There are so many electrical and electronic elements or components available and they are divided or distinguished by their current conduction property, nature, and reaction to the nature of the applied power supply. According to the polarity of current conduction and V-I characteristics, electrical and electronic circuit elements are divided into major two types - 1. Unilateral Elements and 2. Bilateral Elements.

## Unilateral Circuit Elements

In simple words, unilateral circuit elements are those elements that allow the flow of current in one direction only. When the polarity of the power supply voltage changed or reversed, either it opposes the flow of current or shows a different property. Or, we can say the V-I characteristics of unilateral elements changed when the polarity of the applied voltage reversed.

Also, note that the electrical or electronic circuits consisting of unilateral elements only is called Unilateral Circuit.

The electrical or electronic network consisting of unilateral elements or unilateral components is called Unilateral Network.

## Unilateral Circuit Elements Examples

The Diodes, SCRs are examples of active unilateral elements.

The rectifier circuits using Diodes, SCRs are examples of unilateral circuits.

## Properties of Unilateral Elements

1. Unilateral Elements allow the flow of current in one direction only.

2. The V-I characteristics of unilateral elements change with the reversal of applied voltage.

3. Most of the unilateral elements are active in nature, which means they need biasing or external supply to work.

4. The resistance and impedance properties of the unilateral elements vary so much with the varying of flowing current.

## Bilateral Circuit Elements

In simple words, Bilateral Circuit Elements are those which allow the flow of current in both directions. The V-I characteristics of Bilateral Circuits do not change so much when the power supply or supply voltage got reversed. They do not oppose or don't affect any to the flow of current is reversed or they allow the same amount of current to flow in both directions.

Also, note that the electrical and electronic circuits consisting of bilateral elements are called bilateral circuits.

The electrical or electronic networks consisting of bilateral elements or bilateral components are called bilateral networks.

## Bilateral Circuit Elements Examples

The resistors, inductors, and capacitors are examples of passive bilateral elements.
TRIAC is an example of an Active Bilateral Element.

Simple voltage divider circuits using resistors, magnetic circuits are examples of bilateral circuits.

## Properties of Bilateral Elements

1. Bilateral elements allow the current to flow in both directions through them.

2. The V-I characteristics of bilateral elements do not change so much with the reversal of applied voltage.

3. There are mainly three passive elements means they do not require any external voltage to work and all of them are bilateral in nature.

4. The resistance and impedance properties of bilateral elements do not vary so much with the reversal of power supply.

## Difference Between Unilateral and Bilateral Elements

 Unilateral Elements Bilateral Elements It allows the flow of current in one direction only. It allows the flow of current in both directions. The V-I characteristics change with the reversal of applied voltage. The V-I characteristics do not change with the reversal of applied voltage. The resistance and impedance properties vary so much with the varying of flowing current. The resistance and impedance properties do not vary so much with the varying of flowing current. Examples: Diode, SCR Examples: Resistor, Inductor, Capacitor

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Unilateral and Bilateral Element Examples, Properties Reviewed by Author on 6/10/2021 Rating: 5