DIODES VS TRANSISTORS | DIFFERENCES, USES, and TYPICAL USE CASES

Diotec transistors and diodes are no strangers to the world of electronics. These semiconductor devices are a part of the core components of electric circuits and electronic devices. Without them, electronic devices may probably not function as they ought to.

Questions like ‘can we use diodes instead of transistors?’, ‘is a diode a transistor?’ and ‘what is the difference between a diode and a transistor?’ have been asked over and again. In this article, you will finally get the answers you’ve been searching for concerning these electronic components.

Before we continue, let’s run through the basics of Diotec transistors applications and what diodes are.

Understanding Diotec Transistors and Diodes

What are Diodes?

Diodes are devices that act as a unidirectional switch for current. The device can change alternating current (AC) into pulsating direct current (DC). In our previous reviews, we discussed exclusively the types of diodes as well as everything you need to know about these amazing components.

What are Transistors?

As opposed to diodes, transistors are three-terminal devices that can amplify electrical signals and power. Transistors, in simpler terms, are semiconductor devices with rectification and amplification capabilities.

In addition, transistors transfer current from a high resistance field to low resistance. This is a bit similar to diodes allowing current to pass through their terminals.

Furthermore, the transistor has the ability to transfer the resistance of one device to another. It can be categorized as;

  1. Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT)
  2. Field Effect Transistor (FET)

At this point, you may wonder, ‘what are the differences between diodes and transistors?’. We will get to that in a bit. 

3 Differences Between Diodes and Transistors

People have asked questions like ‘can a diode be used instead of a transistor?’ and vice versa. The truth is that these semiconductor electronic components both allow current to flow through them and have similar compositions (both made of silicon).

However, besides these similarities (and some other ones to be mentioned later), neither of these components can be used in the place of another. The differences between diodes and transistors are discussed below.

1. Junctions

Diodes

This semiconductor component has an ‘np’ junction. The fusion of these two regions, (‘n’ and ‘p’), forms one area of depletion which contains neutral atoms.

diotec-diodes
Image Source | Electronics Desk

Depending on the state, biased or unbiased, the operations of a diode’s junction are different. For instance, in a typical unbiased state, the flow of current can occur due to variations in temperature. However, the recombination of holes and electrons can create one depletion region after some time.

Transistors

On the other hand, transistors have, either, the NPN junctions, or the PNP junctions. In the NPN configuration, the ‘p’ region is fused between two ‘n’ regions. It is the other way round for the PNP configuration.

 

diotec-transistor
Image Source | Electronics Desk

However, in both the PNP and NPN configurations, the majority junction is responsible for conducting current through the device. In addition, the transistor has two depletion regions due to the two different junctions and configurations formed.

2. Mode of Operation

Diodes

The operation of a diode in a circuit is based on its current-voltage characteristics. It can either operate in a ‘reverse-biased’ mode or a ‘forward-biased’ mode. 

In the reverse-biased mode, an external voltage with the same polarity as the built-in potential is placed across the diode. Unless electron-hole pairs are actively created in the n-p junction, the depletion zone will continue to act as an insulator. This will prevent electric current from flowing.

However, in a forward-biased mode, the applied external voltage is greater and opposite in polarity to the built-in potential. This will allow current to flow. In this case, the diode is considered ‘switched on’.

Transistors

It is important to know that transistors have four modes of operations. However, these modes are specific for the NPN transistor configuration.

  • The saturation mode
  • The cutoff mode
  • The active mode
  • The reverse-active mode

When a transistor is in saturation mode, it is considered ‘on’. In this mode, current flows freely from the collector to the emitter. Both junctions of the transistor are forward-biased, allowing electricity to flow through the circuit.

In cut-off mode, there is no collector or emitter current. It is the total opposite of the saturation mode. A transistor in this mode is considered ‘off’ and acts as an open circuit. In addition, both junctions are reverse-biased, allowing no significant current to pass through.

The active mode of transistors is used to amplify current. In this mode, the junctions of the transistor are both forward-biased and reverse-biased. In addition, this mode is considered the most powerful operation mode of transistors.

However, the reverse-active mode is the opposite of the active mode. When a transistor is in this mode, current flows from emitter to collector, (the opposite direction).

3. Terminals 

Diodes

As we mentioned earlier, diodes are 2-terminal semiconductor devices. The p region represents the anode terminal and the n region represents the cathode terminal.

Transistors

On the other hand, transistors are 3-terminal electronic components. These terminals include the emitter, base, and collector.

What are Diotec Transistors and Diodes used for?

Diotec products, including these semiconductors components, are used in a myriad of electronic devices and applications. As you can see, both diodes and transistors may appear similar but are very different.

These components provide different switching functions for various types of circuits. For instance, depending on the frequency range and required application, they can be used at microwave frequencies and RF.

Want to know more about diodes and transistor application? Here are some typical use cases and applications of Diotec transistors and diodes.

Applications of Diotec Diodes 

  • Clamping Circuits
  • Reverse Current Protection Circuits
  • In Logic Gates
  • Rectifiers
  • Clipper Circuits
  • Voltage Multipliers

Applications of Diotec Transistors

  • Amplifier Circuit
  • Transistor as a Switch
  • Oscillator circuit
  • Microphone

Where to Buy Diotec Transistors & Diodes

Diotec offers a broad range of semiconductors and electronics components. If you are looking to collaborate with a leading manufacturer in the semiconductor industry, then Diotec Semiconductor company is a great recommendation.

 


 

You can also access these products through official Diotec transistors and diodes distributors like BD Electronics. Visit our website store for full semiconductor components options.

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