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Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT)

A Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT) has three terminals connected to three doped semiconductor regions. In an npn transistor, a thin and lightly doped p-type material is sandwiched between two thicker n-type materials; while in a pnp transistor, a thin and lightly doped n-type material is sandwiched between two thicker p-type materials. In the following we will only consider npn BJTs.

In many schematics of transistor circuits (especially when there exist a large number of transistors in the circuit), the circle in the symbol of a transistor is omitted.

The three terminals of a transistor are typically used as the input, output and the common terminal of both input and output. Depending on which of the three terminals is used as common terminal, there are three different configurations: common emitter (CE), common base (CB) and common collector (CC). The CE configuration is the most widely used.

Common-Base (CB)

Two voltages and are applied to the emitter and collector of the transistor with respect to the common base . The BE junction is forward biased while the CB junction is reverse biased.

The behavior of the npn-transistor is determined by its two pn-junctions:


o

The forward biased base-emitter (BE) PN-junction allows the free electrons to flow from the emitter through the PN-junction to form the emiiter current . As the p-type base is thin and lightly doped, most electrons from the emitter (e.g. ) go through the base to reach the collectorbase junction, only a small number of the electrons are combined with the holes in base to form the base current . The reverse biased collector-base (CB) PN-junction blocks the majority carriers (holes in the p-type base and electrons in n-type collector), but

lets the minority carriers to go through, including the free electrons in the base coming from the emitter current of the collector-base PN-junction The relationship between the output and the input , and the reverse saturate . can be found as:

The base current currents and :

is the small difference between two nearly equal

The ratio of

and

is defined as

For example, if

. We also have

Input characteristics: The EB junction is essentially the same as a forward biased diode, therefore the current-voltage characteristics is essentially the same as that of a diode:

Also the collector-base voltage current


o

helps enhance the

to some extent.

Output characteristics:

As the CB junction is reverse biased, the current

depends totally

on . When , is the current caused by the minority carriers crossing the PN-junction. This is similar to the diode current-voltage characteristics seen before, except both axes are reversed (rotated 180 degrees), as both voltage in the opposite directions. When increased correspondingly. Higher thereby . As amplification effect. and current are defined is and

is increased, can slightly increase

, CB configuration does not have current-

Common-Emitter (CE) Two voltages and are applied to the base and collector of the transistor with respect to the common emitter . The BE junction is forward biased while the CB junction is reverse biased. The voltages of CB and CE configurations are related by:

The input current is

, and the output current is

Solving this equation for output and the input

, we get the relationship between the :

Here

is the current-transfer ratio for CE

(e.g., and ), and is the reverse saturation current between collector and emitter. In summary:

Input characteristics: Same as in the case of common-base configuration, the EB junction of the common-emitter configuration can also be considered as a forward biased diode, the current-voltage characteristics is similar to that of a diode:

The collector-emitter voltage


o

has little effect on

Output characteristics:

The CB junction is reverse biased, the current current . When , depends on the , the current caused by the is ).

minority carriers crossing the PN-junctions. When increased, is correspondingly increased by

fold (e.g.,

The collector characteristics of the common-base (CB) and common-emmitter (CE) configurations have the following differences:

In CB circuit circuit

is slightly less than is much larger than .

, while in CE

In CB circuit, circuit when when ,

when

; while in CE . This is because in CE circuit, has the effect of suppressing but more greatly . .

Increased increase

will slightly increase

, thereby causing more significantly increased and . When is small ( . But

is determined by two variables

), its slight increase will cause significant increase of

when , its further increase will not cause much change in to saturation (all available charge carriers arrive at collector C), and is mostly determined by .

due

Various parameters of a transistor change as functions of temperature. For example, increases along with temperature.

Load line and DC operating point A typical CE circuit is shown below. Often, the base resistor connected to the voltage supply . is directly

The input current and the voltage can be determined by both the base characteristics of the PN-junction between base and emitter and the external circuit

including the voltage source equation approximated to be

and resistor

that satisfies the load linee can also be

, as shown below. The voltage when is within certain range.

The output current and the voltage can be determined by both the output characteristics of the transistor and the external circuit including the voltage source equation and resistor that satisfies the output load line .

The load line can be found as the straight line that passes through two special points corresponding to the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current:

The actual current and voltage , called the DC operating point or -point, can be obtained as the intersection of the load line and the curve in the current-voltage

characteristics, corresponding to the given base current , to satisfy both the internal I-V characteristics of the transistor and the external circuit parameters.

The output characteristic plot of the transistor can be divided into three regions:

cut-off region: , , , , i.e., the transistor (between collector and emitter) is cut off (immediate above the horizontal axis of the output plot).

linear region: , , , , i.e., the output current . is

proportional to the input current

saturation region: is further increased and so is maximum . As , approaches its

can never exceed this value, it is no longer (to

proportional to , i.e., , and independent of the immediate right of the vertical axis of the output plot).

Example: In the CE circuit shown above, , points: Find output voltage

. The load line can be determined by two and when , , the transistor is cut off.

takes the following values: and ,

, and .

. .

The transistor is working in linear region.

. and We get this unreasonable negative voltage current

, .

because the base

is so high that the transistor is working in its saturation region

where the linear relationship is no longer applicable (It is only valid in linear region). The actual output voltage can be estimated to be about be , and the actual can be found to