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Whites, EE 320

Lecture 14

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Lecture 14: BJT Small-Signal


Equivalent Circuit Models.
Our next objective is to develop small-signal circuit models for
the BJT. Well focus on the npn variant in this lecture.
Recall that we did this for the diode back in Lecture 4:
ID

rd =

nVT
ID

In order to develop these BJT small-signal models, there are two


small-signal resistances that we must first determine. These are:

1. r: the small-signal, active mode input resistance between


the base and emitter, as seen looking into the base.
2. re: the small-signal, active mode output resistance between
the base and emitter, as seen looking into the emitter.
These resistances are NOT the same. Why? Because the
transistor is not a reciprocal device. Like a diode, the behavior
of the BJT in the circuit changes if we interchange the terminals.

2009 Keith W. Whites

Whites, EE 320

Lecture 14

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Determine r
Assuming the transistor in this circuit

(Fig. 5.48a)
is operating in the active mode, then

i
1
IC
iB = C =
I
vbe
+
N
NC
(5.84) DC V
T

N
AC

I
g
so that
ib = C vbe = m vbe
VT

(1)

(5.90),(5.91),(2)

The AC small-signal equivalent circuit from Fig. 5.48a is

Whites, EE 320

Lecture 14

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(Fig. 1)
Notice the AC ground in the circuit. This is an extremely
important concept. Since the voltage at this terminal is held
constant at VCC, there is no time variation of the voltage.
Consequently, we can set this terminal to be an AC ground in
the small-signal circuit.
For AC grounds, we kill the DC sources at that terminal: short
circuit voltage sources and open circuit current sources.
So, from the small-signal equivalent circuit above:

(Fig. 2)
we see that

Whites, EE 320

Lecture 14

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vbe
ib

(5.92),(3)

r =
Hence, using (2) in (3)

r =

[]
(5.93),(4)
gm
This r is the BJT active mode small-signal input resistance of
the BJT between the base and the emitter as seen looking into
the base terminal. (Similar to a Thvenin resistance, this
statement means we are fictitiously separating the source from
the base of the BJT and observing the input resistance, as
indicated by the dashed line in Fig. 2.)

Determine re
Well determine re following a similar procedure as for r, but
beginning with
i
I
i
(5)
iE = C = C + c
N

N
DC

AC

The AC component of iE in (5) is


i
IC
ie = c =
vbe
N
(5.85) VT

(5.96),(6)

or with I E = I C ,

ie =

IE
vbe
VT

(5.96),(7)

Whites, EE 320

Lecture 14

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As indicated in Fig. 1 above, re is the BJT small-signal


resistance between the emitter and base seen looking into the
emitter:

Mathematically, this is stated as

ve
(8)
ie
Assuming an ideal signal voltage source, then ve = vbe and
v
re be
(5.97),(9)
ie
Using (7) in this equation we find
V
(5.98),(10)
re = T
IE
But from (5.87)
I
I
V

gm = C = E T =
I E gm
VT
VT
re

Therefore, using this last result in (10) gives

Whites, EE 320

Lecture 14

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1
[]
(5.99),(11)
gm gm
This is the BJT active mode small-signal resistance between the
base and emitter seen looking into the emitter.

re =

It can be shown that

r = ( + 1) re []

(5.100),(12)

It is quite apparent from this equation that r re . This result is


not unexpected because the active mode BJT is a non-reciprocal
device, as mentioned on page 1 of these notes.

BJT Small-Signal Equivalent Circuits


We are now in a position to construct the equivalent active
mode, small-signal circuit models for the BJT. There are two
families of such circuits:
1. Hybrid- model
2. T model.
Both are equally valid models, but choosing one over the other
sometimes leads to simpler analysis of certain circuits.

Hybrid- Model
Version A.

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Lecture 14

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(Fig. 5.51a)
Lets verify that this circuit incorporates all of the necessary
small-signal characteristics of the BJT:
9 ib = vbe r as required by (3).
9 ic = g m vbe as required by (5.86), which we saw in the last
lecture.
9 ib + ic = ie as required by KCL.
We can also show from these relationships that ie = vbe re .

Version B. We can construct a second equivalent circuit by


using
g m vbe =
g m r ib = ib
N g m ( ib r ) = N
(3)
(4)

Hence, using this result the second hybrid- model is

(Fig. 5.51b)

Whites, EE 320

Lecture 14

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T Model
The hybrid- model is definitely the most popular small-signal
model for the BJT. The alternative is the T model, which is
useful in certain situations.
The T model also has two versions:

Version A.

(Fig. 5.52a)

Version B.

Whites, EE 320

Lecture 14

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(Fig. 5.52b)
The small-signal models for pnp BJTs are identically the same
as those shown here for the npn transistors. It is important to
note that there is no change in any polarities (voltage or current)
for the pnp models relative to the npn models. Again, these
small-signal models are identically the same.