Ceferino Kevin A.

Activity 6 – BJT Characteristics

1. To obtain a graph of the input and output characteristics of a bipolar junction transistor.
Basic Concept
Introduction to BJTs
Previously, we have obtained knowledge of how the basic p-n junction diode works. Indeed, we have
observed how a diode works as a switch, especially when used under time-varying and oscillating
voltage sources, but it does not really give us an effective control over when the diode should
conduct and when it shouldn’t. The on and off switching of the diode is dependent solely on the
voltage of its terminals.
This is where we begin to discuss about the Bipolar Junction Transistor, and the great “switching”
ability it can provide that the basic p-n junction diode cannot.
A Bipolar Junction Transistor is a device with three terminals and you can think of one of the
terminals as a control terminal. Ideally, if a current is present in the control terminal, the device will
act as a closed switch between the other two terminals. Conversely, if no current is present in the
control terminal, the device will act as an open switch between the other two terminals.
The symbol for the Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT) and two of its common packages is shown in
figure 6.1 (a) and (b). The BJTs come in two major types: the PNP and the NPN. A simplified
schematic of the internal structure of a BJT transistor is shown in figure 6.1 (c).

Figure 6.1 (a) Two different symbols used for BJTs in circuits: left – NPN, right – PNP. (b) Two
different packages for discrete low power BJT. (c) A simplified view of the internal structure of a BJT:
left – NPN, right – PNP The names of the terminals are abbreviated as: B for base, C for collector and
E for emitter.

almost no current passes through any of the terminals of the BJT. base and collector as shown in fig. thus there are four regions of operation for a BJT. Although you may expect that there should be a large current in the emitter and a small current in the collector. This configuration is the most widely used configuration of the BJT. Instead. As you can see the emitter is common to both voltage sources. The common emitter configurations are shown in figure 6. In order to understand how the BJT can operate as an amplifier.3. Table 6. the current in the collector will be almost equally large as the emitter current. The base of a BJT is the control terminal mentioned earlier. 6. When both diodes are in reverse-bias. These diodes are referred to as collector diode (DC) and Emitter diode (DE) throughout this experiment. The active region is where the BJT can function as an amplifier. this is not the case. where DE is forward-biased and DC is reversebiased.1 depicts these regions. a large current exists in each diode. In this experiment. Although one of the applications of the BJT is an electronically controlled switch in a circuit. you will only encounter the curves that are obtained for the common emitter configuration of the BJT. we first need to learn about the regions of operation of the BJT and its characteristic curves. Table 6.1.2 – The BJT can be viewed as two diodes with a common terminal. . work as you may expect. The arrowhead on the emitter points in the conventional flow direction. The two cases where both DC and DE are forward biased or both reverse biased. Each of the collector and emitter diodes can be forward or reverse biased. the BJT is mostly used in amplifiers. it is necessary to know the concept of characteristic curves of the BJT.The three terminals of a BJT are called emitter. When both diodes are in forward-bias.1 – The operating regions of the BJT The region of special interest is the active region. In order to make sure the BJT is in the desired region of operation and will remain in the region for a known set of input signals. Operation Regions and Characteristic Curves Figure 6.

versus VBE is called the input characteristic of the BJT (figure 6. this curve is similar to the characteristic curve of the p-n junction diode.If the collector-emitter voltage is kept constant. An interesting feature of the output curves makes clear how a BJT can be used as an amplifier. these curves show the relation between collector current and collector – emitter voltage for each value of the base current. IC vs.4 – left). the curve of the base current. The other set of characteristic curves are the output characteristic curves.5 shows which part of the curve represents which region of operation. IB controls the collector current. As you can see. These curves are more important since they define the region of operation of the BJT. after a certain VCE voltage. IB. Note that a small base current results in a much larger collector current. Figure 6. VCE @ certain IB.4 – right. As you can see in figure 6. Figure 6.4 – Left – The input characteristic curve. This suggests the definition of: Which is the DC gain of the BJT. As you can see in these curves. VBE.5 – The operating regions of the BJT. As expected. Figure 6. Right – The output characteristic curve. the value of IC remains almost constant. The operating regions of the BJT can also be seen in the output characteristic curves. thus the signal is amplified. IB. IB vs. .

Construct the circuit in Figure 6. Use VCC = terminal voltage for VCC. Repeat steps 1-3 for the PNP Transistor. XMM2 and XMM3 are ammeters used in measuring IC and IB. There are many ways to control the voltage across VCE and VBE – one way would be to attach a suitable variable potentiometer in the collector and in the base nodes.3 – Common emitter configuration used in experiment. For the list of equipments. Record in Table 6. . Include the load – line in your graph. Note that XMM1 and XMM4 are used as voltmeters in measuring VCE and VBE. we will simulate via MultiSim. Gradually increase the voltages VCC and VBB.4. 4.Materials There are several ways to conduct this experiment. 3. while key B controls VBB. respectively. Assemble circuit in Figure 6. This experiment can be replicated in actual. Figure 6. Key A controls VCC.2 for NPN transistor and graph. On the other hand. 2.3 Figure 6.6 – Common emitter configuration for PNP transistor analysis. Record values in Table 6. But for this one. respectively. (1) Digital Multitester (DMM) (1) 2N3904 NPN Transistor or any general-purpose NPN BJT (1) 2N3906 PNP Transistor or any general-purpose PNP BJT (2) Variable DC power source (1) 100KΩ Resistor (1) 1KΩ Resistor (1) 100KΩ Potentiometer (1) 5KΩ Potentiometer Procedure 1.3.

42E-04 6 VCE (V) IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 6 8.03E-01 2.26E-01 8.38E-02 7.35E-05 2.697 1.VCC 0 VBB VCE (V) IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 0 0 0 0 0 3 1.42E-04 Table 6.86E-03 7.01E-05 6.33E-05 1. .99E-01 2.99E-01 2.03E-01 8.42E-02 7.14E-04 2.24E-01 5.74E-01 2.37E-01 8.14E-04 1.33E-05 1.35E-05 1.31E-05 6.30E-01 5.31E-05 5.26E-03 6.01E-02 -2.33E-05 4.81E-02 7.744 4.78E-06 2.97E-01 1.70E-03 7.51E-01 8.89E-03 6.60E-02 2.44E-11 13.34E-05 2.44E-05 6 1.31E-05 8.42E-04 3 VCE (V) IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 3 4.24E-01 5.71E-03 6.70E-01 8.82E-03 6.83E-03 7.08E-12 1.96E-02 -1.40E-03 7.35E-01 1.795 1.85E-06 -2.08E-07 -4.90E-03 6.85E-03 7.27E-05 5.87E-02 -1.991 9.01E-03 7.42E-01 1.32E-03 7.12E-01 8.15E-01 1.31E-05 3.42E-01 18 VCE (V) IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 18 0 2.08E-02 7.99E-03 6.33E-05 1.95E-01 5.96E-05 6.44E-01 2.14E-04 1.12E-01 2.15E-07 -8.48E-02 7.58E-01 1.42E-01 1.99E-01 5.48E-01 1.37E-01 8.48E-02 7.31E-05 1.01E-01 1.33E-05 2.245 1.42E-01 5.58E-03 6.63E-11 8.55E-06 2.99E-01 2.00E-01 1.47E-01 1.379 9.85E-11 16.41E-01 8.33E-02 7.70E-02 -1.73E-01 1.18E-02 7.88E-03 715.421 3.13E-01 1.99E-01 2.27E-01 1.83E-03 7.24E-01 5.88E-07 8.42E-04 21 VCE (V) IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 21 3.42E-04 15 VCE (V) IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 15 1.15E-12 2.77E-01 1.22E-06 -1.22E-01 1.22E-11 5.31E-05 1.18E-02 7.82E-01 2.14E-04 1.33E-05 6.85E-03 6.30E-01 5.87E-03 6.21E-01 5.99E-01 2.35E-05 1.88 4.63E-06 -1.70E-05 5.893 1.35E-05 4.685 9.27E-01 1.35E-05 1.98E-01 1.15E-01 8.14E-04 1.14E-04 9.42E-05 9 1.18E-02 7.52E-01 1.297 8. Notice that with increasing VCE or increasing IB comes increasing IC.94E-01 2.04E-06 -2.44E-06 -2.24E-01 5.78E-06 1.31E-05 11.42E-04 9 VCE (V) IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 9 0 1.48E-07 4.015 3.33E-05 1.12E-03 6.14E-04 2.37E-01 8.99E-01 2.28E-01 1.35E-05 1.151 3.27E-02 -1.14E-01 5.2 – Experiment Data for 2N3904 Transistor.62E-03 7.24E-01 5.35E-01 1.04E-11 11.86E-03 7.78E-02 7.15E-04 15 2.793 1.87E-03 7.75E-02 7.47E-01 1.286 3.96E-01 8.42E-04 12 VCE (V) IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 12 1.34E-01 8.28E-01 2.87E-05 6.69E-01 1.53E-05 12 1.90E-03 6.

712m 113.131m 142.089n -60.916m -737.046 -191.494m -83.489u 11.388m 83.514m 113.109u VCE (V) -6 -1.711m -742.909m -757.995f 2.411m 52.403u 15.403u 5.507u -675.644m IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 888.357m 22.109u VCE (V) -12 -6.345m 142.109u VCE (V) -15 -9.81m -776.489u -4.112m -61.326m -764.674m -742.722m 23.403u 13.843 -2.804m -775.001m IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 0 -180.3m -791.841m 142.859m 142.687u 14.796 -5.564m 53.73m -4.606m -103.634m -91.131m IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 1.489u 5.171m 83.649u 12.446m -70.78u -702.069m 142.712m 113.3n -602.159m -742.291u 2.944m -742.109u VCE (V) -9 -4.687u 8.596m 83.193 -2.642m -742.36 -556.553u -421.537u -4.78m IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 0 0 0 -4.357m 22.617 -197.291u -4.388m 83.075u -653.629 -188.655n -3.591m -776.075m -4.403u 14.917m -758.424m IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 3.125m -742.87m -735.813m -782.927n -4.871m -776.871m -755.351m 22.649u 2.649u 9.206p 4.776u -241.736 -3.634m 53.442m 83.901m -136.109u Table 6.19m -155.207m -764.437m -145.109u VCE (V) -3 -129.178n -120.489u 14.372m -776.Experiment Data for 2N3906 Transistor.388m 83.357m 22.266m -764.653m -4.855m -775.04m 113.687u -4.384m -764.81m -788.411m 52.366m 83.847m -782.02m IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 0 -361.571n -1.014p 5.109u VCE (V) -18 -11.653u -687.375m -784.507m -4.879m 113.411p 5.921m 113.894m -768.192m -742.63 -702.54m 142.489u 8.687u 17.384n -3.411 -1.403u 11.94m IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 444.617p 6.954m -784. .864m -767.411m 52.884m -768.219p 6.403u 8.709m -129.489u 2.133m 113.687u 11.433m -764.897m -756.VCC 0 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 VBB 0 3 6 9 12 15 VCE (V) 0 -4.411m 52.776u -301.327 -4.81 -6.649u 8.357m 22.357m 22.035m 113.687u 5.489u 18.842n -1.93m -739.808n 4.938m -84.614m 142.601m 142.109u VCE (V) -21 -14.601m -107.825m IC (A) VBE (V) IB (A) 1.649u 11.113n -2.3 .294 -8.009m 83.411m 52.687u 20.939m -741.73u -695.902m -117.687u 2.676 -1.727m -55.357m 22.489u 16.649u 5.649u 10.265m 52.876 -129.

015 Ib = 23u 0.015 Ib = 23u Ib= 53u 0.7 – Experiment Output for NPN Transistor 0.01 Ib = 83u Ib = 113u 0.005 Figure 6.02 Ib = 0 Ib = 53u 0.005 Figure 6.005 Ib= 142u Load line 0 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 -0.01 Ib = 85u Ib = 113u Ib = 142u 0.025 0.8 – Experiment Output for PNP Transistor .0.025 0.005 Load line 0 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 -0.02 Ib = 0 0.

We may continue further on to acquire graphs for the different regions as shown in Figure 6. that is.Conclusions and post-experiment notes After obtaining graphs for our experimental data.9 – Helpful guide in acquiring the different boundary curves of the different regions of operation . As you can see.9 [2]. the ability to control it via the control terminal or the base terminal. And when VCE = 0. but the goal of this experiment has been fulfilled – we have obtained the necessary output graph of both NPN and PNP BJTs. We have also obtained a rough idea of where the regions of operation are. IC=0 (Cutoff region). IC is at a maximum. increasing the base current results in a much greater magnitude of IC. that is. we have indeed noticed a familiar output characteristic curve for both npn and pnp BJTs. Notice that when IB=0. We have also confirmed for ourselves the BJT’s “controllable” characteristic. the collector current IC is directly affected by the base current IB. Figure 6.

Sources: 1. Michigan Tech – Course manuals for EE3305 (http://www. 8.berkeley.pdf .edu/~ee130/sp03/lecture/lecture15.ece.pdf) Dated Oct. Berkeley Univ.edu/labs/EElabs/EE3305/Bipolar_Junction_Transistors. 2014 2.eecs.mtu. – EE 130 Course notes http://www-inst.