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The Unijunction Transistor

Base 2 B2
B2
r’B2
n E
E
E i
Emitter
p
r’B1

B1 B1
B
Base 1
Equivalent
Symbol
Construction Circuit
Notes on UJT

ƒ UJT has only one pn junction.
ƒ It has an emitter and two bases
It has an emitter and two bases, B  B1 and B2.
ƒ r’B1 and r’B2 are internal dynamic resistances.
ƒ The interbase resistance, r’BB = r’B1 + r’B2.
ƒ rr’B1
B varies inversely with emitter current, I
varies inversely with emitter current  IE
ƒ r’B1 can range from several thousand ohms to 
t   f  h  d
tens of ohms depending on I
di    IE.
Basic UJT Biasing
Vr’B1 = ηVBB
η = r’B1/r’BB is the standoff ratio.
B2 If VEB1 < Vr’B1 + Vpn,
IE = 0 since pn junction is not
r’B2
forward biased (Vpn = barrier
E + potential of pn junction)
+ _VBB
At VP = ηVBB + Vpn, the UJT
VEB1 r’ turns on and operates in a
_
B1 ηVBB
negative resistance region up to
B1 a certain value of IE.
It then becomes saturated and
IE increases rapidly with VE.
UJT Characteristic Curve
VE Negative
Resistance
Cutoff Saturation
VP
Peak

Valley
VV

IE
IP IV
Applications of UJT
UJT can be used as trigger device for SCRs and triacs. Other
applications include nonsinusoidal oscillators, sawtooth
generators phase control
generators, control, and timing circuits.
circuits
VE
+VBB VP
RE VV
t
VE
VB1
C VB1
R1 t
Waveforms for UJT relaxation oscillator
Relaxation
oscillator
Conditions For UJT Oscillator 
Operation
ƒ In the relaxation oscillator, RE must not limit IE at the 
peak point to less than IP at turn‐on, i.e., VBB ‐ VP > IPRE.
ƒ To ensure turn‐off of the UJT at the valley point, RE must 
be large enough that IE can decrease below IV, i.e.,         
VBB ‐ VV < IVRE.
ƒ So, for proper operation: V −V V −V
BB P
> RE > BB V

IP IV
−1
R1 is usually << RE, and the ⎡ ⎛V BB −V V ⎞⎤
frequency of oscillations is f o = ⎢ R E C ln ⎜ ⎟⎥
⎣ ⎝V BB −V P ⎠⎦
UJT Frequency of Oscillation

ƒ Assuming VV ≅0 and VP≅ ηVBB Î
−1
⎡ ⎛ 1 ⎞⎤
f o = ⎢ R E C ln ⎜ ⎟⎥
⎣ ⎝ 1 − η ⎠⎦
ƒ For most UJT η ≅ 0.63 Î

f o = [R EC ]
−1
UJT Oscillator Example

For the shown oscillator:
η=0.63
η rBB=9.2 kΩ
Vv=1.5V IV=3.5mA
IP=5µA

Find:
(a) VP
((b)) Oscillation Frequency
q y
(c) REmin and REmax
(d) Sketch VB1
UJT Relay Timer

R3 is chosen to
maintain CR relay
coil energized but
not to ppick the coil

The delay is set by
(REF+REV)CE
UJT as SCR Trigger

For component sizing refer
to the text book
The Programmable UJT

ƒ The PUT is actually a type of thyristor
ƒ It can replace the UJT in some oscillator 
applications.
ƒ It is more similar to an SCR (four‐layer device) 
except that its anode‐to‐gate voltage can be 
used to both turn on and turn off the device.
PUT Construction & Symbol

Anode (A) +V
R1
R2
A
p Gate (G)
n G
p Vin
R3
n
K
Cathode (K)

Basic Construction PUT Symbol and Biasing
Notes On PUT

ƒ Notice that the gate is connected to the n
region adjacent to the anode
region adjacent to the anode.
ƒ The gate is always biased positive with 
respect to the cathode.
t t  th   th d
ƒ When VA ‐ VG > 0.7 V, the PUT turns on.
ƒ The standoff ratio is replaced by external 
elements to program VP
ƒ The characteristic plot of VAK versus IA is 
similar to the V
i il  t  th  VE versus I IE plot of the UJT.
l t  f th  UJT
PUT Relaxation Oscillator

RG1V can control the
•R
frequency of oscillation with a
constant charging rate
•Can operate from lower
supply voltages compared to
UJT
•Can be used for very low
frequencies thanks to the
availability of lower IP
Constant Slope Ramp 
Generator

VG determines the
ramp height