We’re introducing a new component to the CircuitLab toolbox: the ideal diode.
We’ve had semiconductor PN junction diodes since we’ve launched, which show the exponential current-voltage relationship and accurately model real-world diodes.
In contrast, the ideal diode is more like a simulated on-off switch: the I-V curve would be piecewise linear. It acts like it’s open-circuit when reverse biased, and short-circuit when forward biased. You can simply drag the ideal diode from the toolbox into your circuit, and optionally double-click to configure its parameters.
Here’s an example using four ideal diodes to build a full-wave rectifier:
Click to open and simulate the circuit above. Observe how the 4 diodes turn on and off at different times in the AC cycle.
Here’s an simulation comparing the regular PN Junction Diode with the ideal diode:
Click to open and simulate the circuit above.
Note that D2 (a PN junction diode) gives us a gentle knee as it transitions from off to on, as real diodes do. D2’s curve is smooth in the calculus sense: its derivative is continuous.
In contrast, ideal diodes D1 and D3 show an abrupt (piecewise-linear) knee when they change from off to on. These are not smooth in the calculus sense: their derivatives are discontinuous.
Both diode models, as well as Zener Diodes, photodiodes, and LEDs, are nows available in the CircuitLab toolbox:
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