[volt-nuts] LTZ1000 at higher currents
frank.stellmach at freenet.de
Fri Oct 21 17:41:11 UTC 2011
as far as I remember, higher Zener currents alone (i.e. excluding
temperature rise effects) let the pn structure age / drift faster
compared to operation at lower currents.
This might probably be an exponential effect, so I would not increase
the Zener beyond the given limit of 5mA at all.
Remember, a Zener pn junction is operated in reverse mode, and charge is
highly accelerated inside the silicon bulk material by the Zener
potential. Higher currents will therefore interact stronger with the
silicon crystal structure, than lower ones, that means it will create
more permament defects on the long run, which gives rise to stronger aging.
Also, this is not a discrete Zener component, but a very delicate
sub-surface structure, optimized for lowest drift, but presumably not
for high currents. 10, 20 or even 30mA will for sure damage the Zener.
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