Littelfuse TVS Diodes

Littelfuse® Transient Voltage Suppressors

Littelfuse TVS diodes are used to protect semiconductor components from high-voltage transients. The p-n junctions of these devices have larger cross-sectional areas than those of normal diodes, allowing them to conduct large currents to ground without sustaining damage. Littelfuse supplies TVS diodes with peak power ratings from 200W to 15kW and reverse standoff voltages from 5V to 495V.

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What Are TVS Diodes And How Do They Compare? TVS Diodes Defined.

TVS diodes are electronic components designed to protect sensitive electronics from high-voltage transients. They can respond to overvoltage events faster than most other types of circuit protection devices and are offered in a variety of surface mount and through-hole circuit board mounting formats.

The device functions by limiting voltage to a certain level (referred to as a “clamping” device) with p-n junctions that have a larger cross-sectional area than those of a normal diode, allowing the TVS diode to conduct large currents to ground without sustaining damage.

TVS diodes are generally used to protect against electrical overstress such as those induced by lighting strikes, inductive load switching, and electro-static discharge (ESD) associated with transmission or data lines and electronic circuits.

While Littelfuse TVS diodes can fit a wide range of circuit protection applications, they were primarily designed to protect I/O interfaces in telecommunication and industrial equipment, computers, and consumer electronics.

Characteristics of the Littlefuse TVS diode include:

  • Low incremental surge resistance
  • Unidirectional and bidirectional polarities available
  • Reverse standoff voltages range from 5 to 512V
  • RoHS compliant–matte tin Pb-free plated
  • Surface-mount power ratings from 200W to 5,000W
  • Axial lead power ratings from 400W to 30,000W (30kW)
  • High current protection available for 6kA and 10kA

For insight about other transient suppression technologies and how they compare, refer to Littelfuse Application Note AN9768.

Comparison to Other Diode Technologies:

Diode ClassApplicationRemarks
Conventional Diode, Rectifier Power Control Useful for “steering” high currents; converting AC to DC.  Typically found in large packages such as TO-220.
Zener Diode Power Control Useful for the regulation of DC voltage in power supplies. Typically found in medium to large size packages (axial, TO-220).
Silicon Avalanche Diode (SAD), Transient Voltage Suppressor (TVS) Overvoltage Protection Useful for protecting circuits exposed to high-energy events such as lightning surges or voltage transients from the mechanical switching of electrical circuits (EFT).  Typically found in medium-size packages (axial, DO-214).
Diode Array Overvoltage Protection Diode arrays fall into the broader category of Silicon Protection Arrays (SPA), which are targeted for ESD protection. Typically found in small surface-mount packages (SOIC-8, SOT-23, SC-70, etc.).
Schottky Diode Power Control Useful for high-frequency (HF) rectification required for switch-mode power supplies.
Varactor Diode RF Tuning Only known application of diodes that takes advantage of the junction capacitance characteristic.


Comparison by Operating Characteristic:

Diode ClassReverse Breakdown Voltage
(VBR, VZ)
Capacitance (CJ)Remarks
Conventional Diode, Rectifier 800-1500V Very High AC to DC power conversion
Zener Diode Up to 100V Medium to High DC power regulation
Silicon Avalanche Diode (SAD) Up to 600V Medium Lightning surge and voltage transient protection
Diode Array Up to 50V Low (< 50pF) ESD protection of high-frequency data circuits


Comparison by Device Construction:

A Schottky diode is formed by a metal to semiconductor junction.  Electrically, it conducts by the majority carrier and possesses fast response with lower current-leakage and forward bias voltage (VF). Schottky diodes are widely used in high frequency circuits.

Zener diodes are formed by a heavily doped P-N semiconductor junction. There are two physical effects that can be referred to as a Zener state (Zener effect and Avalanche effect). Zener effect occurs when there is a low reverse voltage applied to the p-n junction that conducts due to quantum effect. Avalanche effect occurs when a larger than 5.5 volt voltage is applied reversely to the p-n junction during which the generated electron-hole pair collide with the lattice. Zener diodes based on the Zener effect are widely used as voltage reference sources in electronics circuitry.

A TVS diode is formed by a specially designed P-N semiconductor junction for surge protection. The p-n junction is usually coated to prevent premature voltage arcing during a non-conducting state. When there is a transient voltage event, the TVS diode conducts to clamp the transient voltage using the Avalanche effect. TVS diodes are widely used as an overvoltage circuit protection device in telecommunications, general electronics, and digital consumer markets for lightning, ESD, and other voltage transient protection.

SPA stands for Silicon Protection Arrays. It is a diode array of integrated p-n junctions, SCRs, or other silicon protection structures packaged in multi-pin structures. The SPA can be used as an integrated solution for ESD, lightning, and EFT protection for telecommunications, general electronics, and digital consumer markets where multiple protection opportunities exist. For example, it can be used for HDMI, USB, and Ethernet port ESD protection.

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Surface Mount - Standard Applications (200-600W)

Series NEW - SMF SMAJ P4SMA SACB NEW - SMA6L SMBJ P6SMB
Photo SMF SMAJ P4SMA SACB SMA6L SMBJ P6SMB
Package Type SOD-123 DO-214AC DO-214AC DO-214AA DO-221AC DO-214AA DO-214AA
Reverse
Standoff
Voltage
5.0-54 5.0-440 5.8.495 5.0-50 5.0-85 5.0-440 5.8-495
Peak Pulse
Power Range
200W 400W 500W 500W 600W 600W 600W
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Surface Mount - Standard Applications (1000-5000W)

Series 1KSMB SMCJ 1.5SMC SMDJ 5.0SMDJ
Photo 1KSMB SMCJ 1.5SMC SMDJ 5.0SMDJ
Package Type DO-214AA DO-214AB DO-214AB DO-214AB DO-214AB
Reverse
Standoff
Voltage
5.8-136 5.0-440 5.8-492 5.0-170 12-170
uni-directional
12-45
bi-directional
Peak Pulse
Power Range
1000W 1500W 1500W 3000W 5000W
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Axial Leaded - Standard Applications (400-5000W)

Series P4KE SA SAC P6KE 1.5KE LCE 3KP 5KP
Photo P4KE SA SAC P6KE 1.5KE LCE 3KP 5KP
Package Type DO-41 DO-15 DO-15 DO-15 DO-201 DO-201 P600 P600
Reverse Standoff
Voltage
5.8-495 5.0-180 5.0-50 5.8-512 5.8-495 6.5-90 5.0-220 5.0-250
Peak Pulse
Power Range
500W 500W 500W 600W 1500W 1500W 3000W 5000W
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Axial Leaded - High Power & Auto

Series 15KPA 20KPA 30KPA SLD
Photo 15KPA 20KPA 30KPA SLD
Package Type P600 P600 P600 P600
Reverse Standoff
Voltage
17-280 20.0-300 28.0-288 10-24
Peak Pulse
Power Range
15000W 20000W 30000W 2200 based on
1μs/150ms pulse
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Series AK3 AK6 AK10 AK15
Photo AK3 AK6 AK10 AK15
Package Type Radial Lead Radial Lead Radial Lead Radial Lead
Reverse Standoff
Voltage
30-430 58-430 58-430 58-430
Peak Pulse
Power Range
NA NA NA NA
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