Diode has a property that is ability to conduct current in only one direction. Due to this property diodes are used in rectifier circuits. As rectification is the process to convert AC signal to Pulsating DC.
Construction of Half wave rectifier
As shown in the given diagram the voltage source is connected to the load resistance through diode. Output voltage Vo is taken across load resistor.
Working of Half wave rectifier
During the positive half cycle the diode is forward biased and conduct current to the load resistance. The current develop voltage across the load which has the same as the positive half cycle of the input AC signal voltage.
Alternatively during the negative half cycle of the input signal. The diode is reverse biased there is no current flow through the diode during this half cycle. There is no voltage drop across the resistor at the time. The net result is that only the positive half cycle of the AC input voltage appears across the load, making the output a pulsating DC voltage. This process is known as half wave rectification.
Full Wave Rectifier
Full wave rectifier is a circuit which is used for rectification. the difference between half wave and full wave rectifier is that the half wave rectifier circuit conducts for the positive or negative half cycle of the input signal and the full wave rectifier circuit conducts for both positive and negative cycles of the input signal. The DC output from the full wave rectifier circuit is more stable than half wave circuits.