# Should a rectifier or TVS diode be used as a flyback diode?

I'm trying to design a circuit for a relay similar to the following (except using SMT components):

When I went to Mouser to try to find a suitable SMT diode to use in place of the 1N4001, I noticed there are four main categories:

TVS Diodes (21,395)
Rectifiers (9,872)
Schottky Diodes & Rectifiers (8,259)
Zener Diodes (15,726)


I'm pretty sure Zener & Schottky diodes are not supposed to be used as flyback diodes, which leaves TVS Diodes and Rectifiers.

Looking on Wikipedia, a TVS diode is shown as:

I did a little searching online and it seems some designs use a Rectifier like the 1N4001, while others use TVS diodes. I couldn't find a clear answer as to which is better.

Is there any advantage to using a TVS diode over a Rectifier diode for flyback applications such as a relay circuit?

• Schottkys are perfectly suitable and commonly used as flyback diodes. – Matt Young May 18 '14 at 0:16