Thyristors

Thyristors are four-layer semiconductor devices, also known as a silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) It is like a fast static switch and is good for controlling large amounts of power, they can also control the speed of DC motors.

How do thyristors work?

Thyristors usually consist of three electrodes: an anode (positive terminal), Cathode (negative terminal) and a gate. (You can also get thyristors with two or four leads). The gate is the main control terminal while the main current flows between the anode and cathode Thyristors are made of N-type and P-type materials. The N-type material is formed by doping an element with electrons to increase the number of negative charge-carrying electrons. The P-type material is also produced through doping, although the resulting charge-carrying electrons are positively charged. By alternating layers of P and N-type material, a semiconductor thyristor device is formed. Thyristors are used to create a latching circuit. Thyristors can be turned on using the gate. It then turns off when the voltage across the anode-cathode drops back down to zero.

Types of thyristors

  • Silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) - The basic purpose of an SCR is to function as a switch that can turn on or off small or large amounts of power.
  • Silicon controlled switch (SCS) - Silicon Controlled Switch (SCS) is a device similar to an SCR, but it is designed to turn off when a positive voltage/input current pulse is applied to an additional "Anode gate".
  • Triac - Triac gets its name from Triode for alternating current Triacs are similar to SCRs but it conducts in both directions, (a bidirectional device). This means that it can switch AC and DC currents., Firing circuit commander modules are required for this.
  • Four-layer diode - A four-layer diode has 2 pins and is similar to a voltage-sensitive switch. When the voltage between the two pins exceeds the breakdown voltage it turns ON, otherwise its OFF.
  • Diac - Diac is a mix of the words diode and ac switch it is similar to a four-layer diode but it can conduct in both directions meaning it can contact both AC and DC currents.

Applications of thyristors

Thyristors are commonly found in many everyday applications such as:

  • Motor speed controls
  • Pressure control systems
  • Light dimmers
  • Liquid level regulators

...
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Description Price Rated Average On-State Current Thyristor Type Package Type Repetitive Peak Reverse Voltage Current Rating Surge Current Rating Mounting Type Power Rating Maximum Gate Trigger Current Output Isolation Input Voltage AC Maximum Gate Trigger Voltage Input Voltage DC Maximum Holding Current
RS Stock No. 877-6376
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BrandVishay
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Mfr. Part No.16RIA40
BrandVishay
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Mfr. Part No.SKKH 106/12 E
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106A SCR Module SEMIPACK1 1200V - 2.25kA Panel Mount - 150mA - - 3V - 250mA
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- - - - 150A - Panel Mount - - - - - - -
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New
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BrandLittelfuse
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1010A SCR Type G 1400V - 15000A Stud - 300mA - - 3V - 200mA
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Mfr. Part No.SKKT 42B16 E
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40A SCR Module SEMIPACK1 1600V - 1kA Panel Mount - 150mA - - 3V - 250mA
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BrandInfineon
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Each
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125A Diode Module 45mm 1600V - 650A PCB Mount - 150mA - - 2.5V - 200mA
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Mfr. Part No.FS1614MH TU
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16A SCR TO-220AB 600V - 190A Through Hole - 40mA - - 1.3V - 50mA
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500A PCT Module 50mm 1600V - 17000A Panel Mount - 250mA - - 2.2V - 300mA
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BrandLittelfuse
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Each
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New
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Mfr. Part No.TD120N16SOFHPSA1
BrandInfineon
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Each (In a Tray of 12)
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120A Diode - 1600V - - - - 100mA - - 2.5V - 250mA
RS Stock No. 193-802
Mfr. Part No.CS19-12HO1
BrandIXYS
HK$17.982
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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19A SCR TO-220AB 1200V - 180A Through Hole - 28mA - - 1.5V - 50mA
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BrandInfineon
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95A SCR Module SEMIPACK1 1200V - 2kA Panel Mount - 150mA - - 3V - 250mA
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320A SCR Module Y2 DCB 2100V - 8.6kA Panel Mount - 150mA - - 2V - 150mA