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Introduction to FET-Field Effect Transistor

So far we have discussed the circuit applications of ordinary transistors, in which both holes and
electrons take part. This is the reason that these are sometimes called the bipolar transistors.
Such transistors have two main drawbacks namely low input impedance because of forward
biased emitter junction and considerable noise level. Both of these drawbacks have been
overcome, to a great extent in the field effect transistor (FET), which is an electric field (or
voltage) controlled device. FET’s because of possessing all the advantages that tubes and
ordinary transistors (BJTs) have, are replacing both the vacuum tubes and BJTs in applications.

Field-Effect-Transistor-FET Symbol


A field-effect transistor (FET) is a three terminal (namely drain, source and gate) semiconductor
device in which current conduction is by only one type of majority carriers (electrons in case of
an N-channel FET or holes in a P-channel FET). It is also sometimes called the uni-polar transistor.
Unlike a biploar transistor a FET requires virtually no input (bias signal) current and gives
anextremely high input resistance -most important advantage over a BJT. Either BJT or FET
devices can be used to operate in amplifier circuits or other similar electronic circuits, with
different bias considerations.

There are two categories of FET’s namely:

1. Junction Field-Effect Transistors (abbreviated JFET’s or simply JFET’s). Please check the link for
complete description.

2. Insulated-gate field-effect transistors (IGFETs), more commonly known as the metal-oxide

semiconductor field-effect transistors (abbreviated MOSFETs or MOSTs).

Applications of Field Effect Transistor (FET):

FET has high input impedance and low output impedance. So it is used as a buffer in measuring
instruments, receivers.

FET has low noise operation. So it is used in RF amplifiers in FM tuners and communication

FET has low input capacitance, so it is used in cascade amplifiers in measuring and test

Since FET is a voltage controlled device, it is used as a voltage variable resistor in operational
amplifiers and tone controls.

FET has low inner modulation distortion. So it is used in mixer circuits in FM and TV receivers,
and communication equipment.

Since it is low-frequency drifts, it is used in oscillator circuits.

FETs are used in low-frequency amplifiers in hearing aids and inductive transducers, as the
coupling capacitor is small.

Since FET occupying less space and easy to fabricate, it is used in digital circuits in computers,
LSD and memory circuits.