Contributors: jimblom
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Once you graduate from the simple, passive components that are resistors, capacitors, and inductors, it's time to step on up to the wonderful world of semiconductors. One of the most widely used semiconductor components is the diode.


In this tutorial we'll cover:

  • What is a diode!?
  • Theory of diode operation
  • Important diode properties
  • Different types of diodes
  • What diodes look like
  • Typical diode applications

Suggested Reading

Some of the concepts in this tutorial build on previous electronics knowledge. Before jumping into this tutorial consider reading (at least skimming) these first:

What is a Circuit?

Every electrical project starts with a circuit. Don't know what a circuit is? We're here to help.

Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm's Law

Learn about Ohm's Law, one of the most fundamental equations in all electrical engineering.

What is Electricity?

We can see electricity in action on our computers, lighting our houses, as lightning strikes in thunderstorms, but what is it? This is not an easy question, but this tutorial will shed some light on it!

Series and Parallel Circuits

An introduction into series and parallel circuits.

How to Use a Multimeter

Learn the basics of using a multimeter to measure continuity, voltage, resistance and current.

Looking to explore different diodes?

We've got you covered!

SparkFun Beginner Parts Kit

SparkFun Beginner Parts Kit

SparkFun Discrete Semiconductor Kit

SparkFun Discrete Semiconductor Kit

Diode Rectifier - 1A, 50V (1N4001)

Diode Rectifier - 1A, 50V (1N4001)

Diode Rectifier - 1A, 400V (1N4004)

Diode Rectifier - 1A, 400V (1N4004)