Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT)
Product Announcement from American Microsemiconductor, Inc.
Description of bipolar transistor
The transistor is primarily used as a current amplifier. When a small current signal is applied to the base terminal of a bipolar transistor, it is amplified in the collector circuit. This current amplification is referred to as hfe or beta and equals Ic/Ib. As with all semiconductors, breakdown voltage of a transistor is also a design limitation. There are breakdown voltages that must be taken into account for each combination of terminals of a transistor. i.e. Vce, Vbe, and Vcb. However, Vce (collector-emitter voltage) with open base, designated as Vceo, is usually of most concern and defines the maximum circuit voltage of a bipolar transistor.
Also as with all semiconductors devices, there are undesirable leakage currents in a transistor, notably Icbo ,collector junction leakage; and Iebo, emitter junction leakage.
Selection of a Bipolar Transistor
Primary considerations when selecting a transistor are:
- Voltage ratings
- Transistor power rating and thermal resistance
- Transistor current handling capability and the transistor case size
- Leakage currents, mainly Icbo and Iebo in a transistor
- Transistor frequency response and /or switching times.
- Transistor current gain (HFE and hfe)
- Temperature parameter variation of a transistor
- Collector-emitter saturation resistance of a transistor
- h-parameters of a transistor for linear applications
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