Diode Clippers – An overview of Clipping Circuits

john April 14, 2011 77 Comments

Diode Clippers – A study of  various Clipping Circuits

This article explains the working of different diode clipper circuits like Positive and Negative Diode Clippers, Biased Clipper circuit, and Combinational Clipper Circuit with the help of circuit diagrams and waveforms.

The basic components required for a clipping circuit are – an ideal diode and a resistor. In order to fix the clipping level to the desired amount, a dc battery must also be included.  When the diode is forward biased, it acts as a closed switch, and when it is reverse biased, it acts as an open switch. Different levels of clipping can be obtained by varying the amount of voltage of the battery  and also interchanging the positions of the diode and resistor.

Depending on the features of the diode, the positive or negative region of the input signal is “clipped” off and accordingly the diode clippers may be positive or negative clippers.

There are two general categories of clippers: series and parallel (or shunt). The series configuration is defined as one where diode is in series with the load, while the shunt clipper has the diode in a branch parallel to the load.

1. Positive Clipper and Negative Clipper

Positive Diode Clipper

In a positive clipper, the positive half cycles of the input voltage will be removed. The circuit arrangements for a positive clipper are illustrated in the figure given below.

Series and Shunt Clipper Circuits

 

As shown in the figure, the diode is kept in series with the load. During the positive half cycle of the input waveform, the diode ‘D’ is reverse biased, which maintains the output voltage at 0 Volts. Thus causes the positive half cycle  to be clipped off. Dur­ing the negative half cycle of the input, the diode is forward biased and so the nega­tive half cycle appears across the output.

In Figure (b), the diode is kept in parallel with the load. This is the diagram of a positive shunt clipper circuit. During the positive half cycle, the diode ‘D’ is forward biased and the diode acts as a closed switch. This causes the diode to conduct heavily. This causes the voltage drop across the diode or across the load resistance RL to be zero. Thus output voltage during the positive half cycles is zero, as shown in the output waveform. During the negative half cycles of the input signal voltage, the diode D is reverse biased and behaves as an open switch. Consequently the entire input voltage appears across the diode or across the load resistance RL if R is much smaller than RL

Actually the circuit behaves as a voltage divider with an output voltage of [RL / R+ RL] Vmax = -Vmax when RL >> R

Negative Diode Clipper

The negative clipping circuit is almost same as the positive clipping circuit, with only one difference. If the diode in figures (a) and (b) is reconnected with reversed polarity, the cir­cuits will become for a negative series clipper and negative shunt clipper respec­tively. The negative series and nega­tive shunt clip­pers are shown in figures (a) and (b) as given below.

Negative clipper circuits

In all the above discussions, the diode is considered to be ideal one. In a practical diode, the breakdown voltage will exist (0.7 V for silicon and 0.3 V for Germanium). When this is taken into account, the output wave­forms for positive and negative clippers will be of the shape shown in the figure below.

 

Clipping circuit waveforms
Negative and Positive Clipping Waveforms

 

2. Biased Positive Clipper and Biased Negative Clipper

A biased clipper comes in handy when a small portion of positive or negative half cycles of the signal voltage is to be removed. When a small portion of the negative half cycle is to be removed, it is called a biased negative clipper. The circuit diagram and waveform is shown in the figure below.

Biased Negative Clipping Circuit

TIn a biased clipper, when the input signal voltage is positive, the diode ‘D’ is reverse-biased. This causes it to act as an open-switch. Thus the entire positive half cycle appears across the load, as illustrated by output wave­form [figure (a)]. When the input signal volt­age is negative but does not exceed battery the voltage ‘V’, the di­ode ‘D’ remains reverse-biased and most of the input voltage ap­pears across the output. When during the nega­tive half cycle of input signal, the signal voltage becomes more than the battery voltage V, the diode D is forward biased and so conducts heavily. The output voltage is equal to ‘- V’ and stays at ‘- V’ as long as the magnitude of the input signal voltage is greater than the magnitude of the battery voltage, ‘V’. Thus a biased negative clipper removes input voltage when the input signal voltage becomes greater than the battery voltage. Clipping can be changed by reversing the battery and diode connections, as illustrated in figure (b).

Biased Positive Clipping Circuit

Some of other biased clipper circuits are given below in the figure. While drawing the wave-shape of the output basic principle discussed above are followed. The diode has been considered as an ideal one.

 

Types of Clipping Circuits
Different Clipper Circuits

3. Combination Clipper

When a portion of both positive and negative of each half cycle of the input voltage is to be clipped (or removed), combination clipper is employed. The circuit for such a clipper is given in the figure below.

Combination Clipping Circuit

 

The action of the circuit is summarized below. For positive input voltage signal when input voltage exceeds battery voltage ‘+ V1 diode D1 conducts heavily while diode ‘D2‘ is reversed biased and so voltage ‘+ V1‘ appears across the output. This output voltage ‘+ V1‘ stays as long as. the input signal voltage exceeds ‘+ V1‘. On the other hand for the negative input voltage signal, the diode ‘D1‘ remains reverse biased and diode ‘D2‘ conducts heavily only when input voltage exceeds battery voltage ‘V2‘ in magnitude. Thus during the negative half cycle the output stays at ‘- V2‘ so long as the input signal voltage is greater than ‘-V2‘.

 

Drawbacks of Series and Shunt Diode Clippers

  • In series clippers, when the diode is in ‘OFF’ position, there will be no transmission of input signal to output. But in case of high frequency signals transmission occurs through diode capacitance which is undesirable. This is the drawback of using diode as a series element in such clippers.
  • In shunt clippers, when diode is in the ‘off condition, transmission of input signal should take place to output. But in case of high frequency input signals, diode capacitance affects the circuit operation adversely and the signal gets attenuated (that is, it passes through diode capacitance to ground).

To gain more knowledge about various other Clipping circuits – say Clipping circuits using Transistors, Applications of Diode clippers etc. Follow the links below.

TAKE A LOOK : CLIPPING CIRCUITS

TAKE A LOOK : TRANSISTOR CLIPPING CIRCUITS

TAKE A LOOK : DIODE CLIPPERS – APPLICATIONS

TAKE A LOOK : DIODE CLAMPING CIRCUITS

Comments
  • October 3, 2015

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  • alisha salve
    August 26, 2015

    thanks for give information. thank u once again.

  • Soham Desai
    December 18, 2014

    It was helpful but more emphasis should be given on the working of biased clipper, like how do they actually work and what happens with the help of schematic diagrams… Otherwise a very helpful article

  • ashlin anna joseph
    December 4, 2014

    it was helpful…

  • ankit
    November 28, 2014

    designing of problem based on climper & clamper

  • Gayathri
    November 9, 2014

    where is slicer?

    • Innoxent Boss
      January 14, 2015

      There are three more names of Clipper,one of them is known as “slicer”… !!!

  • Kiran
    September 12, 2014

    very useful as its too easily presnted and can b understood very wellworth reading

    • kaushal
      August 29, 2015

      i don’t think so… there is no explanation of any circuits..

      still thanks

  • aamir
    August 9, 2014

    thanxxxx

  • Nilu
    July 20, 2014

    Thanks… A nice attempt for the students like us…

  • Uditha
    May 28, 2014

    Thank so much…

  • mohsin sarwar
    May 16, 2014

    thanks a lot. but the output graph of (f) is wrong .. if you want to correct this check this out
    http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/diode/diode-clipping-circuits.html

  • sohel khan
    May 8, 2014

    thanks a lot because it was necessary for me .

  • RJ FAHEEM
    February 26, 2014

    nice wording and good explanation?but pics are too little>??

  • Hazratullah
    January 25, 2014

    This is one of the best ways that solve the students problems …Thank You ..

  • Ashish
    January 6, 2014

    thankyou very much.i never understood how the biased ones.thanks to you ,now i do.i am very grateful.

  • Zaina Daar
    December 23, 2013

    Thanks alot

  • Sipra
    October 26, 2013

    thanks its helped me a lot

  • iqra nazakat
    September 28, 2013

    i,m still confuseeeedddddddd

  • akocnaj
    September 5, 2013

    where are the formulas ?

  • aswini
    August 4, 2013

    thnq…

  • February 20, 2013

    information about other cliper circuits not given so i wasnt able t understand it well…plzzz can you provide me sufficent info 4 this..??

  • February 18, 2013

    thank u a lot wil re visit

  • amer
    December 21, 2012

    thanks a lot for your help

  • DEEPAK KUMAR ANAND
    September 18, 2012

    REALLY I APPRICIATE IT AFTER DEEPLY STUDY……….I HAD PROBLEM FOR ANALYSIS OF CLIPER CIRCUIT ,,,,,,BUT I HAVE NO PROBLRM NOW………………THANKS ALOT…..

  • gourav verma
    September 16, 2012

    very easy and good language and point to point answer……

  • deepak bhadu(grudge)
    August 31, 2012

    i reallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly like the

    • deepak bhadu(grudge)
      August 31, 2012

      clipper in life

  • sjking
    August 22, 2012

    v.v.v.vnice explenation

  • amruthesh
    August 5, 2012

    why is resistor connected in series with load in series clipper

    • athul
      October 12, 2012

      when the diode is forward biased current flow is high… so to protect the diodes from the heavy flow of current , resistors are used in series…

  • debopriya
    August 5, 2012

    the whole explanation is very nice…………..
    i have understood this very well now…..

  • NIX
    July 8, 2012

    simple and to the point explanation. wish my lecturer could read this prior to class.

  • suman sourabh satpathy
    June 10, 2012

    it is very nice…….
    i understd this very well…..

  • June 8, 2012

    IZZA,
    You are right, the biased negative clipper output wave form doesnt clipped off.

    I think it will clipped on -(V+D)

    v is the voltage source
    and
    D is the drop in diode

  • June 8, 2012

    Get some Tips and Tricks in Clipping Circuits

    TRICKS IN CLIPPING CIRCUITS

  • iZZa
    May 23, 2012

    I think “Biased Negative Clipper” figure output waveform is wrong. ! let me know if it is my mistake. thanks anyway

  • Saloni Mujawar
    April 16, 2012

    Thanks for the inf.. In short all required data is given…

  • Rajish kumar
    April 5, 2012

    please explain combine diode circuit with Rquation solver by 3 steps which are given in Boylested Book….

  • Himadri Debmath
    April 1, 2012

    Thanks a lot..Though information is very less but it is valuable to me

  • March 29, 2012

    after read this article i get more confused…….?
    any body can help me..?

  • Muhammad Imran
    March 23, 2012

    I feel gud to read all this.

  • March 14, 2012

    very nice artical

  • Yeahia
    February 20, 2012

    if some mathematical problem is included with explanation,it will be so helpful.But this makes me understand the clippers,thanks

  • phemy
    February 15, 2012

    am bouyant on dis topic

  • shakir
    February 8, 2012

    it is bs8 way to understand. Thank’s……………

  • adeel
    January 18, 2012

    this is good way to solve all the student problems.

  • Muhammet
    January 9, 2012

    Hi I am a physics department student, i have a question abuot last picture, if we turn the dc voltage supllies 180 degree, then how it would be the Vout signal

  • aviral raghav
    December 28, 2011

    Good one!!!!!!!! .Helped me clear my doubt.

  • vandana joshi
    December 12, 2011

    i want to know that when diode is in series with load and battery then why another level v or -v is introduced in output waveform

  • December 10, 2011

    THAX A LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT I M MUCH SATISFIED AFTER READING ALL

  • shivam kumar singh
    December 8, 2011

    thanks…………..

  • shivam kumar singh
    December 8, 2011

    thanks for giving infomation.

  • lakhdar
    December 5, 2011

    I was so confused between series and shunt clippers,but now i think every thing is OK; thank u so much.

  • nitin gehlot
    November 28, 2011

    plz correct the biased -ve clipper o\p waveform…..

  • SHUBHAM
    November 18, 2011

    VYSAKH,PLEASE SEND ME NOTE OF CLIPPERS

  • sudhir sagar
    October 30, 2011

    derivation is not clear so make it clear

  • October 22, 2011

    thank u for this,but iam still not solved it properly.

  • avinash
    October 3, 2011

    biased negative clipper output waveform is wrong plz correct it

  • vysakh
    August 18, 2011

    @pallavi
    please giv your e mail id, will sent complete note about biased clipper

  • Pallavi
    August 17, 2011

    I am still not getting the working of biased clipper

  • gopika
    July 18, 2011

    pls explain more abt clippers. explain shunt & series clippers in 2 versions. thats all THANK U 4 ur help.

  • imran khan
    June 22, 2011

    i wanna design clipper n pspice plz give values of components… thanx alot……..

  • sajjad
    May 6, 2011

    i’d problem in clippers but now i’ve resolved from it

  • jojo
    April 14, 2011

    Images are redrawn. Now they are clear and perfect. Thanks a lot to every one who commented.

  • April 12, 2011

    thanks alot dude

  • physics king
    February 9, 2011

    really wonderful!!!!!!!!!!
    but images are too small………
    combination clipping information is less………
    if diode is not ideal no diagrams are mentioned…..

  • dimitrist16
    February 3, 2011

    Thanks a lot!!! Easy to understand.
    If only the pics were a little bigger…

  • Roshni
    February 1, 2011

    itz great nd easy to understand

  • bhvana sharma
    November 3, 2010

    images of series biased clipper are too small. nice description

  • ramakant
    October 30, 2010

    really nice description… but images r too small..

    @jeena— all the current will pass through the diode when forward bias leaving no voltage drop accros the resistor..too simple to understand…

  • vishnu
    October 2, 2010

    thanks….got all that i wanted….wish the ckt diagrams were a little bigger….its not clear….

  • seetharaman
    September 12, 2010

    Hi you have to sufficiently amplify the signal before feeding to this clipping circuit if input is less than 600mV nothing will happen to the waveform as the diode cannot conduct.
    the output cannot be greater than 600mv (1200mV pk – pk) so you have to amplify further to increase the waveform level.

  • Jeena
    September 12, 2010

    what about the drop across R when shut clipper is considered. When will you tell the diode is forward biased if the drop across R is not known?

  • Tanaji Sengupta
    September 12, 2010

    combination clipping information is too less and vague also diagram is not visible clearly

  • LockeZz
    July 25, 2010

    the image was way too small to be seen…

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