A clipper is a device designed to prevent the output of a circuit from exceeding a predetermined voltage level without distorting the remaining part of the applied waveform.
Voltage clipping limits the voltage to a device without affecting the rest of the waveform
- linear elements like resistors,
- non-linear elements like junction diodes or transistors.
- It does not contain energy-storage elements like capacitors.
Two shunt diode clipper circuits
A one or two zener diodes are used to clip the voltage VIN. In the first circuit, the voltage is clipped to the reverse breakdown voltage of the zener diode. The output voltage in the first circuit should also never be more negative than the diode's forward voltage.
In the second, the voltage in either direction is limited to the reverse breakdown voltage plus the voltage drop across one zener diode.
- Series Clippers, where the diode is in series with the load resistance, and
- Shunt Clippers, where the diode in shunted across the load resistance.
- Positively Biased Diode Clipper
- Negatively Biased Diode Clipper