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Difference Between Diode and Rectifier

September 12, 2022
written by Adeel Abbas

Diode and Rectifier are two basic electronic components that are widely used in electronics. They are also known as semiconductor diodes and transistors respectively. These devices are used to control electric current flow in electric circuits.

A diode is a device that allows electricity to pass through it from one side to another. On the other hand, a rectifier converts alternating current into direct current.

What is a Diode?

A diode is a semiconductor device that conducts electricity in only one direction. In electronics, a diode is a two-terminal electronic component that blocks current flowing in one direction (forward bias) while allowing current to flow in the opposite direction (reverse bias).

A diode’s electrical characteristics make it useful in many applications including rectification, signal amplification, voltage regulation, power conversion, optical modulation, and electrostatic discharge protection.

What is a Rectifier?

A rectifier is a device that converts AC power to DC power. In other words, a rectifier changes alternating current (AC) electricity into direct current (DC). This process is called rectification.

Rectifiers are used to convert the voltage of a battery to match the voltage of the electrical grid.

Difference Between Diode and Rectifier

A diode is a circuit element that is nonlinear. While a rectifier is a device in which a combination of diodes is used to convert the electric power. There are some differences between a diode and a rectifier.

image showing the difference between diode and rectifier
A diode is a semiconductor device that allows the current to flow in one direction only.A rectifier is a device that is used to convert the AC to DC.
The capability of current-carrying in a diode is very low.The current-carrying capability is very high in rectifiers.
The diode is a two-terminal device.The rectifier is a combination of many diodes.
Diodes are used as clipper, clamper, and switch.Rectifiers are used in power supplies and batteries.
There are different types of diodes. For example Light emitting diode, Zener diode, and photodiode.There are many types of rectifiers. For example half-wave rectifiers and full-wave rectifiers.

Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs

Are all diodes rectifiers?

Yes, all diodes can be used as rectifiers but all rectifiers can never be used as diodes.

How a rectifier converts AC to DC?

The center tap is used as a common ground for the rectified DC voltages, and the two outer taps are connected to the diodes. The result is DC voltages that are twice as high as the input AC voltages.

Why do we need a rectifier?

The rectifier is used in a power supply that helps to convert the AC power to DC power. To convert high AC voltage to low DC voltage bridge rectifier is used.

Why filter is used in rectifiers?

 To eliminate AC ripples in the output voltage across the load resistance a filter circuit is used