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is a active electronic component and a semiconductor device. Transistors are made from semiconductor materials and have three or more terminals.


transistor is the fundamental building block of modern electronic devices, and is ever-present in modern electronic systems.

In general, two types of transistors


P and N refer P-type (holes are majority carriers) and Ntype(electrons are majority carriers)



Three terminals of a transistor are :

2. 3.

Base (B) Emitter (E) Collector (C)

The doping concentration or impurities added in terminal of base is very less and in collector is high. The impurities or doping in emitter is slightly greater than collector. The three regions of Base, Emitter and Collector are separated by junctions. Since the transistor have two junctions, It is known as Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT).

For the analysis of NPN transistor,

it can be thought of two diodes with common anode. As positive voltage is given between emitter-base junction, it forward biases that junction and Reverse bias is applied to collector-base junction. The current flows from collector to emitter.

In PNP transistors,
base-collector junction is forward biased and base-emitter junction is reverse biased. Current flow takes place from emitter to collector. Transistors, especially Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT), depend on both electrons and holes to current flow.

A transistor circuit can be connected in three ways: 1. Common base (CB) 2. Common emitter (CE) 3. Common collector (CC Most of the transistor circuits are connected in Common emitter configuration (CE) where ground terminals of power source are connected to emitter.

Smaller and light weight Has no heater requirement or heat loss Has rugged construction It is more efficient since less power is absorbed by the device It is instantly available for use; requiring no warm-up period Lower operating voltages are possible


Silicon transistors do not operate at voltages higher than about 1,000 volts (SiC devices can be operated as high as 3,000 volts). In contrast, electron tubes have been developed that can be operated at tens of thousands of volts.

High power, high frequency operation, such as that used in over-the-air television broadcasting, is better achieved in electron tubes due to improved electron mobility in a vacuum.

Silicon transistors are much more vulnerable than electron tubes to an electromagnetic pulse generated by a high-altitude nuclear explosion.

Bipolar junction transistor

Bipolar transistors are so named because they conduct by using both majority and minority carriers.

The bipolar junction transistor (BJT), the first type of transistor to be massproduced, is a combination of two junction diodes, and is formed of either a thin layer of p-type semiconductor sandwiched between two n-type semiconductors (an np-n transistor), or a thin layer of n-type semiconductor sandwiched between two p-type semiconductors (a p-n-p transistor).

Transistor as an Amplifier

Amplifications is the process of linearly increasing the amplitude of an electrical signal and is one of the major properties of a transistor.

Transistor as a Switch

When used as an electronic switch, a transistor is normally operated alternately is cut-off and saturation. Digital circuits make use of the switching characteristic of transistor.


Refers to a class of solid state silicon switching device made-up of four layer PNPN structure.
Used to control large amount of current on industrial electrical equipment.


Switching device that dont require any control current once they are turned on.
Used in the act stage of systems, to control power going to a working device such as motor. Troubles could be open, short, or leaky.

Two most important types of thyristors

Silicon controlled rectifiers (SCRs) Triacs

Silicon Controlled Rectifiers (SCR)

A semiconductor device that normally blocks conventional current attempting to pass either way between the anode and cathode.
The formal name silicon reverse-blocking triode thyristor


Is a uni-directional three terminal device used to control large current to a load.

SCR Specification

Breakdown Voltage - is the voltage at which the blocking capability fails, and a massive amount of current rushes through.

SCR Specification

Operating Speed - is specified in terms of turn-on time and commutating turn-off time.

The term commutating is included as a reminder that the device does not turn off by itself, but rather is turned off by an interruption of the power supply.

SCR Specification

Gate Trigger Current

- specifies how much current is required to turn the device on.

SCR Specification

Gate Trigger Voltage - specifies the voltage required to trigger the device- in case, no more than 0.7 volts.

SCR Application
Light system for power interruptions An over-voltage protection circuit Solid state automobiles ignition system DC Motor Control


A three terminal semiconductor controlling current in either direction.


Can also be triggered by exceeding the breakeover voltage.

Triac Application
Used in running lights Used for lamp dimmer Phase control application


A two terminal device that is used as a trigger device for either SCR or Triac.
The device turns off when the current drops the holding value.


A quadrac belongs to the thyristor family. It is basically a triac with a built-in trigger diac.

Silicon Controlled Switch (SCS)

Similar in construction to the SCR, however, has two gate terminals, the cathode gate and the anode gate.
Can be turned on and off using either gate terminal Available in power ratings lower than those of the SCR.

Programmable Unijunction Transistor (PUT)

Actually a type of thyristor and not like UJT all in terms of structure. The only similar in UJT is that PUT can be used in some oscillator applications to replace the UJT. MORE similar to an SCR except that its anode-to-gate voltage can be used to both turn on and turn off the deviice.

Silicon Unilateral Switch (SUS)

This is another breakover device that conducts current in only one direction. It has a third terminal that is used to alter the breakover voltage if connected to a zener diode.

Silicon Bilateral Switch (SBS)

Another breakover device which is capable of triggering triacs. It has lower breakover voltage as compared to diacs.

Schockley Diode

Is a thyristor wit two terminals, the anode and the cathode. It is constructed of four semiconductor layers that form a pnpn structure.
The device acts as a switch and remains off until the forward voltage reaches a certain value; the it turn on and conducts.

Light-Activated SCR (LASCR)

Operates essentially as does the conventional SCR except that it can also be triggered.
Most LASCRs have an available gate terminal so that the device can also triggered by an electrical pulse just as a conventional SCR.

Is a light sensitive, collector-base pn junction. It is exposed to incident light through a lens opening in the transistor package.

Optical Coupler

Designed to provide complete electrical isolation between an input circuit and an output circuit.

Unijunction Transistor (UJT)

Is a three terminal device with characteristics very different from the conventional 2 junction, bipolar transistor.

Integrated Circuit (IC)

Integrated circuit (IC)

Is a complete electronic circuit, containing transistor and perhaps diodes, resistors, and capacitors, along with their interconnecting electrical conductors, processed on and contained entirely within a single chip of silicon.

Advantages of IC
Small in size Low cost High reliability

Limitation of IC
Low power Low voltage Limited selection of components that can be integrated economically

Medium Scale Integration (MSI)

Refers to ICs having 10 to 100 gates

Large-Scale Integration (LSI)

Refers to ICs having more than 100 gates.

Very-Large Scale Integration (VLSI)

Refers to ICs having more than 1000 gates