Clippers are the networks which “clips-off” certain parts of the input signal and outputs the remaining part of the signal without any distortion. Clippers can be used to clip-off either some portion of positive cycle or negative cycle or both. As an illustration, refer the figure shown below which shows examples of positive and negative clippers. The scissors shown in the figure represents clippers which “cuts” or “clips-off” either the positive or negative portions of the signal as desired.

concept of positive and negative clippers

Clippers utilizes the property of diode to conduct current in one direction and block the current in the other direction. We shall see in detail how this property of diode helps in removing the unwanted portions of the signal. Before we go into the details, let us first classify the clippers on the basis of how the diode is connected with the load.

Diode clippers can be classified into two broad categories.

  • Series clippers : In this configuration, diode is connected in series with the load. Hence the name – series clippers. The details of series clippers, which can be used to clip either positive or negative portion of the signal is given in a different page on series clippers.
  • Shunt clippers : In this configuration, diode is connected in parallel (shunt) with the load and hence the name – shunt clippers. Shunt clippers can also be used to clip either positive or negative portion of the signal. The details are given in the section on shunt clippers.