446 Chapter 6 Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs


TABLE 6.5 Characteristics of BJT Amplifiersa, b, c

R in
(Fig. 6.50)

( β + 1 )r e

emitter with

( β + 1 )( re + Re )

A vo
–gm RC


– g m ( R C || R L )
R C || R L
– α ----------------re


gm RC
– -------------------1 + gm Re


– g m ( R C || R L )
-------------------------------1 + gm Re

R C || R L
– β -----------------------------------R sig + ( β + 1 )r e
R C || R L
– β ----------------------------------------------------R sig + ( β + 1 ) ( r e + R e )

R C || R L
– α ----------------re + Re

(Fig. 6.52)

Common base
(Fig. 6.53)


gm RC


(Fig. 6.55)

( β + 1 )( re + RL )



R || R
R sig + r e

g m ( R C || R L )
R C || R L
α ----------------re

α ------------------

---------------RL + re

---------------------------------------------------R L + r e + R sig ⁄ ( β + 1 )
G vo = 1
R sig
R out = r e + ----------β+1


For the interpretation of Rm, Avo, and Ro refer to Fig. 6.49.
The BJT output resistance ro has been neglected, which is permitted in the discrete-circuit amplifiers studied in this chapter. For integrated-circuit amplifiers
(Chapter 7), ro must always be taken into account.
Setting β = ∞ (α = 1) and replacing re with 1/gm, RC with RD, and Re with Rs results in the corresponding formulas for MOSFET amplifiers (Table 5.4).

6.7 Biasing in BJT Amplifier Circuits
Having studied the various configurations of BJT amplifiers, we now address the important
question of biasing and its relationship to small-signal behavior. The biasing problem is that
of establishing a constant dc current in the collector of the BJT. This current has to be calculable, predictable, and insensitive to variations in temperature and to the large variations in
the value of β encountered among transistors of the same type. Another important consideration in bias design is locating the dc bias point in the iC –vCE plane to allow for maximum
output signal swing (see the discussion in Section 6.4.6). In this section, we shall deal with
various approaches to solving the bias problem in transistor circuits designed with discrete
devices. Bias methods for integrated-circuit design are presented in Chapter 7.
Before presenting the “good” biasing schemes, we should point out why two obvious
arrangements are not good. First, attempting to bias the BJT by fixing the voltage VBE by, for
instance, using a voltage divider across the power supply VCC, as shown in Fig. 6.59(a), is not
a viable approach: The very sharp exponential relationship iC –vBE means that any small and
inevitable differences in VBE from the desired value will result in large differences in IC and
in VCE. Second, biasing the BJT by establishing a constant current in the base, as shown in
Fig. 6.59(b), where I B ! ( ( V CC – 0.7 ) ⁄ R B , is also not a recommended approach. Here the
typically large variations in the value of β among units of the same device type will result in
correspondingly large variations in IC and hence in VCE.

In addition. Figure 6. VCC VBB # VCC # R2 R1 ! R2 $ RC RC R1 VCC IB RB # R1 " R2 R2 RE (a) L IC IE RE (b) Figure 6. 6. a resistor RE is connected to the emitter. Both result in wide variations in IC and hence in VCE and therefore are considered to be “bad.102) 447 .60 Classical biasing for BJTs using a single power supply: (a) circuit. R2 -V V BB = ---------------R 1 + R 2 CC (6. (b) circuit with the voltage divider supplying the base replaced with its Thévenin equivalent.1 The Classical Discrete-Circuit Bias Arrangement Figure 6.7.60(b) shows the same circuit with the voltage divider network replaced by its Thévenin equivalent.6.59 Two obvious schemes for biasing the BJT: (a) by fixing VBE.7 Biasing in BJT Amplifier Circuits VCC VCC RB1 RB RC RC IC IC ! RB2 VCE VCE IB ! IB VBE VBE " " (b) (a) Figure 6.” Neither scheme is recommended. R2. (b) by fixing IB.60(a) shows the arrangement most commonly used for biasing a discrete-circuit transistor amplifier if only a single power supply is available. The technique consists of supplying the base of the transistor with a fraction of the supply voltage VCC through the voltage divider R1.

and the increase in VE will result in a corresponding decrease in VBE. 6. There is a limit. and the solution must be a trade-off.106) makes IE insensitive to variations in β and could be satisfied by selecting RB small.1IE.6. This should remind the reader of the resistance Re that we included in the emitter lead of the CE amplifier in Section 6. Thus. the higher the value we use for VBB. Thus. Thus RE provides a negative feedback action that stabilizes the bias current. labeled L. It should be noted that condition (6. This will obviously be satisfied if the current in the divider is made much larger than the base current. and I R about --.106) Condition (6. one designs for VBB about 1 1 1 --. it will remain constant.103) The current IE can be determined by writing a Kirchhoff loop equation for the base–emitter– ground loop. We also want VCB (or VCE) to be large to provide a large signal swing (before transistor saturation). The voltage drop across RE. if the base voltage is determined primarily by the voltage divider R1. however. Typically one selects R1 and R2 such that their current is in the range of IE to 0.4.106) means that we want to make the base voltage independent of the value of β and determined solely by the voltage divider. low values for R1 and R2 will result in lowering Rin.VCC .VCC . the lower will be the sum of voltages across RC and the collector–base junction (VCB). a stable IE will result in an equally stable IC.17 we design the circuit to satisfy the following two constraints: VBB $ VBE RB R E $ ----------β+1 (6. This in turn reduces the collector (and emitter) current. Consider that for some reason the emitter current increases. on how large VBB can be: For a given value of the supply voltage VCC.448 Chapter 6 Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) R1 R2 R B = ---------------R1 + R2 (6. will mean a higher current drain from the power supply. and hence VE will increase correspondingly. That is.7 V) will be swamped by the much larger VBB. however. Bias design seeks to stabilize either IE or IC since IC = αIE and α varies very little. As a rule of thumb. Now. the two bias resistances R1 and R2 effectively appear in parallel between the base and ground.VCC .105) (6. as is the case in any design. we have a set of conflicting requirements. V (or V ) about --. we want the voltage across RC to be large in order to obtain high voltage gain and large signal swing (before transistor cutoff). a change opposite to that originally assumed.18 which is the trade-off involved in this part of the design. This in turn is achieved by using low values for R1 and R2. and will result in a lowering of the input resistance of the amplifier (if the input signal is coupled to the base).104) To make IE insensitive to temperature and β variation. which is the case if RB is small. R2. 17 . and vice versa. and substituting I B = I E ⁄ ( β + 1 ) : V BB – V BE I E = --------------------------------------RE + RB ⁄ ( β + 1 ) (6. Lower values for R1 and R2. 18 If the input signal is coupled to the transistor base.105) ensures that small variations in VBE (! 0. CB CE C C 3 3 3 Condition (6. On the other hand.60(a) stabilizes the dc emitter (and hence collector) current is obtained by considering the feedback action provided by RE. We shall study negative feedback formally in Chapter 10. Further insight regarding the mechanism by which the bias arrangement of Fig.

. 4 – 0.= 0. for which the actual value of IE using the initial value of RE of 3.01 mA ! 1 mA. resulting in R1 = 8 kΩ and R2 = 4 kΩ.60 to establish a current IE = 1 mA using a power supply VCC = +12 V.1 and R2 -----------------V = 4V R 1 + R 2 CC Thus R2 = 40 kΩ and R1 = 80 kΩ. Thus a more suitable value for RE in this case would be RE = 3 kΩ. it does not solve the problem of the dependence of the value of IE on β.1 mA.= ------.1I E = 0.027 19 Although reducing RE restores IE to the design value of 1 mA.20 We wish to design the bias network of the amplifier in Fig. the value we are aiming for.= 120 kΩ 0.99 ! 1 mA 3.3 R E = -----E. Thus. Using Eq. 1 mA).19 It should be noted that if we are willing to draw a higher current from the power supply and to accept a lower input resistance for the amplifier.1 × 1 = 0.47.104).267 kΩ). it is desirable to find a more accurate estimate for IE.= 3.7 Biasing in BJT Amplifier Circuits 449 Example 6.3 V and RE is determined from V 3. taking into account the nonzero base current.6.3 kΩ will be 4 – 0.7 I E = -------------------------------------------------------------. to IE (i. say. 6. then we may use a voltage-divider current equal.3 + 0. We shall refer to the circuit using these latter values as design 2.3 kΩ IE 1 From the discussion above we select a voltage divider current of 0. which results in IE = 1. The transistor is specified to have a nominal β value of 100.7 I E = --------------------------. It is easy to see from the above equation that a simple way to restore IE to its nominal value would be to reduce RE from 3.93 mA ( 80 || 40 ) ( kΩ ) 3.e.3 ( kΩ ) + ---------------------------------101 This is quite a bit lower than 1 mA. leaving one-third for possible negative signal swing at the collector.= 0.3 kΩ by the magnitude of the second term in the denominator (0. Solution We shall follow the rule of thumb mentioned above and allocate one-third of the supply voltage to the voltage drop across R2 and another one-third to the voltage drop across RC . we find 12 R 1 + R 2 = ------. 19 . At this point. Neglecting the base current. See Exercise 6. V B = +4 V V E = 4 – V BE ! 3. (6.

for both designs.995 mA.04 mA. the base can be connected directly to ground. . For design 1: 0. in 12 – 8 R C = --------------. 6. as shown in Fig. Writing a loop equation for the loop labeled L gives V EE – V BE I E = ---------------------------------------RE + RB ⁄ ( β + 1 ) (6.984 mA to 0.1% range.2 A Two-Power-Supply Version of the Classical Bias Arrangement A somewhat simpler bias arrangement is possible if two power supplies are available. Otherwise. Repeat for design 2. for design 2: 0.107) Figure 6. a 1. design 2. Express the range of IE as a percentage of the nominal value (IE ! 1 mA) obtained for β = 100.61 Biasing the BJT using two power supplies.450 Chapter 6 Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) Example 6.99 × 1 = 0. calculate the expected range of IE if the transistor used has β in the range of 50 to 150. or to a grounded signal source.20 continued In this case.94 mA to 1.20. resulting in almost total β -independence of the bias current.61. 6.7. the value of RC can be determined from 12 – V R C = -----------------CIC Substituting I C = α I E = 0. Resistor RB is needed only if the signal is to be capacitively coupled to the base. a 10% range.= 4 kΩ 1 EXERCISE 6. Finally. we need not change the value of RE.47 For design 1 in Example 6.99 mA ! 1 mA results. Ans.

R + V BE = I E R C + ----------β+1 B Thus the emitter bias current is given by V CC – V BE I E = --------------------------------------RC + RB ⁄ ( β + 1 ) (a) (6. Resistor RB provides negative feedback.7. RC = 8. EXERCISE D6. 451 . On the other hand. Design the circuit to establish a dc emitter current of 1 mA and provide the highest possible voltage gain while allowing for a maximum signal swing at the collector of ±2 V. Ans. Use +10-V and −5-V power supplies. 6.62(a) shows a simple but effective alternative biasing arrangement suitable for common-emitter amplifiers. We shall study feedback formally in Chapter 10.106) apply here as well.3 kΩ. 6.61 is to be used for a common-base amplifier. Analysis of the circuit is shown in Fig.62 (a) A common-emitter transistor amplifier biased by a feedback resistor RB.6.48 The bias arrangement of Fig.62(b). (b) Analysis of the circuit in (a).104) except for VEE replacing VBB. in the common-base configuration). (6. The circuit employs a resistor RB connected between the collector and the base.4 kΩ 6. which helps to stabilize the bias point of the BJT.8. (6. if the input signal is to be coupled to the base.3 Biasing Using a Collector-to-Base Feedback Resistor Figure 6. from which we can write V CC = I E R C + I B R B + V BE IE . Note that if the transistor is to be used with the base grounded (i. RE = 4. RB = 0..e.108) (b) Figure 6. then RB can be eliminated altogether. Thus the two constraints of Eqs. We shall study complete circuits of the various BJT amplifier configurations in Section 6. then RB is needed.7 Biasing in BJT Amplifier Circuits This equation is identical to Eq.105) and (6.

that is. It follows that to obtain a value of IE that is insensitive to variation of β.5 kΩ. with Q1 connected as a diode by shorting its collector to its base. we can neglect their base currents. 6. Thus RB can be made large.63(b). that the value of RB determines the allowable negative signal swing at the collector since RB V CB = I B R B = I E ----------β+1 (6.7 kΩ.62 to obtain a dc emitter current of 1 mA. we select R B ⁄ ( β + 1 ) % R C . .109) EXERCISE D6. A simple implementation of the constant-current source I is shown in Fig. 6. Note that if standard 5% resistor values are used (Appendix G) we select RB = 160 kΩ and RC = 7. except that VCC replaces VBB and RC replaces RE. Thus the current through Q1 will be approximately equal to IREF.7. This results in IE = 1. RB = 162 kΩ. Let VCC = 10 V and β = 100.3 V.63(a). which governs the operation of the traditional bias circuit. (6. Further. Note.3 V.110) VCC IREF I R V Q1 ! VBE " Q2 "VEE (a) (b) Figure 6. The circuit utilizes a pair of matched transistors Q1 and Q2. RC = 7. as will become obvious in later sections and chapters. enabling an increase in the input resistance at the base without adversely affecting bias stability. design for VCE = +2. 6.109).49 Design the circuit of Fig. current-source biasing leads to significant design simplification. If we assume that Q1 and Q2 have high β values. and a ±2-V signal swing at the collector. maximum gain.02 mA and VC = +2.452 Chapter 6 Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) It is interesting to note that this equation is identical to Eq. Ans. however.63 (a) A BJT biased using a constant-current source I. 6.4 Biasing Using a Constant-Current Source The BJT can be biased using a constant-current source I as indicated in the circuit of Fig. (b) Circuit for implementing the current source I. This circuit has the advantage that the emitter current is independent of the values of β and RB. V CC – ( – V EE ) – V BE I REF = ----------------------------------------------R (6.