Experimental Approach for Reliability Analysis of Medium-Power Zener Diodes under DC Switching Surge Degradation

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This study investigated the reliability of Zener diodes subjected to a gradually increasing DC switching surge amplitude with delay internals between surges to avoid thermal degradation from different manufacturers with similar specifications. The analysis involved applying occasional 3 ms direct current (DC) switching surges with a gradual increasing surge voltage, followed by a constant current test to verify device functionality for three different selected manufacturer 5.1 V Zener diodes. This experimental approach was used to identify the maximum surge current that each Zener diode could handle before failing to clamp the surge voltage at the specified Zener reference voltage. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences in the maximum average surge current between different manufacturers. The maximum average surge current findings just before failure were 1.98 A, 3.18 A, and 3.33 A, respectively, and associated 95% confidence interval ranges can be used as a reliable metric to compare Zener diode population reliability against occasional DC switching surges. The findings revealed variations in the DC switching surge current handling capabilities between Zener diodes from different manufacturers with similar electrical specifications. The statistically measured maximum average surge current just before device failure can be considered an effective metric to compare the reliability of Zener diodes against DC switching surge degradation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1976
JournalElectronics (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • DC switching surge
  • pn-junction
  • Zener diode
  • Zener reference voltage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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