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BJT in Terms of Currents

BJT in Terms of Currents

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Name of the file gives good info. This file intended for any ECE students wants to brush-up/refresh/read MOST basics of a BJT.
Name of the file gives good info. This file intended for any ECE students wants to brush-up/refresh/read MOST basics of a BJT.

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Published by: api-3704956 on Oct 18, 2008
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03/18/2014

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051:080 Bioelectrical Design Spring 2006 
The Bipolar Junction Transistor
Topics:
Bipolar junction transistor (BJT), BJT types, operating modes of the BJT, BJTconfigurations, analysis of internal currents, the Ebers-Moll model, the BJT as an amplifier,operational (quiescent) point analysis
Transistors:
Before the invention of transistors, electrical signals were amplified using vacuumtubes, which are large, heavy and expensive components. Electronic instruments and applianceswere simple and large and their use was limited. Transistors were invented in the 1940’s. Theirfirst use was in amplifier circuits for analog signals, where they replaced vacuum tubes. The firstwidespread electronic device employing transistors was the “transistor radio.” Transistors aresmall and versatile, and they are inexpensive to manufacture. They rapidly made their way intoexisting electronic systems and many new systems were designed to take advantage of theirproperties. The introduction of integrated circuit (IC) fabrication techniques further increased thesignificance of transistors, because with these techniques, thousands of transistors can beimplemented on a single semiconductor chip. They remained a key component in the design of analog circuits, but more importantly, they became the building block of all digital circuits.Today, transistors are in all electronic systems, from home appliances to computers.
The Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT):
The BJT is the most common transistor. It consists of three sections of semiconductors: an
emitter 
, a
base
and a
collector 
(
Figure 3.1
). In an
npn-type
 BJT, the emitter and the collector are made of n-type semiconductors and the base is made of a p-
BCECollectorEmitter Basen npBCEBCECollectorEmitter Basep pnBCE
(a) npn-type BJT(b) pnp-type BJT
Figure 3.1 Schematic Diagram and Circuit Symbol of the BJT
Revised: 02/07/2006 O. Poroy 
 
051:080 Bioelectrical Design Spring 2006 
type semiconductor. In a
 pnp-type
BJT, it is the other way round. The three sections of a BJTform two p-n junctions: the
emitter-base junction
and the
collector-base junction
. Individually,these junctions are not different from the p-n junction in a diode. The unique characteristics of theBJT originate from an
interaction
between these two junctions.
Operating modes of the BJT:
The
operating mode
of a BJT depends on how its junctions arebiased (
Table 3.1
). The BJT is biased to operate in the
active
mode in applications where it isused as an amplifier. In the
cut-off 
and
saturation
modes, the BJT behaves like an open andclosed switch, respectively. Most BJTs in digital circuits (logic gates, memory) operate in thesetwo modes. The
reverse active
mode is rarely used and is listed here for reference.
Operating mode Emitter-Base junction Collector-Base junction
Active forward biased reverse biasedCut-off reverse biased reverse biasedSaturation forward biased forward biasedReverse active reverse biased forward biased
Table 3.1 Operating Modes of the BJTBJT configurations:
In a typical transistor circuit, the transistor is connected to an input circuitand an output circuit or load (
Figure 3.2
). (Additional components are often necessary to
bias
theBJT.) One of the terminals of the BJT (E, B or C) is connected to both the input and the outputcircuit. The configuration of a BJT in a circuit is named after this common terminal. Thus, wespeak of 
common-emitter 
,
common-base
and
common-collector 
configurations.
Input circuitand biasingOutput circuitand biasingBiasingBJTBCE++----+ +V
EB
V
CB
V
1
V
2
I
E
I
B
I
C
(a) Model representing allBJT configurations(b) BJT in common-baseconfiguration
Figure 3.2 BJT Configurations
Revised: 02/07/2006 O. Poroy 
 
051:080 Bioelectrical Design Spring 2006 
Analysis of internal currents:
The internal currents in an npn-type BJT biased to operate in theactive mode are shown in
Figure 3.3
. The emitter-base junction is forward biased by the voltageV
1
. In the emitter, the electron current resulting from this bias is larger than the hole current(indicated by the thickness of the arrows representing the currents), because in a BJT the emitteris more heavily doped than the base. The hole current follows the path that it would follow in aforward biased diode. The electron current, however, behaves differently than it would in aforward biased diode. In a diode, all of the electrons entering the p-side would recombine with theholes there. In Figure 3.3, it is indicated that only a fraction of the electrons from the emitterrecombine with the holes in the base. Most of the electrons from the emitter travel through thebase and reach the collector. There are two reasons for that: 1.) As mentioned above, the base ismore lightly doped than the emitter. Thus, the number of holes in the base is not enough to acceptall the electrons diffusing from the emitter. 2.) The base in a BJT is so narrow, that its width iscomparable to the
diffusion length
of the electrons from the emitter. The diffusion length is theaverage distance that charge carriers travel after they diffuse across a p-n junction and before theyrecombine with the charge carriers on the opposite side. Hence, most of the electrons from theemitter reach the base-collector junction, before they have a chance to recombine with the holesin the base. Once they reach the base-collector junction, they are accelerated into the collectorbecause of the charge build-up on both sides of the junction. The base-collector junction isreverse biased by the voltage V
2
. Therefore, there is a negative charge build-up on the base side,which pushes the emitter electrons into the collector; and there is a positive charge build-up onthe collector side, which pulls them in.
I
E
: total emitter currentI
C1
: emitter electronsreaching the collectorEmitter Base Collectorn p n
   h  o   l  e  s
recombinationholes diffusing throughthe emitter-base junctionI
C0
: reversesaturation current
+-V
1
I
C
I
E
+-V
2
I
B
Figure 3.3 Internal Currents in an npn-type BJT in the Active Mode
electrons diffusingthrough the emitter-base junction
  e   l  e  c   t  r  o  n  s
recombination
Revised: 02/07/2006 O. Poroy 

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