Electronic Active components

Electronic active components are electronic components that are capable of amplifying or controlling an electrical signal. They are an essential part of many electronic circuits and are used to perform a wide range of functions, including amplification, oscillation, switching, and signal processing.

Semiconductors

Semiconductors are materials that have electrical conductivity that falls between that of insulators and conductors. They are used in a variety of electronic components and devices, including transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits. Semiconductors are classified as active components because they are able to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. They are commonly made from elements such as silicon or germanium, and their conductivity can be modified by the addition of impurities, a process known as doping. Semiconductors are widely used in electronic devices and systems because they can be easily controlled and have a high level of efficiency.

Transistors

Transistors are semiconductor devices that are widely considered to be a groundbreaking invention of the 20th century due to their impact on electronic circuits. They are used to amplify and switch electronic signals and electrical power.

  • Field-effect transistors (FET)
    • MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor FET)
      • PMOS (p-type MOS)
      • NMOS (n-type MOS)
      • CMOS (complementary MOS)
      • Power MOSFET
        • LDMOS (lateral diffused MOSFET)
      • MuGFET (multi-gate field-effect transistor)
        • FinFET (fin field-effect transistor)
    • TFT (thin-film transistor)
    • FeFET (ferroelectric field-effect transistor)
    • CNTFET (carbon nanotube field-effect transistor)
    • JFET (junction field-effect transistor) – N-channel or P-channel
      • SIT (static induction transistor)
    • MESFET (metal semiconductor FET)
    • HEMT (high-electron-mobility transistor)
  • Composite transistors
    • BiCMOS (bipolar CMOS)
    • IGBT (Insulated-gate bipolar transistor)
  • Other transistors
    • Bipolar junction transistor (BJT, or simply “transistor”) – NPN or PNP
      • Photo transistor – amplified photodetector
    • Darlington transistor – NPN or PNP
      • Photo Darlington – amplified photodetector
    • Sziklai pair (compound transistor, complementary Darlington)
  • Thyristors
    • Silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) – passes current only after triggered by a sufficient control voltage on its gate
    • TRIAC (TRIode for Alternating Current) – bidirectional SCR
    • Unijunction transistor (UJT)
    • Programmable Unijunction transistor (PUT)
    • SITh (static induction thyristor)

Diodes

Diodes are electronic components that allow current to flow easily in one direction while inhibiting or blocking the flow in the opposite direction. They are commonly used in electronic circuits and systems for tasks such as rectification, voltage regulation, and signal processing. Diodes are made from semiconductor materials such as silicon or germanium and have two terminals called the anode and the cathode. When a voltage is applied to the diode in a way that allows current to flow through it, the diode becomes forward-biased. When the voltage is applied in the opposite direction, the diode becomes reverse-biased and blocks the flow of current.

  • Diode, rectifier, diode bridge
  • Schottky diode (hot carrier diode) – super fast diode with lower forward voltage drop
  • Zener diode – allows current to flow “backwards” when a specific set voltage is reached.
  • Transient voltage suppression diode (TVS), unipolar or bipolar – used to absorb high-voltage spikes
  • Varicap, tuning diode, varactor, variable capacitance diode – a diode whose AC capacitance varies according to the DC voltage applied.
  • Laser diode
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) – a diode that emits light
  • Photodiode – passes current in proportion to incident light
    • Avalanche photodiode – photodiode with internal gain
    • Solar Cell, photovoltaic cell, PV array or panel – produces power from light
  • DIAC (diode for alternating current), Trigger Diode, SIDAC) – often used to trigger an SCR
  • Constant-current diode
  • Step recovery diode
  • Tunnel diode – very fast diode based on quantum mechanical tunneling

Integrated circuits

Integrated circuits (ICs) are complex electronic components that are composed of many smaller interconnected components such as transistors, resistors, and capacitors. They can be used for a wide range of purposes, including acting as a timer, performing digital-to-analog conversion, amplifying signals, and performing logical operations. Integrated circuits can be found in a variety of electronic devices, including computers, smartphones, and consumer electronics. They are typically made using a process called photolithography, which involves etching patterns onto a silicon wafer using light and chemicals. The resulting ICs are typically packaged in a small, sealed container that protects them from damage and makes it easier to integrate them into electronic circuits.

  • Integrated circuit (IC)
    • MOS integrated circuit (MOS IC)
    • Hybrid integrated circuit (hybrid IC)
    • Mixed-signal integrated circuit
    • Three-dimensional integrated circuit (3D IC)
  • Digital electronics
    • Logic gate
    • Microcontroller
  • Analogue circuit
    • Hall-effect sensor – senses a magnetic field
    • Current sensor – senses a current through it

Programmable devices

Programmable devices are electronic components that can be programmed or configured to perform specific tasks or functions. These devices typically use software or firmware to store and execute instructions, and they can be reprogrammed or reconfigured to perform different tasks as needed. Examples of programmable devices include microcontrollers, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

Programmable devices are often classified as active components because they are able to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. Many programmable devices are also made from semiconductor materials, such as silicon or germanium, which allow them to be easily controlled and have high levels of efficiency. Programmable devices are widely used in a variety of electronic systems, including computers, consumer electronics, and industrial control systems, because of their versatility and ability to be customized for specific applications.

  • Programmable logic device
    • Field-programmable gate array (FPGA)
    • Complex programmable logic device (CPLD)
  • Field-programmable analog array (FPAA)

Optoelectronic devices

Optoelectronic devices are electronic components that convert electrical signals into light or vice versa. They are used in a wide range of applications, including communication systems, data storage, and display technology. Examples of optoelectronic devices include light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers, photodiodes, and phototransistors.

Optoelectronic devices are often classified as active components because they are able to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. Many optoelectronic devices are also made from semiconductor materials, such as silicon or germanium, which allow them to be easily controlled and have high levels of efficiency. Optoelectronic devices are widely used in a variety of electronic systems, including consumer electronics, communication systems, and industrial control systems, because of their ability to transmit and receive data using light.

  • Opto-electronics
    • Opto-isolator, opto-coupler, photo-coupler – photodiode, BJT, JFET, SCR, TRIAC, zero-crossing TRIAC, open collector IC, CMOS IC, solid state relay (SSR)
    • Slotted optical switch, opto switch, optical switch
    • LED display – seven-segment display, sixteen-segment display, dot-matrix display

Display technologies

There are several technologies that are used to display images and videos on electronic devices such as computers, televisions, and mobile phones. Some of the most common display technologies include:

  • Liquid Crystal Display (LCD): This is a type of display that uses liquid crystals to produce an image. LCDs are found in a wide range of devices, including computers, TVs, and smartphones.
  • Plasma Display Panel (PDP): This is a type of display that uses a gas to produce an image. PDPs were once popular in TVs, but have largely been replaced by LCD and OLED displays.
  • Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED): This is a type of display that uses organic compounds to produce an image. OLEDs are known for their high contrast ratios, wide viewing angles, and fast refresh rates.
  • LED Display: This is a type of display that uses light-emitting diodes to produce an image. LED displays are often used in outdoor displays, such as billboards and stadium screens.
  • Projection Display: This is a type of display that projects an image onto a screen or wall. Projection displays are often used in movie theaters and conference rooms.
  • E Ink Display: This is a type of display that uses microcapsules filled with pigment to produce an image. E Ink displays are known for their low power consumption and are often used in e-readers.
  • Filament lamp (indicator lamp)
  • Vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) (preformed characters, 7 segment, starburst)
  • Cathode ray tube (CRT) (dot matrix scan, radial scan (e.g. radar), arbitrary scan (e.g. oscilloscope)) (monochrome & colour)
  • Neon (individual, 7 segment display)
  • Split-flap display (numeric, preprinted messages)

Obsolete:

  • Incandescent filament 7 segment display (aka ‘Numitron’)
  • Nixie tube
  • Dekatron (aka glow transfer tube)
  • Magic eye tube indicator
  • Penetron (a 2 colour see-through CRT)

Vacuum tubes (valves)

Vacuum tubes, also known as thermionic valves or electron tubes, are devices that use a vacuum to control the flow of electrons in an electrical circuit. They consist of a sealed glass or metal enclosure that contains a cathode, an anode, and one or more grids. When a voltage is applied to the cathode and anode, the cathode emits electrons, which are then attracted to the anode. The grids can be used to control the flow of electrons by applying a positive or negative voltage to them.

Vacuum tubes were widely used in early electronic devices such as radios, televisions, and computers. They were replaced by solid-state devices, such as transistors, in the mid-20th century due to their superior performance and smaller size. However, vacuum tubes are still used in some specialized applications, such as high-power amplifiers and oscillators, due to their ability to handle large currents and operate at high temperatures.

  • Diode or rectifier tube
  • Amplification
    • Triode
    • Tetrode
    • Pentode
    • Hexode
    • Pentagrid (Heptode)
    • Octode
    • Traveling-wave tube
    • Klystron
  • Oscillation
    • Magnetron
    • Reflex Klystron (obsolete)
    • Carcinotron

Optical detectors or emitters

Optical detectors or emitters are devices that are used to detect or emit light, respectively. They are used in a wide variety of applications, including communication systems, sensing systems, and scientific instruments.

Optical detectors are used to detect light and convert it into an electrical signal. They are used in a wide range of applications, including night vision cameras, optical sensors, and fiber optic communication systems. Some common types of optical detectors include photodiodes, phototransistors, photomultiplier tubes, and charge-coupled devices (CCDs).

Optical emitters are used to emit light, typically in the form of lasers or LEDs. They are used in a wide range of applications, including communication systems, scientific instruments, and medical devices. Some common types of optical emitters include lasers, LEDs, and laser diodes.

Both optical detectors and emitters play important roles in modern technology and have numerous applications in various fields.

  • Phototube or photodiode – tube equivalent of semiconductor photodiode
  • Photomultiplier tube – phototube with internal gain
  • Cathode ray tube (CRT) or television picture tube (obsolete)
  • Vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) – modern non-raster sort of small CRT display
  • Magic eye tube – small CRT display used as a tuning meter (obsolete)
  • X-ray tube – generates x-rays

Discharge devices

Discharge devices are electrical devices that produce a discharge, or flow, of electricity through a gas or other electrically conductive medium. They are used in a wide range of applications, including lighting, welding, and scientific research.

One common type of discharge device is the gas discharge lamp, which is a type of lighting device that produces light by discharging electricity through a gas, such as neon or argon. Gas discharge lamps are used in a variety of applications, including street lights, neon signs, and fluorescent lamps.

Another common type of discharge device is the plasma torch, which is used in welding and cutting applications. Plasma torches produce a high-temperature plasma arc by discharging electricity through a gas, such as argon or hydrogen.

Other types of discharge devices include spark plugs, which are used in internal combustion engines to ignite the fuel-air mixture, and corona discharge devices, which are used in scientific research and other applications to generate plasma.

  • Gas discharge tube
  • Ignitron
  • Thyratron

Obsolete Discharge devices :

  • Mercury arc rectifier
  • Voltage regulator tube
  • Nixie tube

Power sources

Sources of electrical power:

There are many different sources of electrical power, including:

  • Fossil fuels: These include coal, oil, and natural gas, which are burned to generate steam, which in turn is used to generate electricity.
  • Nuclear energy: Nuclear power plants use the heat generated by nuclear reactions to produce steam, which is used to generate electricity.
  • Hydroelectric power: This type of power is generated by harnessing the energy of moving water, such as from a river or a dam.
  • Solar power: This type of power is generated by using solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity.
  • Wind power: This type of power is generated by using wind turbines to capture the energy of the wind and convert it into electricity.
  • Geothermal energy: This type of power is generated by using the heat from the Earth’s interior to generate electricity.
  • Biomass: This type of power is generated by using organic materials, such as wood or agricultural waste, to generate electricity.
  • Fuel cells: These devices use a chemical reaction to produce electricity. They can be powered by hydrogen, natural gas, or other fuels.
  • Batteries: These devices store electrical energy and can be used to power portable devices, such as smartphones and laptops.
  • These are just a few examples of the many sources of electrical power that are available.
  • Battery – acid- or alkali-based power supply.
  • Fuel cell – an electrochemical generator
  • Power supply – usually a main hook-up
  • Photovoltaic device – generates electricity from light
  • Thermoelectric generator – generates electricity from temperature gradients
  • Electrical generator – an electromechanical power source
  • Piezoelectric generator – generates electricity from mechanical strain
  • Van de Graaff generator – generates electricity from friction