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On a transient voltage suppressor, let's take a unidirectional Fairchild P6KE11A for example, what is the main difference between reverse stand off voltage (\$V_{RWM}\$) and breakdown voltage (\$V_{BR}\$) as shown on the chart on page 2?

In my experiments with this part in reverse bias, it begins to conduct just at 10.65V. This is within the \$V_{BR}\$ range of 10.5 to 11.6. I think I understand that the \$V_{BR}\$ range is what I might expect from one particular P6KE11A to another, but of what use is the reverse stand off voltage?

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According to this

"Maximum reverse standoff voltage: the voltage below which no significant conduction occurs" "Breakdown voltage: the voltage at which some specified and significant conduction occurs"

This appnote explains

"The TVS breakdown voltage is usually 10 % above the reverse standoff voltage (VR)..."

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks BobT, I didn't think to check Wikipedia for the finer details of an electronic part. :) \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Jan 13 '13 at 5:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Good place to start... I always look for additional corroborating evidence though... \$\endgroup\$ – BobT Jan 13 '13 at 13:39

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