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The biggest practical difference is that a Zener* diode is made to break down in a useful and predictable way, while a rectifying diode is made to predictably not break down. So if you buy a Zener diode that's designed to regulate to 12V, then you can figure that if you arrange for it to get the right current in the reverse direction, you'll get pretty close*...


The diode will be in reverse, but the FET is labeled wrong. You are feeding the 10V to source and pulling the gate low, so FET is on.

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