diode definition, diode meaning | English dictionary

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1    a semiconductor device containing one p-n junction, used in circuits for converting alternating current to direct current,   (More formal name)    semiconductor diode  
2    the earliest and simplest type of electronic valve having two electrodes, an anode and a cathode, between which a current can flow only in one direction. It was formerly widely used as a rectifier and detector but has now been replaced in most electrical circuits by the more efficient and reliable semiconductor diode  
     (C20: from di-1 + -ode2)  

Esaki diode  
      n      another name for       tunnel diode  
     (named after L. Esaki (born 1925), its Japanese designer)  
light-emitting diode  
      n   a diode of semiconductor material, such as gallium arsenide, that emits light when a forward bias is applied, the colour depending on the semiconductor material: used as off/on indicators,   (Abbrev.)    LED  
tunnel diode  
      n   an extremely stable semiconductor diode, having a very narrow highly doped p-n junction, in which electrons travel across the junction by means of the tunnel effect,   (Also called)    Esaki diode  
Zener diode  
      n   a semiconductor diode that exhibits a sharp increase in reverse current at a well-defined reverse voltage: used as a voltage regulator  
     (C20: named after C. M. Zener (1905--93), US physicist)  
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