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Determining BJT SPICE Parameters

Background
Assume one wants to use SPICE to determine the frequency response for and for the amplifier below.

Figure 1. Common-collector amplifier. After creating a schematic, the next step is to provide the proper SPICE parameters for the BJT. Appendix A documents SPICE’sparameters. The hybrid- model that we use to analyze circuits are different from the models SPICE uses. The and hybrid- parameters, important for frequency analysis, do not have corresponding SPICE parameters. However, SPICE computes and at the Q-point from its parameters. Thus, we need determine SPICE parameters so that when it simulates, the simulation values match the values in the problem statement.

How SPICE Simulates BJTs
SPICE first does a dc or Q-point ( ) analysis. SPICE then determines the junction collector-base junction capacitance ( ) and then the junction capacitance ( ) and the diffusion capacitance for the base-emitter junction. Then SPICE computes and :

SPICE does the Q-point analysis first, because all the capacitances depend on the Q-point. Micro-Cap SPICE saves the values in the *.TNO file, where ―*‖ represents the base name of the simulation file. It is instructive to examine this file.

SPICE DC Analysis Parameters
For the dc analysis, BF (= is obviously the most important. Other significant parameters are the Early voltage VAF , the built-in junction potential of the base-emitter junction , and saturation current IS ( . Since the transistor part number is not specified, one can pick a generic or common part such as the 2N2222 npn BJT and modify the BF and VAF SPICE

SPICE Parameters for BJTs

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Version 2.0

Data sheets normally do not specify the Early voltage explicitly. Unless additional information on SPICE default values or typical values. for a transistor. since Alternatively. Many transistor data sheets contain the output resistance measured at some collector current. ) is a SPICE AC Analysis Parameters: Known For an ac analysis. Regardless. Figure 2. is a reasonable choice. for a Si transistor. Data sheets list BF (= explicitly. and for many transistors.0 . and from this one can compute . IS = 10 fA ( good value to use. most transistor data sheets contain the information needed to find IS. VAF =100 V is a reasonable default for most transistors.parameters. below is a plot of vs. Thus However. at and for a small BJT. we need to provide SPICE with enough information so that it can compute and at the operating point. . SPICE Parameters for BJTs 2 Version 2. in most cases IS is not critical. use the Data sheets usually list the built-in junction potential of the base-emitter junction . or as . For example. or junction voltages are available. but one can deduce it from the output family of curves. Sample From the plot. Regarding the saturation current.

this equation gives poor results when we estimate from . Unless additional information is available.7 V. and CJC for the circuit in Figure 1 so that the resulting Solution Use VJC = 0.5. A dc analysis reveals that for the circuit is 11 V. VJC =0. CJE.5 and VJE = 0. VJC. This still leaves us with CJE and and many combinations of these will result in the desired . and MJC = 0. and . is 4 pF.7 V.5. We need to specify MJC. there are three strategies: 1 Even though SPICE uses .0 . Example 1 Specify MJC. We need to specify MJE. so that when SPICE runs a simulation. the resulting will match the desired value. unless additional information is available. the resulting will match the desired value. SPICE Parameters for BJTs 3 Version 2. VJC.7 V. VJE. SPICE determines the base-emitter junction capacitance capacitance and add these: . and CJC so that when SPICE runs a simulation. start with1 and the diffusion To incorporate Here is the forward transit time. Reasonable values for MJC and VJC are MJC = 0. Incorporating For .Incorporating For SPICE determines collector-base capacitance from is the Q-point collector-base voltage that SPICE will determine during the dc analysis. assume MJE = 0. As before. and generally works better for most discrete circuits that are biased at relatively large collector currents.

purpose npn BJTs lie in the range 150—400 ps. then from it follows that at Thus. using these values. MJE = 0. Example 2 for general- For the circuit in Figure 1. Since the small-signal parameters depend on the Q-point. use the three different strategies and determine the SPICE parameters so that resulting is 35 pF.0 . SPICE computed Strategy 2: set . and MJE. and VJE = 0. one would provide SPICE with TF = 200 ps.1. Then . one would provide SPICE with TF = 1.5. CJE = 0 pF. using these values. VJE does not matter with respect to .7 V. Then Thus. Set CJE = 0 and model with the diffusion capacitance alone. CJE = 17 pF. MJE = 0. the first step is to do a dc analysis. CJE = 14 pF.7 V. For example. and . As a check. Next determine SPICE Parameters for BJTs 4 Version 2. one would provide SPICE with TF = 0 ps. 2. and VJE = 0. As a check. Set and model by the junction capacitance alone. As a check. Solution Strategy 1: pick the operating point. Pick a reasonable value for and the determine CJE.12 ns. using these values.5. Micro-Cap SPICE’s Dynamic DC Analysis reveals . SPICE computed Simulating Small-Signal Model in SPICE One can simulate the small-signal model of the amplifier in Figure directly in SPICE. SPICE computed Strategy 3: set Thus Thus. 3.

However. . Further. Next. update the SPICE file.0 . Right: small-signal model of the amplifier in Figure 1.Then construct a small-signal model. SPICE Parameters for BJTs 5 Version 2. one can run the ac analysis and determine the frequency response. Every value of will give a different and thus new values for and . imagine one want to explore how the amplifier behaves for different values of . using SPICE’s IofV dependent source (see Figure below). so that one has to recalculate the smallsignal values. Left: SPICE’s IofV dependent source. One would set the value for the IofV dependent source to the transconductance . Figure 3. This quickly becomes impractical with circuits that contain more than one BJT. and rerun the analysis.

Left: BJT large signal model with junction capacitances.33–0. SPICE uses-physically based BJT parameters.0 . and that are resistances associated with the contact (and other) resistances at the base. The following describes the dependence: Reverse bias voltage Built-in junction voltage Zero-bias junction capacitance Junction grading coefficient (or (1) The parameters depend on how the BJT was manufactured. In SPICE. is the junction capacitance at zero bias. Figure A1.7 V respectively. is computed from . is TF. The capacitance refers to the collector-base junction capacitance. Typical values for and range between 0.Appendix A Junction and Diffusion Capacitances SPICE BJTs model are complex (Ebers–Moll and Gummel-Poon) and capture behavior at both small. Junction capacitances depend on the (reverse) voltage across the pn junction and CJC. CJE in SPICE) are the zero-bias junction capacitances.5 and 0. Broadly speaking. and emitter.55–0. the large-signal BJT model below shows . Using the SPICE notation: Collector-base junction capacitance (2) Base-emitter junction capacitance (3) SPICE Parameters for BJTs 6 Version 2. For example.and large signals. Right: SPICE symbols. and refers to the base-emitter junction capacitance. collector.

MJC. Assuming the BJT operates in the forward-active mode. this capacitance is designated with (see Figure A. large where is the base-emitter junction capacitance given by equation (3). and MJE (~0.33) are the corresponding SPICE parameters for the base-emitter junction. then the base-emitter junction is forward biased and there is a diffusion capacitance associated with the base-emitter junction. but list the transition frequency instead. Using this and equation (5) one can SPICE Parameters for BJTs 7 Version 2. VJE (~0. they contain capacitances measured at some or plots of capacitances at different Q-points. The collector-base junction capacitance at the Q-point in SPICE is same as the capacitance in the hybrid. VJC is the built-in junction voltage (~0.and junction capacitances are parallel and lumped together and is called the capacitance in the hybrid model. Further. The total capacitance of the forward-biased base-emitter junction is the sum of the junction. Rather.65 V). MJC and TF BJT data sheets normally do not list CJC. For BJTs on a substrate (ICs) there is another set and equations for the collector-substrate junction. This is also the capacitance in the hybridmodel: (5a) For moderate. CJE. AC Parameters CJC. CJE.and diffusion capacitances. and MJC (~0. which is what SPICE requires. data sheets seldom list the forward transit time TF. and is: (5b) is the base- Data sheets normally list .1) and depends on the current and the transit time (see equation (4)). and follows from determine TF. .model. MJC. In the context of BJTs. explicitly. CJE.Here CJC is the zero-bias junction capacitance.0 .7 V). and emitter diffusion capacitance given by equation (4). Thermal voltage Transit time of charge carriers (4) The base-emitter diffusion.5) is the junction grading coefficient for the collector-base junction. MJC. The relationship between the transition frequency and .

1 V reverse bias. Figure A2. the collector-base junction capacitance is about 10 pF at 0. The junction grading coefficient MJE is 0.0 . When plots are not available. SPICE Parameters for BJTs 8 Version 2.5. so it is reasonable to take this values as the zero-bias junction capacitance .2. An example of such plots is shown below.1 From the plot in Figure A. and for MJC a reasonable value is 0.33. one would enter and in SPICE. Junction Capacitances for a small BJT.BJT data sheets often contain plots of the capacitances as a function of reverse voltage. Thus. and one can use this to determine and MJC. Thus Solving yields . The general relationship between the junction capacitance and reverse voltage is From the plot the collector-base voltage is 3 pF at . one has to make educated guesses. Some Examples Example A.

we take = 24 pF. values computed using this is not reliable.Example A. and . the numerator is small—which amplifies small uncertainties in calculations. Thus. was measured as . Thus. Figure A. the sign of is negative and the magnitude slightly less than 1. ignoring the base-emitter junction capacitance Thus Thus.0 . To get a better estimate. To determine the forward transit time TF. use . measured at and is identical to the collector-base junction capacitance at so that which the plot shows is about 3 pF Further.2 For the same BJT as in Example 1. One problem is that for forward bias. one would compute it from However. one would enter in SPICE. Rather. do not ignore the base-emitter junction capacitance. A good approximation is to take .2 shows that at zero reverse voltage is about 24 pF. Now SPICE Parameters for BJTs 9 Version 2.

0 .3 Below are the measured parameters for a BJT. Parameter Value Measurement Conditions 1 SPICE Parameters for BJTs 10 Version 2. Determine the main SPICE parameters.Now one can determine the transition time Example A.

For the capacitances available. given that we estimated use . However. Since no other information is For the transit time . Further. estimate we need and . . and we Estimate at forward bias: and Finally. SPICE Parameters for BJTs 11 Version 2. assume .0 . this does not make much sense. at . Now. use Strictly speaking. one should recompute at was measured. the bias voltage when .

56 0.7 V 0.75 Relating Junction Capacitances and Hybrid-π Parameters SPICE Parameters for BJTs 12 Version 2.Appendix B Static Parameters Parameter BF VAF IS RB Forward or Forward Early voltage Saturation current in Zero-bias base resistance 2N2222 36.6 pF 42.4 pF 0 pF Grading Coefficients MJC MJE MJS Parameter Collector-base Emitter-base Collector-substrate 2N2222 0.64 0 Built-In Potentials Parameter VJE VJC VJS Base-emitter Collector-base Collector substrate 2N2222 0.0 .6 pF 42.7 V 0.4 pF 0 0 Zero-Bias Junction Capacitances Parameter CJC CJE CJS Collector-base Emitter-base Collector-substrate 2N2222 36.

0 . one would use the following. SPICE Parameters for BJTs 13 Version 2. However. this does not give good results for (strongly) forward-biased junctions and a better estimate when determining transit time is to use .Forward Transit Time TF When determining at a given .