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Chapter 4

BIPOLAR JUNCTION
TRANSISTORS (BJTs)

INTRODUCTION
What is transistor?
A three-terminal device whose output current,

voltage and/or power are controlled by its input.

Commonly used in audio application as an

amplifier, in switching application as a switch


and in power supply voltage and current
regulator circuit.

2 basic transistor types: BJT and FET


These two transistor differ in their operating

characteristic and their internal construction.

OBJECTIVES
Describe the basic structure of the bipolar junction
transistor (BJT)
Explain and analyze basic transistor bias and
operation
Discuss the parameters and characteristics
of a transistor and how they apply to
transistor circuits

LECTURE OUTLINE
1. BJT structure
2. Basic BJT operations
3. BJT Characteristics and Parameters
4. BJT as an amplifier
5. BJT as a switch
6. Troubleshooting
Summary

1. BJT STRUCTURE

1. BJT STRUCTURE
The BJT is constructed with three doped semiconductor
regions separated by two pn junctions.
The three region are called emitter (E),base (B) and collector
(C)
The BJT have 2 types:
1. Two n region separate by a p region called npn
2. Two p region separated by a n region called pnp
The pn junction joining the base region and the emitter
region is called the base-emiter junction
The pn junction joining the base region and the collector
region is call base-collector junction
The base region is lightly doped and very thin compared to
the heavily doped emitter and the moderately doped
collector region

1. BJT STRUCTURE

1. BJT STRUCTURE
BJT schematic symbol
The arrow on schematic symbol is

important because:
Identify the component terminal

The arrow is always drawn on the emitter


terminal. The terminal opposite emitter is
collector and the center terminal is base.
The arrow always points toward n-type material

If the arrow point toward base, transistor is pnp


type. If it points toward emitter, transistor is
npn type.

1. BJT STRUCTURE
Transistor terminal current

1. BJT STRUCTURE
Transistor Currents:
The directions of the currents in npn transistor and pnp
transistor are shown in the figure.
The emitter current (IE) is the sum of the collector current (IC)
and the base current (IB)

I E I B IC

IB << IE or IC
The capital letter dc value
Transistor is a current-controlled device - the value of collector
and emitter currents are determined by the value of base
current.
An increase or decrease in value of IB causes similar change in
Current gain ()
values of IC and IE.
factor by which current
C
DC B increases from base of
transistor to its
collector.

I I

1. BJT STRUCTURE
Transistor Voltages:
VCC collector supply voltage. This is a power supply

voltage applied directly to collector of transistor.


VBB base supply voltage. this is dc voltage used to
bias base of transistor.
VEE emitter supply voltage. dc biasing voltage and in
many cases, VEE is simply a ground connection.

1. BJT STRUCTURE
Transistor Voltages:
VC dc voltage measured from collector terminal of

component to ground
VB dc voltage measured from base terminal to
ground.
VE dc voltage measured from emitter terminal to
ground.

1. BJT STRUCTURE

Transistor Voltages:

VCE dc voltage measured from collector to emitter

terminal of transistor.
VBE dc voltage measured from base to emitter
terminal of transistor.
VCB dc voltage measured from collector to base
terminal of transistor.

2. BJT OPERATION

2. BJT OPERATION
To operate the transistor properly, the two

pn junction must be correctly biased with


external dc voltages.
The figure shown the proper bias
arrangement for both npn and pnp transistor
for active operation as an amplifier.

2. BJT OPERATION
Transistor is made of 3 separate

semiconductor materials that joined together


to form two pn junction.
Point at which emitter and base are joined
forms a single pn junction base-emitter
junction
Collector-base junction point where base
and collector meet.

2. BJT OPERATION
Cutoff region
Both transistor

junctions are
reverse biased.
With large depletion
region between C-B
and E-B, very small
amount of reverse
current, ICEO passes
from emitter to
collector and can be
neglected.
So, VCE = VCC

2. BJT OPERATION
Saturation region
Both transistor junctions

are forward-biased.
IC reaches its maximum
value as determined by VCC
and total resistance in C-E
circuit.
IC is independently from
relationship of and IB.
VBE is approximately 0.7V

and VCE < VBE.

VCC
IC
RC RE

2. BJT OPERATION
Active region
BE junction is forward

biased and the BC junction


is reverse biased.
All terminal currents have
some measurable value.
The magnitude of IC
depends on the values of
and IB.
VCE is approximately near

to 0.7V and VCE falls in


ranges VBE<VCE<VCC.

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS &


PARAMETERS

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


DC Beta ( DC

) and DC Alpha
DC(

):

The ratio of the dc collector current (IC) to the dc base current


(IB) is the dc beta
( DC ) = dc current gain of transistor

DC <200
Range value :
20<
hFE
Usually designed as an equivalent hybrid (h) parameter,
on transistor data sheet
hFE DC

DC

IC

IB

The ratio of the


DCdc collector current (IC) to the dc emitter current
(IE) is the dc alpha (
) less used parameter in transistor

DC
circuits
Range value-> 0.95<
<0.99 or Igreater
, but << 1 (Ic< I E )
C

DC

IE

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


Current and Voltage Analysis:
The current and voltage can be identified as follow:
Current:
Voltage:

IB
dc base current,
emitter,

IE
dc emitter current,
IC
base,
dc collector current,
forward-biased
the
emitter,
base-emitter junction

VBE
VCB
dc voltage at collector with respect to
VCE

dc voltage at base with respect to

dc voltage at collector with respect to


reverse-biased the
base-collector junction

Transistor current & voltage

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


Current and Voltage Analysis:
When the BE junction is forward-biased, like a forward
biased diode and the voltage
VBE drop
0.7Vis
Since the emitter is at ground (0V), by Kirchhoffs voltage
RB across
VRB VBBis: VBE
law, the voltage
.(1)
Also, by Ohms law: VR I B RB
B
From (1) ->(2) :

VBB VBE I B RB

Therefore, the dc base current is:

VBB VBE
IB
RB

..(2)

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


Current and Voltage Analysis:
The voltage at the collector with respect to the grounded
emitter is:

VCE VCC VRC

RC
Since the drop across

is:RC

I C RC

The dc voltage at the collector with respect to the emitter


is:
V V I R
CE

where

CC

I C DC I B

VCB VCE VBE

The dc voltage at the collector with respect to the base is:

Example 1
Determine IB, IC, IE, VCE and VCB in the circuit

below. The transistor has a DC=150.

Solution Example 1
When BE junction is FB, act as normal diode.

So, VBE=0.7V.
V BB V BE 5 0.7
The base current,
IB

430 A
RB

10k

Collector current,

I C DC I B 150( 430 A) 64.5mA

Emitter current,

VCE VCC I C RC 10V ( 64.5mA )(100 ) 3.55V

I E I C I B 64.5mA 430 A 64.9mA

Solve for VCE and VCB.

VCB VCE V BE 3.55 0.7 2.85V

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


Collector Characteristic Curve:
Using a circuit as shown in below, we can generate a set
of collector characteristic curve that show how the
collector current, Ic varies with the VCE voltage for
specified values of base current, IB.

variable voltage

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


Collector characteristic curve:

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


Collector Characteristic Curve:
Assume that VBB is set to produce a certain value of IB and VCC
is zero.
At this condition, BE junction and BC junction are forward biased
because the base is approximately 0.7V while the emitter and
the collector are zero.
IB is through the BE junction because of the low impedance
path to ground, therefore IC is zero.
When both junctions are forward biased transistor operate in
saturation region.
As VCC increase, VCE is increase gradually, IC increase
indicated by point A to B.
IC increase as VCC is increased because VCE remains less than
0.7V due to the forward biased BC junction.
When VCE exceeds 0.7V, the BC becomes reverse biased and
the transistor goes into the active or linear region of its

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


Collector Characteristic Curve:
Once BC junction is RB, IC levels off and remains constant for
given value of IB and VCE continues to increase.
Actually IC increases slightly as VCE increase due to widening of
the BC depletion region
This result in fewer holes for recombination in the base region
which effectively caused a slight increase
in I B
I C DC
indicated in point B and C.
When VCE reached a sufficiently high voltage, the reverse
biased BC junction goes into breakdown.
The collector current increase rapidly as indicated at the right
point C
The transistor cannot operate in the breakdown region.
When IB=0, the transistor is in the cutoff region although there
is a very small collector leakage current as indicated
exaggerated on the graph for purpose of illustration.

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


DC Load Line:
Cutoff and saturation can be illustrated in relation to
the collector characteristic curves by the use of a load line.
DC load line drawn on the connecting cutoff and
saturation point.
The bottom of load line is ideal
cutoff where IC=0 & VCE=VCC.
The top of load line is saturation
where IC=IC(sat) & VCE =VCE(sat)
In between cutoff and saturation
is the active region of transistors
operation.

Example 2
Determine whether or not the transistor in

figure below is in saturation. Assume VCE(sat) =


0.2V

Solution Example 2
First, determine IC(sat),

I C ( sat )

VCC VCE ( sat )


RC

10 0.2

9.8mA
1.0k

Now, see if IB is large enough to produce I C(sat),

VBB VBE 3 0.7


IB

0.23mA
RB
10k
I C DC I B 50( 0.23) 11 .5mA

With specific DC, this base current is capable of

producing IC greater than IC(sat). Thus, transistor


is saturated and IC = 11.5mA is never reached.
If further increase IB, IC remains at its saturation
value.

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


DC , hFE
More About beta,

-Important parameter for BJT


-Varies both IC & temperature
-Keeping the junction temperature
constant, IC

DC
cause

-Further increase in IC beyond this

DC
max. point cause

to decrease

Maximum Transistor Ratings:


-Specified on manufacturers data sheet
-Given for VCE,VBE,VBC,IC & power dissipation
-The product of VCE and IC must not exceed the max. power
dissipation
-Both VCE and IC cannot be max. at the same time.
IC

PD (max)
VCE

3. BJT CHARACTERISTICS & PARAMETERS


DeratingPD (max)

-Specified at 25C, for higher temp, PD(max) is less.

D (max)
-Data sheet often give derating factor for determining
25C

-Example: derating factor of 2mW/C indicates that the max.


power
dissipation is reduced 2mW for each degree increase in
temperature.

at >

Data Sheets
Data sheets give manufacturers specifications for maximum
operating conditions, thermal, and electrical characteristics.
For example, an electrical characteristic is DC, which is given
as hFE. The 2N3904 shows a range of s on the data sheet
from 100 to 300 for IC = 10 mA.
Characteristic

ON Characteristics
DC current g ain
( IC = 0.1 mA dc, VCE = 1.0 V dc)

Symbol

2N3903
2N3904

hFE

Min

Max

20
40

( IC = 1.0 mA dc, VCE = 1.0 V dc)

2N3903
2N3904

35
70

( IC = 10 mA dc, VCE = 1.0 V dc)

2N3903
2N3904

50
100

150
300

( IC = 50 mA dc, VCE = 1.0 V dc)

2N3903
2N3904

30
60

( IC = 100 mA dc, VCE = 1.0 V dc)

2N3903
2N3904

15
30

Unit

4. BJT AS AN AMPLIFIER

4. BJT AS AN AMPLIFIER
Transistor amplify
current because
I C DC I B
IB is very small, so IC IE.
Amplification of a small
ac voltage by placing
the ac signal source in
the base circuit.
Vin is superimposed on
the DC bias voltage VBB
by connecting them in
series with base resistor
RB.
Small changes in the
base current circuit
causes large changes in

4. BJT AS AN AMPLIFIER
Voltage gain:

r' e internal ac emitter resistance

Ac emitter current is Ie Ic = Vb / re.


Ac collector voltage, Vc equals ac voltage drop across
VcRc.
IcRC
SinceI c

Ie , ac collector voltageVisc

IeRC

Vb is considered as ac input voltage where Vb=Vin - IbRB. Vc as the tra


ac output voltage. The ratio of Vc to Vb is ac voltage gain, Av of the c

Vc
AV
Vb
Substituting IeRC for Vc and Iere for Vb, yields:

Vc IeRC
AV

Vb Ier ' e

RC
AV
r' e

5. BJT AS A SWITCH

5. BJT AS A SWITCH
A transistor when used as a switch is simply being
biased so that it is in:
1. cutoff (switched off)
2. saturation (switched on)

5. BJT AS A SWITCH
Conditions in Cutof

VCE ( cutoff ) VCC

Neglect leakage current and all currents


are zero. BE junction is reverse biased.

VCC VCE ( sat )


IC ( sat )
RC

Since VCE(sat) is very small compared to


VCC, it can be neglected.

Conditions in Saturation

IC ( sat )
IB (min)
DC

Example 3
For the transistor circuit in below figure,
what is VCE when VIN=0v?
b) What minimum value of IB is required to
saturate this transistor if DC is 200?
c) Calculate the maximum value of RB when
VIN=5V.
a)

Solution Example 3
When VIN=0V, the transistor is in cutoff (act
as open switch), so VCE(cutoff)=VCC = 10V.
b) Since VCE(sat) is
V neglected
10V (assumed 0V),
a)

I C ( sat )

I B (min)

CC

RC

I C ( sat )

DC

1 .0 k

10mA

10mA

50 A
200

This is the value of IB necessary to drive


transistor to point of saturation.
c) When transistor is ON, VBE=0.7V. The voltage
across RB is
VRB=VIN VBE = 5 0.7 = 4.3V
By Ohms Law, the maximum value of RB is:
RB (max)

V RB
4.3

86k
I B (min) 50

6. TROUBLESHOOTING

6. Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting a live transistor circuit requires us to
be familiar with known good voltages, but some
general rules do apply. Certainly a solid fundamental
understanding of Ohms law and Kirchhofs
voltage and current laws is imperative. With live
circuits it is most practical to troubleshoot with
voltage measurements.

6. Troubleshooting
Possible faults are open bias resistors, open or resistive
connections, shorted connections and open or short internal
to the transistor itself.
Voltage measurements that are
typically low are caused by a point
that not electrically connected to
ground. This called a floating
point. This is typically indicative of
an open.
More in-depth discussion of typical
failures are discussed within the
textbook.

Correct voltage measurement

6. Troubleshooting
Testing a transistor can be viewed more simply if you
view it as testing two diode junctions. Forward bias
having low resistance and reverse bias having high
resistance.

6. Troubleshooting
The diode test function of a multimeter is more reliable
than using an ohmmeter. Make sure to note whether it is
an npn or pnp and polarize the test leads accordingly.

6. Troubleshooting
In addition to the traditional
DMMs there are also transistor
testers. Some of these have
the ability to test other
parameters of the transistor,
such as leakage and gain.
Curve tracers give us even
more detailed information
about a transistors
characteristics.

Summary
The bipolar junction transistor (BJT) is
constructed of three regions: base, collector, and
emitter.
The BJT has two p-n junctions, the base-emitter
junction and the base-collector junction.
The two types of transistors are pnp and npn.
For the BJT to operate as an amplifier, the baseemitter junction is forward biased and the collectorbase junction is reverse biased (transistor in active
region).
Of the three currents I is very small in comparison
B

to IE and IC.
Beta is the current gain of a transistor. This the
ratio of IC/IB.

Summary
A transistor can be operated as an electronics
switch.
When the transistor is off it is in cutoff condition
(no current).
When the transistor is on, it is in saturation
condition (maximum current).
Beta can vary with temperature and also varies
from transistor to transistor.