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EE 438 Lab 7

Colton Lewis (ctl492)

Jason Zhang (jz7486)
April 7th, 2016
Th. 3:30-6:30 PM


Bipolar junction transistors act as amplifiers when operating in the forward active region, which
requires that the base-emitter and base-collector junctions are forward- and reverse-biased,
respectively. Additionally, designers must consider the small signal parameters gm, ro, and r
(and their dependence on collector current) when creating a circuit. To this end, biasing schemes
and particular amplifier topologies have arisen, of which the common emitter topology is only

Figure 1: Illustration of the common emitter core from the textbook.

Relevant properties of the CE core include a negative gain (Av = -gmRc), an input impedance of
Rin = r||ro, and an output impedance of (Rout = Rc||ro). However, these properties can be
manipulated to suit the designers needs through the customization of the surrounding circuit.
Such alterations include emitter degeneration and resistive-divider biasing, which were explored
experimentally in this lab.
The same components as those listed in the Lab 7 instructions were used.
The same procedures as those listed in the Lab 7 instructions were followed.
Results & Discussion:
Task 1:
Without Resistor Divider Bias:
1. Using Multisim, perform a sweep of VB from 0 to VCC. Using the
plot, find the DC bias of the amplifier that achieves the
maximum gain? What are the values for VB, VOUT and IC for this

Figure 1. DC transfer characteristic for VB from 0 to 5 V.

Using the values: = 200, RC = 1.5 k, and RE = 500 , we sweep VB from 0 to 5 V and
use the linear region for IC and VOUT to bias our transistor. We choose IC = 1 mA to be our
bias current. This corresponded to a DC bias of approximately VB = 1.176 V. At this
bias, VOUT is approximately 3.369 V and IC is approximately 1.087 mA.
2. What is this value of gain? (Hand-calculated small signal gain
w/ emitter degeneration)

AV =

26 mV
+ RE
+ 500
1.087 mA

3. Setup the circuit on the protoboard, and verify the design

values above.

Figure 2. Measured Vout is around 3.85 V. The hand-calculated Vout is about 3.37 V.

Figure 3. Measured VB is around 1.20 V. Hand calculated VB is about 1.176 V.

Figure 4. Measured IC is about 0.79 mA. Hand-calculated IC is about 1 mA.

With Resistor Divider Bias:

4. Now, design the resistor biasing circuit for this amplifier using

a voltage divider using hand calculations. Design the resistor

divider for maximum gain.
We set VBE by using a resistor divider and applying the appropriate voltage-divider rules
to determine the requires resistances:
R 1+ R 2



R 1 + R2

( )

1.176 1+

1.176 V 5 V R1
1.176 V


Thus, we can choose R1 = 3.9 k and R2 = 1.2 k to set the appropriate VB to bias the
5. Use the simulator to verify your hand calculations.

Figure 5. Shows the simulated resistor-divider biased circuit along with its simulated operating
point values.

The above circuit was simulated using Multisim. The table to the right shows the associated
operating point variables and their simulated values. These values agree with what we have
determined in the previous circuit that did not use a resistive divider for biasing.
6. Setup the circuit on the protoboard, and verify the design values above.

Figure 6. Measured Vout is around 4.30 V for the resistor-divider biased circuit.

Figure 7. Measured VB is around 0.973 V for the resistor-divider biased circuit.

Figure 8. Measured IC is around 0.486 mA for the resistor-divider biased circuit.

7. Calculate the small-signal gain of the circuit, both from the signal source to the output, and
base to the output. Use the value of IC that you measure from the previous step in your

A v , b output =g m R C =

0.486 mA
RC =
( 1500 )=28.04
26 mV

A v , sig output = A v ,b output

=(28.04 )
=(28.04 )
Rsig + R
Rsig + R
Rsig + R 1||R2||r


) (

20026 mV
3.9 k||1.2 k||(
0.486 mA )
(28.04 )
=(28.04 )
20026 mV
50 + 3.9 k||1.2 k||
50 + 3.9 k||1.2 k||(
( g )
0.486 mA )

(28.04 )

3.9 k||1.2 k||

( 50+845.162

8. Simulate the circuit and compare the simulated gains to the hand-calculated gains.

9. Why are these gain values different? What is the relationship between these two gain
These gain values are different because of the non-ideal voltage source. Since it not ideal, there
exists a voltage drop across a source resistance in series with the signal. As a result, the base
voltage is not exactly the same as the signal voltage, as it would be in the ideal case. This leads to
a difference in these gain values. These gains can be related via voltage division.

10. Using the AWG, apply a 100 mV peak-to-peak sine wave at the input with a DC offset
corresponding to the required base bias voltage. Measure both the small-signal gains you
calculated above.


Task 2:
1. Calculate the small-signal input impedance of the BJT amplifier.

R1, calc=R1||R2||r =

1 1 1
0.486 mA
+ +
R1 R 2 r 3900 + 1200 + V t 3900 1200 20026

2. Obtain the value of small-signal input impedance via simulation.


R source

A v ,sig output
A v ,b output

A v , sig output
A v , b output



3. Using relationship between the two gains you measured in the previous step, you should be
able to find the input resistance. Report this as Ri1. Once you find do this, find the value of

R1, measured=

R source

r =

A v , sig output
A v, b output


A v, sig output
A v ,b output


842.994 3900 1200

=842 . 994


4. Explain the differences between three values you obtain.

The first input impedance is calculated using hand-calculations and the measured I C. We assume
that the Early resistance, ro, is extremely large and can be neglected from the expression. The
second input impedance is calculated using the gains simulated in Multisim. Because the input
impedance can be related to the two voltage gains via a voltage division equation, we can solve
for input impedance. The simulated input impedance is slightly lower than the measured. Finally,
the last input impedance is calculated in a manner similar to the simulated input impedance,
except the measured voltage gains are used.
5. Another method of estimating input impedance is to artificially increase the source
impedance by connecting a physical resistor in series with the AWG (or using it in highimpedance mode). Do this by picking a suitably-sized resistor and repeating measurements
to calculate input impedance. Report this as Ri2.

R2, measured=

A v , sig output , new

A v ,b output

1 v , sig output ,new
A v ,b output


Task 3:
1. Calculate the small-signal output impedance of the BJT amplifier.

Rout =R C r o RC =1.5 k
2. Obtain the value of small-signal output impedance via simulation.

The simulated value agrees with our hand calculated value. The reason why it is negative is
because of the reversed polarity of the current as defined in the simulation program. In reality, it
is approximately 1.5K.
3. Explain the differences between three values you obtain.
The differences in the three values measured for output impedance may be due to non-idealities
within the circuit, including the potentiometer and the measuring equipment.
4. Explain why this procedure measures the output resistance.
This procedure measures the output resistance because you are creating a voltage divider between
the output and ground. The potentiometer acts as a variable resistor that you can modulate until
the voltage measured at the output is of the original peak-to-peak value. When this condition is
met, it implies that an equal amount of voltage is being dropped over the output impedance and
the variable resistor. In order to have an equal amount of voltage dropped, the resistances must be
the same. Therefore, whatever resistance is measured across the potentiometer is equivalent to the
output impedance. This is an indirect way to measure the output impedance.
5. Explain the function of the capacitor and speculate as to why its value was chosen as such.
In any circuit that involves small signals, capacitors are used to either perform AC coupling or to
short out components such that they can be ignored in AC conditions. Because the impedance of a
capacitor is 1/(2fCj), the impedance of a capacitor to AC signals can be modulated by changing
the value of C. In the case of this circuit, we choose C such that, for our frequency of interest f,
the value of 1/(2fCj) is low enough so that the emitter resistor is shorted to AC ground.
Task 4:
1. Explain why a large capacitor was connected in parallel with the emitter resistor in the
previous circuit. You can use theoretical gain calculations to support your answer. Speculate
on the choice of size of this capacitor.
We place a capacitor in parallel with the emitter resistor to short out the resistor such that for
small signal analysis, emitter degeneration is ignored. This is useful so that you still have the DCproperties of the emitter resistor to determine the quiescent operating point of the transistor.
2. Now remove the capacitor and carry out calculations for small-signal gain, input-impedance
and output impedance

0.486 mA
( 1500 )
gm RC
26 mV
AV =
1+ gm R E
0.486 mA
( 500 )
26 mV
R =R1||R 2||r + ( 1+ B ) R E =845.162+ ( 201 )( 500 ) =101.3 kOhm
Rout =R c||r o ( 1+ gm r o ) =RC =1500 kOhm ,assuming r o is very large .

3. Corroborate these values via measurement as well as simulation.

These values agree with our hand-calculated values.

4. Explain based on the experiments you have conducted, the tradeoffs involved in choosing
emitter degeneration for AC operation of the amplifier. Your discussion must take into
account the fact that CE and its size is also an important cost and design consideration.
The benefit of emitter degeneration is that it makes the transistor less sensitive to variations in the
transistor properties (such as hFE). However, it also decreases the voltage gain of the circuit by a
factor of (1 + gmRE). If you are certain about the characteristics of a transistor, you may not want
to use emitter degeneration in order to achieve a higher gain. In the end, one must consider the
desired gain and the uncertainty in the component before deciding whether to employ emitter

This experiment explored different varieties of the common emitter stage and their relative
utility. The simulation of the simple (no divider) circuit paralleled the measured values (albeit
imperfectly) as may be seen through comparison of the values provided in Task 1 above. Once a
voltage divider was implemented, we performed a simulation to determine the resulting values
for the operating point parameters. The similarity of these values to those seen before
implementing the divider indicate that we have chosen appropriate resistors to maintain function.
However, the simulated gains found after were admittedly different, indicating some error in the
implementation or calculations. Task 2 involved hand calculating, simulating, and measuring the
input impedance using the bias condition parameters measured in Task 1. We found that,

generally, all three agreed with each other. The simulated case, being ideal, was slightly higher
than the output impedances that were both measured and hand-calculated. Task 3 was concerned
with determining the output impedance of the transistor circuit. Since we assumed that the Early
resistor is extremely large, the output impedance simplifies to approximately the collector
resistance. This simplified our calculations substantially. Values found during simulation agreed
with those obtained via hand calculation. Finally, in task 4, we assessed the small signal
parameters (as done in tasks 1-3 above) for the transistor circuitry without the capacitor in
parallel with the emitter resistance. The effect of this was to introduce emitter degeneration,
which ultimately decreased our gain and increased the input impedance. We discovered that to
use emitter degeneration effectively, one must decide on the necessary gain and impedance
values needed.
Hooking up the speaker to the signal generator directly causes a majority of the voltage drop to
occur across the speakers internal resistance. This makes the speaker sound loudly. However,
when connected to the circuit, the speaker outputs a much quieter sound. This is because of the
high output impedance of the transistor circuit relative to the resistance of the speaker. By
voltage division, a majority of the signal power is now dissipated in the transistor circuit instead
of the speaker, causing the speaker to behave as if in low-power conditions. In other words, its
very quiet.