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Field Effect Transistors

Field Effect Transistor (FET)


In 1926, Julius Edgar Lilienfeld applied
for patents (concepts)
MESFET (1926)
Depletion mode MOSFET (1928)

In 1945, Shockley had an idea for


making a solid state device out of
semiconductors.
He reasoned that a strong electrical
field could cause the flow of electricity
within a nearby semiconductor.

Field Effect Transistor (FET)


He tried to build one, but it
didn't work.
Three years later, Brattain &
Bardeen built the first working
transistor, the germanium
point-contact transistor, which
was designed as the junction
(sandwich) transistor.

Field Effect Transistor (FET)


In 1960 Bell scientist John Atalla
developed a new design based
on Shockley's original field-effect
theories.
By the late 1960s,
manufacturers converted from
junction type integrated circuits
to field effect devices.

Field Effect Transistor (FET)


Field effect devices are those in
which current is controlled by the
action of an electron field, rather
than carrier injection.
Field-effect transistors are so
named because a weak electrical
signal coming in through one
electrode creates an electrical
field through the rest of the
transistor.

Field Effect Transistor (FET)


The FET was known as a
unipolar transistor.
The term refers to the fact that
current is transported by carriers
of one polarity (majority),
whereas in the conventional
bipolar transistor carriers of both
polarities (majority and minority)
are involved.

Introduction
Two main types of FET:

- JFET Junction field effects transistor


uses a p-n junction as the gate
- MOSFET Metal oxide semiconductor
field effect transistor
utilizes an isolator (typically SiO2)
- D-MOSFET ~ Depletion MOSFET
- E-MOSFET~ Enhancement MOSFET

Introduction
Other types of FET:
- MESFETMetal-Semiconductor FieldEffect Transistor
uses a p-n junction of the JFET
with a Schottky barrier
- HEMTHigh Electron Mobility
Transistor
or
HFET
Heterostructure FET
the fully depleted wide-band-gap
material forms the isolation

Introduction
Other types of FET:
- TFT Thin-Film Transistor
amorphous silicon, polycrystalline
silicon or other amorphous
semiconductors as body material
- Organic FET
based on organic semiconductors
and often apply organic gate
insulators and electrodes.

Comparison: FET vs. BJT


Similarities:
-Amplifiers
-Switching devices
-Impedance matching circuits
Differences:
-FETs are voltage controlled devices whereas BJTs
are current controlled devices.
-FETs also have a higher input impedance, but BJTs
have higher gains.
-FETs are less sensitive to temperature variations
and more easily integrated on ICs.
- FETs are also generally more static sensitive than
BJTs.

Comparison: FET vs. BJT


BJT npn and pnp bipolar transistors
bi conduction is function of two
carriers (electrons and holes)
current controlled (IB)
FET n-channel and p-channel FET
uni depends on either electron
(n-channel) or hole (p-channel)
conduction
voltage controlled (VGS)

Construction and characteristics of


JFET
N-channel device will appear as the
prominent device with paragraph
and section devoted to the impact of
using a p-channel.
Major part of structure is n-type
material.
Top of the n-type channel is
connected through an ohmic contact
to a terminal referred to as the drain
(D)
The lower end-connected through an
ohmic contact to a terminal referred
as source (S)
P-type materials are connected
together and to the gate (G)
terminal.
JFET has two p-n junctions under
no-bias conditions.

Construction and characteristics of


JFET

JFET operation can be compared to a water spigot:

The source of water pressure accumulated electrons at the negative


pole of the applied voltage from Drain to Source
The drain of water electron deficiency (or holes) at the positive pole
of the applied voltage from Drain to Source.
The control of flow of water Gate voltage that controls the width of
the n-channel, which in turn controls the flow of electrons in the nchannel from source to drain.

Construction and characteristics of


JFET

N-Channel JFET Circuit Layout

JFET Operating Characteristics


There are three basic operating conditions for a JFET:
A. VGS = 0, VDS increasing to some positive
value
B. VGS < 0, VDS at some positive value
C. Voltage-Controlled Resistor

VGS = 0, VDS increasing to some


positive value
Three things happen when VGS = 0
and VDS is increased from 0 to a
more positive voltage:
the depletion region between p-gate

and n-channel increases as electrons


from n-channel combine with holes
from p-gate.

increasing the depletion region,


decreases the size of the n-channel
which increases the resistance of the
n-channel.
But even though the n-channel
resistance is increasing, the current
(ID) from Source to Drain through
the n-channel is increasing. This is
because VDS is increasing.

VGS = 0, VDS increasing to some


positive value
The flow of charge is relatively uninhibited and limited solely by

the resistance of the n-channel between drain and source.


The depletion region is wider near the top of both p-type
materials.
ID will establish the voltage level through the channel.
The result: upper region of the p-type
material will be reversed biased by
about 1.5V with the lower region only
reversed biased by 0.5V (greater
applied reverse bias, the wider
depletion region).

VGS = 0, VDS increasing to some


positive
value
I =0A p-n junction is reverse-biased for the length of the
G

channel results in a gate current of zero amperes.


As the VDS is increased from 0 to a few volts, the current will
increase as determined by Ohms Law.
VDS increase and approaches a level referred to as Vp, the
depletion region will widen, causing reduction in the channel
width. (p large, n small).
Reduced part of conduction causes the resistance to increase.
If VDS is increased to a level where it appears that the 2
depletion regions would touch (pinch-off)

VGS = 0, VDS increasing to some


positive value

Vp = pinch off voltage.


ID maintain the saturation level
defined as IDSS
Once the VDS > VP, the JFET has the
characteristics of a current source.

As shown in figure, the current is


fixed at ID = IDSS, the voltage VDS (for
level

>Vp)

is

determined

by

the

applied load.
IDSS is derived from the fact that it is
the drain-to-source current with short
circuit connection from gate to source.
IDSS is the max drain current for a JFET
and is defined by the conditions
VGS=0V and VDS > | Vp|.

VGS = 0, VDS increasing to some


positive value
At the pinch-off point:
any further increase in VGS
does not produce any increase
in ID. VGS at pinch-off is
denoted as Vp.
ID is at saturation or
maximum. It is referred to as
IDSS.
The ohmic value of the
channel is at maximum.

Typical JFET operation

JFET modeling when ID=IDSS, VGS=0, VDS>VP

VGS < 0, VDS at some positive value


VGS is the controlling voltage of
the JFET.
For n-channel devices, the
controlling voltage VGS is made
more and more negative from
its VGS = 0V level.
The effect of the applied
negative VGS is to establish
depletion regions similar to
those obtained with VGS=0V
but a lower level of VDS to
reach the saturation level at a
lower level of VDS.

VGS < 0, VDS at some positive value


When VGS = -Vp will be sufficiently negative to establish
saturation level that is essentially 0mA, the device has been
turn off.
The level of the VGS that results in ID = 0 mA is defined by
VGS = Vp, with Vp being a negative voltage for n-channel
devices and a positive voltage or p-channel JFETs.
In this region, JFET can actually be employed as a variable
resistor whose resistance is controlled by the applied gate
to source voltage.
A VGS becomes more and more negative; the slope of each
curve becomes more and more horizontal.

VGS < 0, VDS at some positive value


The region to the right
of the pinch-off locus of
the figure is the region
typically employed in
linear amplifiers
(amplifiers with min
distortion of the applied
signal) and is commonly
referred to as the
constant-current,
saturation, or linear
amplification region.

Characteristic curves for Nchannel JFET

Voltage-Controlled Resistor
The region to the left of the
pinch-off point is called the
ohmic region.
The JFET can be used as a
variable resistor, where VGS
controls the drain-source
resistance (rd). As VGS
becomes more negative, the
resistance (rd) increases.

ro
rd
(1 VGS

VP

)2

And as summary in practical

p-Channel JFETS

p-Channel JFET acts the same as the n-channel JFET,


except the polarities and currents are reversed.

P-Channel JFET Characteristics


As VGS increases more positively:
the depletion zone increases
ID decreases (ID < IDSS)
eventually ID = 0A
Also note that at high levels of
VDS the JFET reaches a
breakdown situation. ID
increases uncontrollably if
VDS> VDSmax.

JFET Symbols

Transfer Characteristics
The transfer characteristic of input-to-output is not
as straight forward in a JFET as it was in a BJT.
In a BJT, indicated the relationship between IB
(input) and IC (output).
In a JFET, the relationship of VGS (input) and ID
(output) is a little more complicated:

VGS 2
ID IDSS(1
)
VP

Transfer Characteristics
Transfer Curve

From this graph it is easy to determine the value of ID for a given value of VGS.

Plotting the Transfer Curve


Shockleys Equation Methods.

Using IDSS and Vp (VGS(off)) values found in a specification sheet,


the Transfer Curve can be plotted using these 3 steps:
Step 1:
Solving for VGS = 0V:

ID IDSS(1

ID IDSS

VGS 0V

ID IDSS(1
Step 2:
Solving for VGS = Vp (VGS(off)):
Step 3:
Solving for VGS = 0V to Vp:

ID 0 A

VGS 2
)
VP

VGS 2
)
VP

VGS VP

ID IDSS(1

VGS 2
)
VP

Plotting the Transfer Curve


Shorthand method

VGS

ID

IDSS

0.3VP

IDSS/2

0.5VP

IDSS/4

VP

0mA

Specification Sheet (JFETs)

Case Construction and Terminal Identification

This information is also available on the specification sheet.

MOSFETs
MOSFETs have characteristics
similar to JFETs and additional
characteristics that make then
very useful.
There are 2 types:
1.
2.

Depletion-Type MOSFET
Enhancement-Type
MOSFET

Depletion-Type MOSFET
Construction

The Drain (D) and Source (S) connect to the to n-doped regions. These Ndoped regions are connected via an n-channel. This n-channel is connected
to the Gate (G) via a thin insulating layer of SiO2. The n-doped material lies
on a p-doped substrate that may have an additional terminal connection
called SS.

Depletion-Type MOSFET
Construction
is set to 0V by the direct

VGS
connection from one terminal
to the other.
VDS is applied across the
drain-to-source terminals.
The result is an attraction for
the positive potential at the
drain by the free electron of
the n-channel and a current
similar to that established
through the channel of the
JFET.

In the figure, VGS has been


set at a negative voltage
(1V)

Depletion-Type MOSFET
Construction
Negative potential at gate will tend to

pressure electron towards the ptype substrate and attract holes


from the p-type substrate.
Depending on negative bias
established by VGS, a level
recombination between electron
and hoes will occur.--- it will
reduce the number of free
electron in the n-channel available
for conduction.
The more negative bias, the
higher the rate of recombination
ID decrease, negative bias for VGS
increase

Basic Operation
A Depletion MOSFET can operate in two modes: Depletion or Enhancement mode.

Depletion-type MOSFET in
Depletion Mode

Depletion mode
The characteristics are similar to the
JFET.
When VGS = 0V, ID = IDSS
When VGS < 0V, ID < IDSS
The formula used to plot the Transfer
Curve still applies:

ID IDSS(1

VGS 2
)
VP

Depletion-type MOSFET in
Enhancement Mode

Enhancement mode
VGS > 0V, ID increases above IDSS
The formula used to plot the
Transfer Curve still applies:
(note that VGS is now a positive
polarity)

VGS 2
ID IDSS(1
)
VP

p-Channel Depletion-Type
MOSFET
The p-channel Depletion-type MOSFET is similar to the n-channel except
that the voltage polarities and current directions are reversed.

Symbols

Enhancement-Type MOSFET
Construction

The Drain (D) and Source (S) connect to the to n-doped regions.
These n-doped regions are connected via an n-channel. The
Gate (G) connects to the p-doped substrate via a thin insulating
layer of SiO2. There is no channel. The n-doped material lies
on a p-doped substrate that may have an additional terminal
connection called SS.

Enhancement-Type MOSFET
Construction
=0,
V some value, the absence of an n-channel will result

VGS
DS
in a current of effectively 0A
VDS some positive voltage, VGS=0V, and terminal SS is directly
connected to the source, there are in fact 2 reversed-biased p-n
junction between the n-doped regions and p substrate to
oppose any significant flow between drain and source.
VDS and VGS have been set at some positive voltage greater than
0V, establishing the D and G at a positive potential with respect
to the source
The positive potential at the gate will pressure the holes in the
p substrate along the edge of the SiO2 layer to leave the area
and enter deeper regions of the p-substrate
The result is a depletion region near the SiO2 insulating layer
void of holes

Enhancement-Type MOSFET
Construction
The electrons will in the p substrate will be
attracted to the +G and accumulate in the
region near the surface of the SiO2 layer

The SiO2 layer and its insulating qualities will


prevent the negative carriers from being
absorbed at the gate terminal
VGS increase, the concentration of electrons
near the SiO2 surface increase until
eventually the induced n-type region can
support a measurable flow between D and S
The level of VGS that results in the significant
increase in drain current is called the
threshold voltage, VT.
VGS increase beyond the VT level the density
of the carriers in the induced channel will
increase and ID also increase

Enhancement-Type MOSFET
Construction
constant and increase

If VGS
the level of VDS, ID will

eventually reach a saturation


level as occurred for the JFET
Applying Kirchoffs voltage
law to the terminal voltage of
the MOSFET
VDG = VDS- VGS
If VGS fixed at some value,
8V, VDS increased from 2
5V, the VDG will drop from -6V
to -3V and the gate will
become less and less positive
with respect to the drain

Enhancement-Type MOSFET
Construction
The Enhancement-type
MOSFET only operates in the enhancement mode.

VGS is always positive


As VGS increases, ID increases
But if VGS is kept constant and VDS is
increased, then ID saturates (IDSS)
The saturation level, VDSsat is
reached.

VDsat VGS VT

Enhancement-Type MOSFET
Construction

To determine ID given VGS:

I D k (VGS VT ) 2

where VT = threshold voltage or voltage at which the MOSFET turns on.


k = constant found in the specification sheet. k can also be determined by
ID(on)
using values at a specific point and the formula: k
(VGS(ON) VT) 2
V Dsat VGS VT
VDSsat can also be calculated:

p-Channel Enhancement-Type
MOSFETs

The p-channel Enhancement-type MOSFET is similar to the nchannel except that the voltage polarities and current directions
are reversed.

Symbols

Specification Sheet

MOSFET Handling
MOSFETs are very static sensitive. Because of the
very thin SiO2 layer between the external terminals
and the layers of the device, any small electrical
discharge can stablish an unwanted conduction.

Protection:
Always transport in a static sensitive bag
Always wear a static strap when handling MOSFETS
Apply voltage limiting devices between the Gate and
Source, such as back-to-back Zeners to limit any
transient voltage.

VMOS

VMOS Vertical MOSFET increases the surface area of the


device.
Advantage:
This allows the device to handle higher currents by
providing it more surface area to dissipate the heat.
VMOSs also have faster switching times.

CMOS
CMOS Complementary MOSFET p-channel and n-channel MOSFET on
the same substrate.
Advantage:
Useful in logic circuit designs
Higher input impedance
Faster switching speeds
Lower operating power levels

Summary Table