For the longest time I could not remember which end of the diode was the anode and which was the cathode, I looked it up every time. I finally came up with this memory aid. The German word for cathode is Kathode. The big K kind of looks like a diode symbol.
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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