Shockley diode

Shockley diode

Shockley diode
Invented William Shockley
Pin configuration Anode and Cathode
Electronic symbol
The Shockley diode (named after physicist William Shockley) is a four-layer semiconductordiode, which was one of the first semiconductor devices invented. It was a “pnpn” diode. It is equivalent to a thyristor with a disconnected gate. Shockley Diodes where manufactured and marketed by Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory in the late 1950s.


  1.  Usages
  2. Typical Values
  3. Dynistor
  4. References


Common applications:

  • Trigger Switch for Silicon controlled rectifier
  • Relaxation oscillator / Sawtooth oscillator

niche applications:

  • Audio Amplifier

2 Typical Values

V-I diagram

Description Range  Typically
Forward Operation
Switching Voltage Vs 10V bis 250V 50V +/- 4V
Holding Voltage Vh 0.5V bis 2V 0.8V
Switching current Is a few µA to some mA 120µA
Hold current IH 1 to 50mA 14 to 45mA
Reverse Operation
Reverse Current IR 15µA
Reverse Break down voltage Vrb 10V to 250V 60V

3 Dynistor 


Small signal Shockley diodes are no longer manufactured, but the unidirectional thyristor breakover diode, also known as the dynistor, is a functionally equivalent power device. An early publication about dynistors was published in 1958.[5] In 1988 the first dynistor using Silicon carbide was made. Dynistors can be used as switches in Micro- and Nanosecond Power Pulse Generators. 

4 References 

  • Michael Riordan and Lillian Hoddeson; Crystal Fire: The Invention of the Transistor and the Birth of the Information Age. New York: Norton (1997) ISBN0-393-31851-6 pbk.
  4. Willfried Schurig (1971) (in German), amateurreihe electronica: Kennlinien elektronischer Bauelemente. Teil II: Halbleiter Dioden, Berlin: Deutscher Militärverlag, p. 119