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The saturation range and the avalanche range of the reverse characteristic of a silicon rectifier and how these regions vary qualitatively with temperature and bulk characteristics of the silicon used are discussed. Also some reasons why these characteristics may vary from theoretical values are given. The forward current is discussed from the standpoint of the resistive component and conductivity modulation. The affects of temperature, device geometry, and bulk characteristics of both of these components are shown. In a general fashion, some problems concerning operating life and shelf life of packaged rectifiers are given.