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A Three Terminal Semiconductor Device Invented in 1957 Used as a controlled switch to perform rectification, inversion and regulation of power

flow. Can handle currents up to 1000 A and voltages more than 1 KV Converts AC into DC & also controls the amount of power fed to the load. Hence, combines the features of a rectifier and a transistor

Leakage current in Si is very small when compared to Ge Device is used as switch minimum leakage current.

PN Junction + junction transistor = SCR pnpn device 3 terminal device Anode from outer p region(A) Cathode from outer n region(K) Gate base of transistor section Also called THYRISTOR as it is the solid state equivalent of a thyratron.

In SCR, the load is connected in series with the anode Anode is always kept at a positive potential w.r.t cathode

The working can be understood under 2 conditions:

1. 2.

When Gate is open When gate is positive w.r.t cathode

No voltage is applied to the gate . J2 is FB and J1 & J3 are RB. No current flow through SCR because J2 is RB SCR is cut off

When the supply voltage V exceeds a certain threshold, the junction J2 breaks down. The SCR now conducts heavily and is in the ON state. Breakover Voltage the voltage at which the SCR conducts heavily without gate voltage.

The device can be made to conduct heavily by applying a small positive potential at the gate

J3 is FB and J2 is RB Electrons from the n type material move across J3 towards left Holes from p type move towards right Electrons from J3 are attracted across J2 gate current As J2 is now conducting, anode current flows through SCR J2 breaks down SCR is ON anode current doesnt decrease even when gate voltage is removed To make SCR OFF reduce the applied voltage to zero.




SCR has two states - either it does not conduct or it conducts heavily. There is no intermediate state. Hence SCR behaves like a switch There are 2 ways to turn ON the SCR (i) with Gate open and increasing the supply voltage, (ii) with a positive Gate trigger. (gate trigger should be >10mA) The SCR is turned OFF only by reducing the supply voltage to zero, thereby reducing the anode current <10mA




Break over Voltage Minimum forward voltage, gate being open, at which SCR starts conducting heavily, i.e turns on. Typical values 50V to 500 V Peak Reverse Voltage (PRV) Max. reverse voltage that can be applied to an SCR without conducting in the reverse direction. Typical values up to 2.5 kV Holding Current Max. anode current, gate being open, at which SCR is turned off from ON condition.

The curve between V & I when anode is +ve w.r.t cathode When supply voltage is increased from zero, suddenly the SCR starts conducting => break

over voltage

Voltage drops at this point suddenly as shown by the dotted line. If proper gate current is made to flow, then SCR can close at smaller supply voltage.

The curve between V & I when anode is -ve w.r.t


If reverse voltage is increased gradually, at first, the anode current remains small (leakage current) Beyond a particular reverse voltage, the SCR starts massive conduction (avalanche) => Reverse

breakdown voltage.


3. 4.

Supply voltage < Break over voltage SCR is turned on by passing an appropriate gate current (few mA) and not by break over voltage Peak Reverse Voltage should not exceed the reverse breakdown voltage When SCR needs to be turned OFF , the anode current should be reduced to the holding current

Controlled Rectification

Power control of load

Speed Control of dc shunt motor Over light detector