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** Anode **

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Diagram of a zinc anode in a galvanic cell. Note how electrons move out of
the cell, and the conventional current moves into it in the opposite

An *anode* is an electrode through which conventional current flows into a
polarized electrical device. A common mnemonic is ACID for "anode current
into device". ^[1] The direction of electric current is opposite to the
direction of electron flow: electrons flow through the anode to the outside

The polarity of voltage on an anode with respect to an associated cathode
varies depending on the device type and on its operating mode. In the
following examples, the anode is positive in a device that consumes power,
and the anode is negative in a device that provides power:

· In a discharging battery or galvanic cell (diagram at right), the anode
is the negative terminal because it is where the current flows into "the
device" (i.e. the battery cell). This inward current is carried externally
by electrons moving outwards, negative charge moving one way constituting
positive current flowing the other way.
· In a recharging battery, or an electrolytic cell, the anode is the
positive terminal, which receives current from an external generator. The
current through a recharging battery is opposite to the direction of
current during discharge; in other words, the electrode which was the
cathode during battery discharge becomes the anode while the battery is
· In a diode, the anode is the positive terminal at the tail of the arrow
symbol (flat


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