What is a Silicon Transient Voltage Suppressor and how does it work?

Transient Voltage Suppressors (TVS’s) are devices used to protect vulnerable circuits from electrical overstress such as that caused by electrostatic discharge, inductive load switching and induced lightning. Within the TVS, damaging voltage spikes are limited by clamping or avalanche action of a rugged silicon pn junction which reduces the amplitude of the transient to a nondestructive level.