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Super Barrier Rectifier: An Evolution In Power Rectifier Technology

A central component to a power circuit, or any type of circuit where a signal needs to be conditioned is a rectifying diode. Traditionally diodes from one of two families are used in these applications: the pn-junction diode and the Schottky Barrier diode. These technologies are well-established in circuit design and form the basis of most IC fabrication techniques. The Schottky diode came first: in 1926, followed by the pn junction diode in 1940. Here we will discuss a ground-breaking innovation in rectifier technology that uniquely captures the benefits provided by each of these traditional devices and integrates them into a single component.

Today's rectifying devices are a far cry from those of the early 20th century, but still possess physical limitations that preclude their use in certain applications, and offer many limitations where they are used. These products often provide only partial design satisfaction, and significant design trade-offs have to be made to compensate for parametric deficiencies when designing for a strength of a particular technology.

A typical trade-off comparison looks like this:


pn-junction diode

Schottky barrier diode

"fast recovery" diode

Forward Voltage, Vf

High Low High

Reverse Leakage Current, Irm

Low High Low

Breakdown Voltage range, Vrrm

High Medium  High

Surge reliability

High Low  High 

Thermal immunity

High Low  High

Switching Speed, (1/trr)

Low High High 

As can be seen from the above, important operating characteristics are complementary between the pn-junction and the Schottky barrier diode. This is due to the fundamental physics that describes the mode of operation of the two device types.

No device from these families can give satisfaction for relevant parameters. Until now.

Introducing the Super Barrier Rectifier from Diodes Incorporated. State-of-the-art integrated circuit wafer processing technology has allowed the design and manufacturability of a device, which is able to integrate and improve the benefits of the two existing rectifier technologies into a single device. The creation of a finite conduction cellular IC, combined with inherent design uniformity has allowed manufacturing costs to be kept competitive with existing power device technology, thus producing the first real breakthrough in rectifier technology in over two decades. The technology has been designed with some key objectives:

  • Very low on-state losses (Vf), even for high-voltage devices, and operation at elevated currents
  • Low leakage currents, even for higher current devices, and operation at elevated temperatures
  • Dynamic device operation to permit the use of a single component for wide-band operation
  • Increased ruggedness of the device by utilizing precision state-of-the-art IC manufacturing processes
  • Superior surge resistance due to absence of Schottky junctions
  • Versatile design to allow entire product range to benefit from technology, and permit high voltage devices to achieve ultra-low Vf parameter
  • Best-in-class repetitive avalanche capability to compensate for inadequacies of fragile Schottky reverse behavior, thus providing highest reliability factor
  • Tighter parametric distribution to reduce lot-to-lot variations, improving efficiency of design trade-offs
  • Permit the end user a more cost-effective design strategy

Diodes Incorporated has embodied all these desirable functions into a single component, which, through increased efficiency of power-conditioning circuits will increase the value of subsystem design, and through features traditionally incompatible in a single component, permit the development and integration of systems previously not considered.

SBR Application Notes

Item # Title (Abbreviated)
AN1010A SBR® Avalanche Energy