Electronics Handbook/Components/Silicon Controlled Rectifier
Silicon Controlled Rectifier
A silicon-controlled rectifier (or semiconductor-controlled rectifier) is a four-layer solid state device that controls current. The name "silicon controlled rectifier" or SCR is General Electric's trade name for a type of thyristor. The SCR was developed by a team of power engineers led by Gordon Hall and commercialized by Frank W. "Bill" Gutzwiller in 1957.
Construction of SCR
An SCR consists of four layers of alternating P and N type semiconductor materials. Silicon is used as the intrinsic semiconductor, to which the proper dopants are added. The junctions are either diffused or alloyed. The planar construction is used for low power SCRs (and all the junctions are diffused). The mesa type construction is used for high power SCRs. In this case, junction J2 is obtained by the diffusion method and then the outer two layers are alloyed to it, since the PNPN pellet is required to handle large currents. It is properly braced with tungsten or molybdenum plates to provide greater mechanical strength. One of these plates is hard soldered to a copper stud, which is threaded for attachment of heat sink. The doping of PNPN will depend on the application of SCR, since its characteristics are similar to those of the thyratron. Today, the term thyristor applies to the larger family of multilayer devices that exhibit bistable state-change behaviour, that is, switching either ON or OFF.
Application of SCRs
SCRs are mainly used in devices where the control of high power, possibly coupled with high voltage, is demanded. Their operation makes them suitable for use in medium to high-voltage AC power control applications, such as lamp dimming, regulators and motor control.
- Silicon controlled rectifier (SCR)
- Gate turn-off thyristor (GTO)
- Triode AC switch/ (TRIAC)
- Static induction thyristor (SITh)
- MOS Controlled Thyristor (MCT)
- Distributed Buffer - Gate Turn-off Thyristor (DB-GTO)
- Integrated gate commutated thyristor/ (IGCT)
- MOS composite static induction thyristor/CSMT
- Reverse conducting thyristor
- Wikibooks: Power Electronics#Triacs