What is the Current, I
ZM, of a Zener Diode?
The current, IZM, of a zener diode is the maximum current that can flow through a zener diode at its rated zener voltage, VZ.
The reason a zener diode has a maximum current is because the diode has a power rating, P ZM which can't be exceeded.
The Power, PZM is normally a given rating with the zener diode. If the zener diode is given more power than the power rating, it may become damaged or destroyed.
The maximum current, IZM, is there to prevent the diode from exceeding its power rating.
To know whether the power rating has been exceeded or not, it can be calculated by taking the current that is going through the diode multiplied by the voltage across the diode.
Note:The rating, IZM, has the subscript, Z, standing for zener,
and M, standing for maximum. So it stands for maximum current rating.