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Unlocking the Mystery of Schottky Diodes

time 2023-07-18

Publisher: hqt


What exactly are Schottky diodes?

  • Schottky diodes are semiconductor components that are frequently used in electrical circuits. They were named after German scientist Walter H. Schottky. Because of their distinct design and manufacturing, they are a diode that displays particular properties. In contrast to conventional p-n junction diodes, these diodes are created by a metal-semiconductor junction. The utilized metal often has a low work function and creates a rectifying contact with the semiconductor, such as platinum or tungsten.
  • Ordinary diodes distinguish the diodes by having a low forward voltage drop (Vf). They have a lower voltage threshold, which implies they may conduct current in the forward bias direction. These diodes are, therefore, excellent for high-frequency and high-speed applications since they have a quicker switching speed and less power dissipation. Due to the absence of the depletion area seen in p-n junction diodes, Schottky diodes have a low Vf. Instead, the Schottky barrier, a potential barrier created by the metal-semiconductor junction, enables quick charge carrier transport across the junction.

How to Understand Schottky Diodes?

The electrical component known as a diode is sometimes called a Schottky barrier diode. The following is important information concerning Schottky diodes:

  • Structure: 

A diode is a semiconductor diode that lacks the P-N junction in conventional diodes and instead has a metal-semiconductor junction. It consists of n-type semiconductor material and metal contact, commonly consisting of a transition metal like platinum or tungsten.

  • Barrier Formation: 

In a diode, the metal-semiconductor junction creates a rectifying barrier called the Schottky barrier. The diode can conduct current in one way (forward bias) thanks to this barrier, but it offers considerable resistance in the other direction (reverse bias).

  • Fast Switching Speed: 

It generally has a forward voltage drop of 0.2 to 0.3 volts, smaller than that of ordinary diodes. Due to the minimal voltage drop, switching occurs quickly and with little power loss.

  • Low Junction Capacitance:

 Compared to conventional diodes, Schottky diodes have a lower junction capacitance. They can flip on and off fast, which qualifies them for high-frequency applications.

  • Reverse Recovery Time: 

In contrast to conventional diodes, these diodes have a very fast reverse recovery time. Because they lack a minority carrier storage time, they can quickly transition from a conducting state to a non-conducting one.

  • High Temperature Operation: 

These diodes can operate at temperatures greater than ordinary ones, allowing for higher temperature operation. Because of this, they are appropriate for uses that require voltage clamping, power rectification, and high-frequency switching.

In many different electrical circuits and systems, Schottky diodes are extensively used:

  • Power rectification: 

Due to their low forward voltage drop and quick switching properties, Schottky diodes are utilized in power supplies, voltage regulators, and inverters.

  • Applications in radio frequency (RF): 

Due to their quick switching times and low junction capacitance, they are well-suited for high-frequency RF mixers, detectors, and modulators.

  • Applications for switching: 

It offers quick switching and little power loss in high-speed digital circuitry.

  • Solar cells: 

It is used in solar panels and photovoltaic cells to stop reverse current flow.

  • Clamp diodes: 

These devices, such as relays and motors, are frequently used as protection diodes to reduce voltage spikes in inductive loads.

Schottky diodes have the number of characteristics:

  • Low forward voltage drop:  

These diodes have a smaller forward voltage drop than normal diodes, generally in the range of 0.2 to 0.5 volts. This quality qualifies them for applications needing quick switching or little power loss.

  • Fast switching speed:  

It can flip on and off fast since they do not have a depletion area like normal diodes. Due to this characteristic, they are suited for high-frequency applications.

  • Low reverse recovery time: 

These diodes generally have a reverse recovery time of just a few nanoseconds. Because of this quality, they are perfect for applications that call for quick recovery from the reverse bias state.

  • Leaking current is greater:

These diode leak currents are greater than those of conventional diodes. When designing a circuit, this attribute must be taken into account.

Working Principle of Schottky diodes:

 These diodes are produced by combining a metal and a semiconductor material, often an N-type semiconductor and metal. The metal-semiconductor junction produces the Schottky barrier, which is a rectifying barrier for current flow. Schottky diodes contain a metal-semiconductor junction, as opposed to a typical p-n junction diode with a P-N junction. It is made by directly layering a metal material, such as aluminum or platinum, over an N-type semiconductor substance, such as silicon or gallium arsenide. 

Small Equivalent Circuit Simulation of Schottky Diodes: 

A small equivalent circuit may be used to simulate the behaviour of Schottky diodes. This circuit streamlines the analysis and design processes while capturing the essential attributes of these diodes. The compact equivalent circuit generally consists of a parallel configuration comprising a resistor and a voltage-dependent current source. 

  • This element reflects the diode’s reverse saturation current. The Shockley diode equation or another current source with a voltage-dependent equation is typically used to model it. The voltage of the diode affects the current that the current source produces.
  • In the analogous circuit, the resistor represents the diode’s series resistance. This resistance explains the voltage drop across the diode caused by the current flowing through it. Although the series resistance is normally negligible, it can become substantial at large currents.


An assortment of electrical circuits employs Schottky diodes, a semiconductor diode. It is the best choice for low-power, high-speed applications because we offer a minimal forward voltage drop and a quick switching speed. Our diodes are also widely accessible and reasonably priced. Our sales engineers have received technical training, and we also have a wealth of product, application, and industry expertise. The EASYPIEE uses lean logistics management to provide clients with effective, value-added continuous supply services, and it has established itself as a reputable provider of equipment and professional components to the industry.