembly steps...

Diode

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, conducting from1 to 1000 amps or even higher. Many diodes or rectifiers are identified...

Diac

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. At that point the diac goes into avalanche conduction also at that point the...

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. See the schematic representations below: Note that the direction of the emitter arrow defines the type transistor. Biasing and power supply polarity are...

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