# Diode passing voltage in both directions.

• David lopez
In summary, the diode passed 3.77 volts when connected in the same direction as the battery, but when connected in the opposite direction (where it should have passed 0 volts) the diode only passed 0.24 volts. This is considered to be a bad diode and needs to be replaced.
David lopez
i connected a diode to a 4 volt battery. in 1 direction the diode passes 4 volts. in the other direction the diode passes 1.9 volts. is this normal? shouldn't the diode pass 0 volts in the other direction?

Hi,
David lopez said:
in 1 direction the diode passes 4 volts
Huh ? Do you mean: I measure 4V across the diode ?
David lopez said:
shouldn't the diode pass 0 volts in the other direction?
And an infinite current, but only if it is an ideal diode.

In reality https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/technical-articles/understanding-i-v-curves-of-non-linear-devices/ and so do batteries.

If 1.9 V is measured over the diode, the current must be considerable. You are lucky nothing blew up ...

current flows from the 4 volt battery through the diode then into the multimeter.

David lopez said:
through the diode then into the multimeter
You would do that if you wanted to measure the current through the diode -- is that why you used the term 'passes 1.9 V'.

Is the multimeter digital (auto-ranging, set to V ?) or old-fashioned analog ?

Did you read up on the diode I-V curve ?
Do you know how to http://www.technologyuk.net/science/physics/electrical-principles/electrical-measurement.shtml ?

current flows out the battery, then current passes through the diode, then passes into the first prong then passes out the second prong, then into the battery.

i am using a digital multimeter. the multimeter is manually set to read voltage.
i am not 100% sure i know how to read voltage across a diode. i am making an educated guess.

You have the battery, diode and multimeter connected in series?

the battery, diode and multimeter are connected in series.

Then you are measuring the voltage across the battery and the diode. If you wish to measure the voltage across any particular component you must place the multimeter cables at opposite ends of the component. In voltage mode the multimeter has a high resistance so in series it is significantly limiting the current. But cautions is needed. if you take out the multimeter from the present configuration the full voltage of the battery will be applied to the diode. When forward biased the 4 volts may produce too much current and burn out the diode. One more comment, your use of passes for the voltage is inappropriate. Passes means to let through and the only thing passing through a diode is the current. The proper term related to voltage is across i.e., the voltage across a component. Thus your meter should straddle the component.

can you post a schematic of how to measure the voltage across the diode, just the diode.

David lopez said:
i connected a diode to a 4 volt battery. in 1 direction the diode passes 4 volts. in the other direction the diode passes 1.9 volts. is this normal? shouldn't the diode pass 0 volts in the other direction?
What is a happening is that the voltmeter has a high resistance - they are meant to. In the reverse direction, the diode also has a high resistance but not high enough to drop the reading very much.

David lopez said:
can you post a schematic of how to measure the voltage across the diode, just the diode.
Put the terminals of the meter on each side of the diode. You hardly need a schematic for that.

I have added a protective resistor to limit the current through the diode when forward biased. Note, voltmeters usually draw very little current which you can assume to be zero.

i tried putting the multimeter leads on each side of the diode. i connected the diode to a 3.77 volt battery. in 1
direction i got 3.77 volts. in the other direction i got 0.24 volts. is this normal? should the reading be 0 in the other direction or not?

Basically. When you got 3.77 volts the same of the battery the diode was reversed biased and did not conduct current acting as an open circuit. So the meter read the battery voltage. When you reverse the leads the diode became forward biased becoming conductive. The battery voltage was so large as to force the diode to become very conductive so much so that you probably exceeded the diodes safe current limit and basically shorted out the battery pulling down its voltage.

what is the voltage now of the battery alone? If you connect the diode to the battery as you originally started do you still get the voltage of the battery? If not you blew out the diode. One usually puts a resistor in series with a diode to limit the current through it.

i did put a 1000 ohm resistor in series with the diode. i forgot to mention that part.

OK. That was good. that limited the current to less than 3.7 mA. = 3.77/(1000 +diode forward resistance) Because the 1000 ohms is much greater than the diode resistance it had a much smaller voltage drop across it. If you measure the voltage drop across the resistor it should be 3.53 V = 3.77 V-0.24 v. If you check the specs on the diode it should tell you the max current it can handle.

i tried replacing the 1,000 ohm resistor with a 22,000 ohm resistor. the current flows from the battery through
the diode, then through the 22,000 ohm resistor, then back to the battery, completing the circiut. i measured the
voltage across the resistor. i put the multimeter leads on each side of the resistor. if diode is in 1 direction, i get
3.6 volts. if the diode is in the other direction i got an increasing value. it starts at 0.51 volts. then the voltage slowly increases, i stopped measing the voltage across the resistor at 1 volt. why is the voltage increasing in the other direction?

The voltage is increasing because the resistance is increasing. The resistance is increasing probably because the temperature is increasing. The 22,000 ohm resistor is limiting the current to about 0.17 mA. this is pretty small for the diode and semiconductor can have a high temperature dependence of resistance on temperature and thus current. For the record what is the diode ID.

the name of the model of diode is sb3100.

David lopez said:
can you post a schematic of how to measure the voltage across the diode, just the diode.

Just try thinking about what you have just asked. Have you ever used a Voltmeter before?

You keep posting this type of elementary question. Every time, some good willed PF member tries to help but your series of questions never seem to be going anywhere.

Have you actually learned anything about electronics so far? From what you write, it appears that you never look anywhere else than on PF for your answers.

berkeman and Averagesupernova

## 1. What is a diode?

A diode is an electronic component that allows current to flow in only one direction. It consists of a semiconductor material with two terminals, an anode and a cathode.

## 2. Can a diode pass voltage in both directions?

Yes, a diode can pass voltage in both directions, but it depends on the type of diode. Some diodes, such as Zener diodes, are designed to allow current to flow in both directions when a certain voltage is reached.

## 3. How does a diode pass voltage in both directions?

A diode passes voltage in both directions due to its unique construction. It has a P-N junction, which is a boundary between two types of semiconductor material. When the diode is forward biased, meaning the anode is connected to a higher voltage than the cathode, the junction allows current to flow. When the diode is reverse biased, meaning the anode is connected to a lower voltage than the cathode, the junction acts as an insulator and does not allow current to flow.

## 4. What is the purpose of a diode passing voltage in both directions?

The purpose of a diode passing voltage in both directions is to protect electronic circuits from reverse polarity. It also allows for certain types of circuits, such as AC to DC converters, to function properly.

## 5. Are there any limitations to a diode passing voltage in both directions?

Yes, there are limitations to a diode passing voltage in both directions. One limitation is that the voltage must not exceed the maximum rating of the diode, otherwise it can cause damage. Additionally, the reverse breakdown voltage of the diode must not be exceeded, as it can lead to current leakage and potential damage to the circuit.

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