SNVS124E November 1999 – February 2020 LM2596
Buck regulators require a diode to provide a return path for the inductor current when the switch turns off. This must be a fast diode and must be placed close to the LM2596 using short leads and short printed-circuit traces.
Because of their very fast switching speed and low forward voltage drop, Schottky diodes provide the best performance, especially in low output voltage applications (5 V and lower). Ultra-fast recovery, or high-efficiency rectifiers are also a good choice, but some types with an abrupt turnoff characteristic may cause instability or EMI problems. Ultra-fast recovery diodes typically have reverse recovery times of 50 ns or less. Rectifiers such as the 1N5400 series are much too slow and should not be used.