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Chapter 5

Electronics 2
EE 317
Electrical Engineering
Majmaah University
1
st
Semester 1433/1434 H
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Transistor Bias Circuits
Chapter Outline
51 The DC Operating Point
52 Voltage-Divider Bias
53 Other Bias Methods
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Chapter Objectives
Discuss and determine the dc operating point of a linear
amplifier.
Analyze a voltage-divider biased circuit.
Analyze an emitter bias circuit, a base bias circuit, an
emitter-feedback bias circuit, and a collector-feedback bias
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emitter-feedback bias circuit, and a collector-feedback bias
circuit.
Introduction
As you learned in Chapter 4, a transistor must be properly biased in
order to operate as an amplifier.
DC biasing is used to establish fixed dc values for the transistor currents
and voltages called the dc operating point or quiescent point (Q-point).
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In this chapter, several types of bias circuits are discussed.
This material lays the groundwork for the study of amplifiers, and other
circuits that require proper biasing.
The DC Operating Point
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1.2 3.4 5.6
The DC Operating Point
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Linear Operation
Bias establishes the operating point (Q-point) of a transistor
amplifier; the ac signal
moves above and below
I
C
(mA)
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moves above and below
this point.
For this example, the dc
base current is 300 A.
When the input causes the
base current to vary between
200 A and 400 A, the
collector current varies
between 20 mA and 40 mA.
0
V
CE
(V)
400 A
300 A = I
BQ
200 A
A
B
Q
1.2 3.4 5.6
V
CEQ
I
CQ
V
ce
I
b
I
c
20
30
40

Load line
Waveform Distortion
A signal that swings
outside the active
region will be clipped.
I
B
Q
I
C
Input
signal
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region will be clipped.
For example, the bias
has established a low Q-
point.
As a result, the signal
will be clipped because
it is too close to cutoff.
V
CC
V
CE
Cutoff
Q
I
CQ
Cutoff
0
V
ce
V
CEQ
Waveform Distortion
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High Q- point. The signal will be
clipped because it is too close to
saturation.
Input signal too large. The signal
will be clipped from both sides.
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. A signal that swings outside the active area will be
a. clamped
b. clipped
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c. unstable
d. all of the above
Voltage-Divider Bias
A practical way to establish a Q-point is to form a voltage-
divider from V
CC
.
R
1
and R
2
are selected to establish V
B
. If the
divider is stiff, I is small compared to I . Then,
+V
CC
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divider is stiff, I
B
is small compared to I
2
. Then,
R
C
R
1
R
E
R
2
2
B CC
1 2
R
V V
R R


+

I
2
I
B
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. A stiff voltage divider is one in which
a. there is no load current
b. divider current is small compared to load current
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c. the load is connected directly to the source voltage
d. loading effects can be ignored
Voltage-Divider Bias
+V
CC
+15 V
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R
C
R
1
R
E
R
2

DC
= 200
27 k
12 k 680
1.2 k
Determine the base voltage for the circuit.
( )
2
B CC
1 2
12 k
15 V
27 k 12 k
R
V V
R R

=

+


= + =

+

4.62 V
Voltage-Divider Bias
+V
CC
+15 V
What is the emitter voltage, V
E
, and current, I
E
?
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R
C
R
1
R
E
R
2

DC
= 200
27 k
12 k 680
1.2 k
4.62 V
V
E
is one diode drop less than V
B
:
V
E
= 4.62 V 0.7 V = 3.92 V
3.92 V
Applying Ohms law:
E
E
E
3.92 V
680
V
I
R
= = =

5.76 mA
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. Assuming a stiff voltage-divider for the circuit shown,
the emitter voltage is
a. 4.3 V
+V
CC
+15 V
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b. 5.7 V
c. 6.8 V
d. 9.3 V
R
C
R
1
R
E
R
2

DC
= 200
20 k
10 k 1.2 k
1.8 k
V
B
= 10 / (10 + 20) * 15 = 5 V
V
E
= 5 0.7 = 4.3 V
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. For the circuit shown, the dc load line will intersect the
y-axis at (neglecting I
B
)
a. 5.0 mA
+V
CC
+15 V
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b. 10.0 mA
c. 15.0 mA
d. none of the above
R
C
R
1
R
E
R
2

DC
= 200
20 k
10 k 1.2 k
1.8 k
@ V
CE
=0:
I
C
= (15 0) / (1.8k + 1.2k) = 15 / 3k = 5 mA
Voltage-Divider Bias
The unloaded voltage divider approximation for V
B
gives
reasonable results.
A more exact solution is to Thevenize the input circuit.
Looking from the base to the left:
+V
CC
+15 V
+V
CC
+15 V
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R
C
R
1
R
E
R
2

DC
= 200
27 k
12 k
+15 V
680
1.2 k
V
TH
= V
B(no load)
= 4.62 V
R
TH
= R
1
||R
2
=
= 8.31 k
The Thevenin input
circuit can be drawn
R
C
R
TH
R
E
+V
TH
+
I
B
+
+

I
E
V
BE
8.31 k
680
1.2 k
4.62 V
+15 V

DC
= 200
Thevenin Resistance, R
TH
To find R
TH
, replace voltage sources by a short circuit.
Which means V
CC
will be grounded.
R
TH
= R
1
||R
2
+V
CC
+15 V
1 2 3
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R
C
R
1
R
E
R
2

DC
= 200
27 k
12 k 680
1.2 k
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. If you Thevenize the input voltage divider, the Thevenin
resistance is
a. 5.0 k

+V
CC
+15 V
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b. 6.67 k
c. 10 k
d. 30 k
R
C
R
1
R
E
R
2

DC
= 200
20 k
10 k 1.2 k
1.8 k
R
TH
= R
1
R
2
/ (R
1
+ R
2
)
= 20 * 10 / (20 + 10) = 200 / 30 = 6.67 k
Voltage-Divider Bias
Now write KVL around the base emitter circuit and solve
for I
E
.
+V
CC
+15 V
TH B TH BE E E
V I R V I R = + +
I
E
= I
B
+ I
C
= I
B
+
DC
I
B
= (
DC
+ 1) I
B

DC
I
B
V
TH
V
BE
= I
E
R
E
+ I
B
R
TH
I
E
R
E
+ I
E
R
TH
/
DC
= I
E
( R
E
+ R
TH
/
DC
)
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R
C
R
TH
R
E
+V
TH
+
I
B
+
+

I
E
V
BE
8.31 k
680
1.2 k
4.62 V
+15 V

DC
= 200
TH BE
E
TH
E
DC

V V
I
R
R

=
+
Substituting and solving,
E
4.62 V 0.7 V
8.31 k
680 +
200
I

= =

5.43 mA
and V
E
= I
E
R
E
= (5.43 mA)(0.68 k)
= 3.69 V
Voltage-Divider Bias
A pnp transistor can be biased from either a positive or negative supply.
Notice that (b) and (c) are the same circuit; both with a positive supply.
+ V
V
EE
EE

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+
+
V
V
EE
EE
R
R
R
2
2
2
1
1
1
R
R
R
R
R
R
C
C
C
R
R
R
E
E
E
(a) (b) (c)
Voltage-Divider Bias
Determine I
E
for the pnp circuit. Assume a stiff
voltage divider (no loading effect).
+V
EE
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+V
EE
R
2
1
R
R
C
1.2 k
R
E
680
27 k
12 k
+15 V
( )
1
B EE
1 2
27 k
15.0 V 10.4 V
27 k 12 k
R
V V
R R

=

+


= + =

+

E B BE
10.4 V 0.7 V = 11.1 V V V V = + = +
EE E
E
E
15.0 V 11.1 V
680
V V
I
R

= = =

5.74 mA
10.4 V
11.1 V
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. For the circuit shown, the emitter voltage is
a. less than the base voltage
b. less than the collector voltage
+V
EE
R
R
+15 V
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c. both of the above
d. none of the above
R
2
1
R
R
C
1.2 k
R
E
680
27 k
12 k
pnp circuit
(higher than the base voltage by 0.7 V)
Emitter Bias
Emitter bias has excellent stability but requires both a
positive and a negative source.
V
CC
+15 V
For troubleshooting analysis, assume that V
E
for an npn transistor is about 1 V.
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Assuming that V
E
is 1 V, what is I
E
?
V
EE
R
C
R
E
R
B
68 k
+15 V
15 V
7.5 k
3.9 k
1 V
EE
E
E
1 V 15 V ( 1 V)
7.5 k
V
I
R

= = =

1.87 mA
The minus sign means the
current is directed downwards
(opposite to initial assumption).
Emitter Bias
The approximation that V
E
1 V and the neglect of
DC
may not be accurate
enough for design work or detailed analysis.
In this case, KVL can be applied to develop a more detailed formula for I
E
.
KVL applied around the base-emitter circuit in Figure 517(a), which has
been redrawn in part (b) for analysis, gives the following equation:
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Emitter Bias
V
R
B
+ V
BE
+ V
R
E
V
EE
= 0
I
B
R
B
+ V
BE
+ I
E
R
E
V
EE
= 0
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I
E
( R
B
/
DC
) + I
E
R
E
= V
EE
V
BE
I
E
(R
E
+ R
B
/
DC
) = V
EE
V
BE
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. Emitter bias
a. is not good for linear circuits
b. uses a voltage-divider on the input
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c. requires dual power supplies
d. all of the above
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. With the emitter bias shown, a reasonable assumption
for troubleshooting work is that the
a. base voltage = +1 V
V
CC
+15 V
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b. emitter voltage = +5 V
c. emitter voltage = 1 V
d. collector voltage = V
CC
V
EE
R
C
R
E
R
B
68 k
15 V
7.5 k
3.9 k
Base Bias
Base bias is used in switching circuits because of its
simplicity, but not widely used in linear applications
because the Q-point is dependent.
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R
C
R
B
+V
CC
Base current is derived from the collector supply
through a large base resistor.
What is I
B
?
CC
B
B
0.7 V 15 V 0.7 V
560 k
V
I
R

= = =

25.5 A
R
C
R
B
+V
CC
560 k
+15 V
1.8 k
I
B
+

V
BE
Base Bias
Compare V
CE
for the case where = 100 and = 300.
( )( )
C B
100 25.5 A 2.55 mA I I = = =
For = 100:
V V I R =
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R
C
R
B
+V
CC
560 k
+15 V
1.8 k
10.4 V
( )( )
CE CC C C
15 V 2.55 mA 1.8 k
V V I R =
= =
For = 300:
( ) ( )
C B
300 25.5 A 7.65 mA I I = = =
( )( )
CE CC C C
15 V 7.65 mA 1.8 k
V V I R =
= = 1.23 V
I
C
+
V
CE

The Q-point is dependent.


Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. The circuit shown is an example of
a. base bias
b. collector-feedback bias
+V
CC
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c. emitter bias
d. voltage-divider bias
R
C
R
B
Emitter-Feedback Bias
An emitter resistor (R
E
) changes base bias into emitter-
feedback bias, which is more predictable.
The emitter resistor (R
E
) is a form of negative feedback.
If I
C
tries to increase, V
E
increases, causing an
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R
R
C
E
R
B
+V
CC
If I
C
tries to increase, V
E
increases, causing an
increase in V
B
because V
B
= V
E
+ V
BE
.
This increase in V
B
reduces the voltage across R
B
(V
R
B
= V
CC
V
B
), thus reducing I
B
and keeping I
C
from increasing.
A similar action occurs if I
C
tries to decrease.
Emitter-Feedback Bias
The equation for emitter current (I
E
) is found by writing KVL
around the base circuit.
I
E
R
E
+ I
B
R
B
= V
CC
V
BE
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R
R
C
E
R
B
+V
CC
I
B
I
E
+
+
+

I
E
R
E
+ I
B
R
B
= V
CC
V
BE
I
E
R
E
+ (I
E
/
DC
) R
B
= V
CC
V
BE
I
E
(R
E
+ R
B
/
DC
) = V
CC
V
BE
Collector-Feedback Bias
Collector feedback bias uses another form of negative
feedback to increase stability. (more on next slide)
Instead of returning the base resistor (R
B
) to V
CC
, it is
returned to the collector.
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The equation for collector current (I
C
) is found
by writing KVL around the base circuit.
(details on page 247 in the book)
The result is
CC BE
C
B
C
DC

V V
I
R
R

=
+
+V
CC
R
C
R
B
Collector-Feedback Bias
Collector feedback bias uses another form of negative
feedback to increase stability. Instead of returning the base
resistor to V
CC
, it is returned to the collector.
The negative feedback creates an offsetting effect
that tends to keep the Q-point stable.
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+V
CC
R
C
R
B
If I
C
tries to increase, it drops more voltage across
R
C
, thereby causing V
C
to decrease.
When V
C
decreases, there is a decrease in voltage
across R
B
, which decreases I
B
.
The decrease in I
B
produces less I
C
which, in turn,
drops less voltage across R
C
and thus offsets the
decrease in V
C
.
Collector-Feedback Bias
Compare I
C
for the case when = 100 with the case when = 300.
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When = 100,
CC BE
C
B
C
DC
15 V 0.7 V
330 k
1.8 k
100

V V
I
R
R

= = =

+
+
+V
CC
R
C
R
B
330 k
1.8 k
+ 15 V
2.80 mA
When = 300,
CC BE
C
B
C
DC
15 V 0.7 V
330 k
1.8 k
300

V V
I
R
R

= = =

+
+
4.93 mA
Quiz Quiz Quiz
Q. The circuit shown is an example of
a. base bias
b. collector-feedback bias
+V
CC
R
C
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c. emitter bias
d. voltage-divider bias
R
C
R
B
Key Terms Key Terms Key Terms
Q-point
DC load line
Linear region
The dc operating (bias) point of an amplifier
specified by voltage and current values.
A straight line plot of I
C
and V
CE
for a
transistor circuit.
The region of operation along the load line
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Linear region
Stiff voltage
divider
Feedback
The region of operation along the load line
between saturation and cutoff.
A voltage divider for which loading effects
can be ignored.
The process of returning a portion of a
circuits output back to the input in such a way
as to oppose or aid a change in the output.