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while looking at datasheets for clamping schottky diodes, I noticed that the values that manufacturers state in their tables ("Pulse test: tp < 300 µs; delta < 0.02.") are different from the values you get out of the diagrams.

NXP BAT54 for example: https://assets.nexperia.com/documents/data-sheet/BAT54_SER.pdf Table 7 vs. Figure 1 on page 4

Table: ("Pulse test: tp < 300 µs; delta < 0.02.")
If 0.1mA Uf 240mV
If 1mA Uf 320mV
If 10mA Uf 400mV

Diagram @25°C: (roughly)
If 0.1mA Uf 160mV
If 1mA Uf 210mV
If 10mA Uf 300mV

What causes this difference? What do they perform pulse tests for?

And if I plan on using the diode for a constant overvoltage condition (to protect an analog input), do I use the diagram values rather than the pulse values?

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The pulse values are maximum values. The diagram shows typical values.

Typical values will always be lower than maximum, more or less by definition.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd just add that if in @Winter's design something changes upon a few hundred millivolt forward drop change, that design have to be reviewed \$\endgroup\$ – carloc Mar 10 at 7:49

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