If you apply a negative voltage to a diode, so the −-−cathode terminal is higher voltage than the +++anode terminal, this puts us on the left side of the iii-vvv curve. We say the diode is reverse biased. In the reverse direction, the current is very close to zero, just ever so slightly negative.
Diodes are one of the simplest, but most useful of all semiconductor devices. Many types of diode are used for a wide range of applications. Rectifier diodes are a vital component in power supplies where they are used to convert AC mains (line) voltage to DC. Zener diodes are used for voltage stabilisation, preventing unwanted variations in DC supplies within a circuit, and to supply accurate reference voltages for many circuits. Diodes can also be used to prevent disastrous damage to battery powered equipment when batteries are connected in the wrong polarity.
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