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The design theory for a new range of p-n junction applications is presented. The applications include pulse generation, wave shaping, and harmonic generation. The diodes are characterized by a very abrupt interruption of reverse current in the turn-off transient and are approximately ideal nonlinear capacitors. The abrupt interruption of current in the reverse transient is related to the impurity profile in the junction. An estimate is given of the duration of the abrupt phase. In addition, the role of parasitic elements such as inductance, capacitance, and series resistance is discussed in relation to a particular representative circuit. In typical cases, the abrupt turn-off phase lasts for a time of the order of 10-9 sec. Transitions in excess of 100 v or an ampere are readily obtained.