What is Breakdown Voltage

By Bester PCBA

Last Updated: 2023-09-11

Table of Contents

What is Breakdown Voltage

Breakdown voltage is the minimum voltage at which an insulating material experiences a transition from being an insulator to becoming conductive. This phenomenon occurs when the electric field strength within the material surpasses its dielectric strength, leading to a sudden increase in the number of charge carriers and a significant drop in resistivity. As a result, a strong current can flow through the material.

The breakdown voltage is a crucial characteristic of insulating materials and is influenced by various factors, including the material’s composition, shape, and the distance between electrical contacts. Different materials exhibit different breakdown voltages due to variations in their dielectric strengths.

The breakdown voltage is not a fixed value but rather a statistical probability of failure. When a breakdown voltage is specified, it typically represents the mean breakdown voltage of a large sample.

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