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Bipolartransistorbiasing
FromWikipedia,thefreeencyclopedia

Bipolartransistoramplifiersmustbeproperlybiasedtooperatecorrectly.Incircuitsmadewithindividualdevices
(discretecircuits),biasingnetworksconsistingofresistorsarecommonlyemployed.Muchmoreelaboratebiasing
arrangementsareusedinintegratedcircuits,forexample,bandgapvoltagereferencesandcurrentmirrors.
Theoperatingpointofadevice,alsoknownasbiaspoint,quiescentpoint,orQpoint,isthepointontheoutput
characteristicsthatshowstheDCcollectoremittervoltage(Vce)andthecollectorcurrent(Ic)withnoinputsignal
applied.Thetermisnormallyusedinconnectionwithdevicessuchastransistors.

Contents
1 Biascircuitrequirements
1.1 SignalrequirementsforclassAamplifiers
1.2 Thermalconsiderations
2 TypesofbiascircuitforclassAamplifiers
2.1 Fixedbias(basebias)
2.2 Collectorfeedbackbias
2.3 Fixedbiaswithemitterresistor
2.4 Voltagedividerbiasing
2.4.1 VoltagedividerwithACbypasscapacitor
2.5 Emitterbias
3 ClassBandABamplifiers
3.1 Signalrequirements
4 Seealso
5 References
6 Furtherreading
7 Externallinks

Biascircuitrequirements
SignalrequirementsforclassAamplifiers
ForanalogoperationofaclassAamplifier,theQpointisplacedsothetransistorstaysinactivemode(doesnot
shifttooperationinthesaturationregionorcutoffregion)wheninputisapplied.Fordigitaloperation,theQpoint
isplacedsothetransistordoesthecontraryswitchesfromthe"on"(saturation)tothe"off"(cutoff)state.Often,
theQpointisestablishednearthecenteroftheactiveregionofatransistorcharacteristictoallowsimilarsignal
swingsinpositiveandnegativedirections.TheQpointshouldbestableinparticular,itshouldbeinsensitiveto
variationsintransistorparameters(forexample,shouldnotshiftiftransistorisreplacedbyanotherofthesame
type),variationsintemperature,variationsinpowersupplyvoltageandsoforth.Thecircuitmustalsobepractical
botheasilyimplementedandcosteffective.

Thermalconsiderations

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Atconstantcurrent,thevoltageacrosstheemitterbasejunctionVBEofabipolartransistordecreases2mV
(silicon)and1.8mV(germanium)foreach1Criseintemperature(referencebeing25C).BytheEbersMoll
model,ifthebaseemittervoltageVBEisheldconstantandthetemperaturerises,thecurrentthroughthebase
emitterdiodeIBwillincrease,andthusthecollectorcurrentICwillalsoincrease.Dependingonthebiaspoint,the
powerdissipatedinthetransistormayalsoincrease,whichwillfurtherincreaseitstemperatureandexacerbatethe
problem.Thisdeleteriouspositivefeedbackresultsinthermalrunaway.[1]Thereareseveralapproachesto
mitigatebipolartransistorthermalrunaway.Forexample,
Negativefeedbackcanbebuiltintothebiasingcircuitsothatincreasedcollectorcurrentleadstodecreased
basecurrent.Hence,theincreasingcollectorcurrentthrottlesitssource.
Heatsinkscanbeusedthatcarryawayextraheatandpreventthebaseemittertemperaturefromrising.
Thetransistorcanbebiasedsothatitscollectorisnormallylessthanhalfofthepowersupplyvoltage,which
impliesthatcollectoremitterpowerdissipationisatitsmaximumvalue.Runawayisthenimpossible
becauseincreasingcollectorcurrentleadstoadecreaseindissipatedpowerthisnotionisknownasthehalf
voltageprinciple.
Thecircuitsbelowprimarilydemonstratetheuseofnegativefeedbacktopreventthermalrunaway.

TypesofbiascircuitforclassAamplifiers
ThefollowingdiscussiontreatsfivecommonbiasingcircuitsusedwithclassAbipolartransistoramplifiers:
1.Fixedbias
2.Collectortobasebias
3.Fixedbiaswithemitterresistor
4.Voltagedividerbiasorpotentialdivider
5.Emitterbias

Fixedbias(basebias)
Thisformofbiasingisalsocalledbasebiasorfixedresistancebaising.In
theexampleimageontheright,thesinglepowersource(forexample,a
battery)isusedforbothcollectorandbaseofatransistor,althoughseparate
batteriescanalsobeused.
Inthegivencircuit,
Vcc=IBRB+Vbe
Therefore,
IB=(VccVbe)/RB
Foragiventransistor,Vbedoesnotvarysignificantlyduringuse.AsVccis
offixedvalue,onselectionofRB,thebasecurrentIBisfixed.Therefore,
thistypeiscalledfixedbiastypeofcircuit.

Fixedbias(Basebias)

Alsoforgivencircuit,
Vcc=ICRC+Vce
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Therefore,
Vce=VccICRC
Thecommonemittercurrentgainofatransistorisanimportantparameterincircuitdesign,andisspecifiedonthe
datasheetforaparticulartransistor.Itisdenotedasonthispage.
Because
IC=IB
wecanobtainICaswell.Inthismanner,operatingpointgivenas(Vce,IC)canbesetforgiventransistor.
Merits:
Itissimpletoshifttheoperatingpointanywhereintheactiveregionbymerelychangingthebaseresistor
(RB).
Averysmallnumberofcomponentsarerequired.
Demerits:
Thecollectorcurrentdoesnotremainconstantwithvariationintemperatureorpowersupplyvoltage.
Therefore,theoperatingpointisunstable.
ChangesinVbewillchangeIBandthuscauseIEtochange.Thisinturnwillalterthegainofthestage.
Whenthetransistorisreplacedwithanotherone,considerablechangeinthevalueofcanbeexpected.Due
tothischangetheoperatingpointwillshift.
Forsmallsignaltransistors(e.g.,notpowertransistors)withrelativelyhighvaluesof(i.e.,between100
and200),thisconfigurationwillbepronetothermalrunaway.Inparticular,thestabilityfactor,whichisa
measureofthechangeincollectorcurrentwithchangesinreversesaturationcurrent,isapproximately+1.
Toensureabsolutestabilityoftheamplifier,astabilityfactoroflessthan25ispreferred,andsosmallsignal
transistorshavelargestabilityfactors.
Usage:
Duetotheaboveinherentdrawbacks,fixedbiasisrarelyusedinlinearcircuits(i.e.,thosecircuitswhichusethe
transistorasacurrentsource).Instead,itisoftenusedincircuitswheretransistorisusedasaswitch.However,one
applicationoffixedbiasistoachievecrudeautomaticgaincontrolinthetransistorbyfeedingthebaseresistor
fromaDCsignalderivedfromtheACoutputofalaterstage.

Collectorfeedbackbias
Thisconfigurationemploysnegativefeedbacktopreventthermalrunawayandstabilizetheoperatingpoint.Inthis
formofbiasing,thebaseresistor isconnectedtothecollectorinsteadofconnectingittotheDCsource .So
anythermalrunawaywillinduceavoltagedropacrossthe resistorthatwillthrottlethetransistor'sbase
current.
FromKirchhoff'svoltagelaw,thevoltage

BytheEbersMollmodel,

acrossthebaseresistor

is

,andso

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FromOhm'slaw,thebasecurrent

,andso

Hence,thebasecurrent is

Collectortobasebias

If isheldconstantandtemperatureincreases,thenthecollectorcurrent
increases.However,alarger causesthevoltagedropacrossresistor toincrease,whichinturnreducesthe
voltage
acrossthebaseresistor .Alowerbaseresistorvoltagedropreducesthebasecurrent ,which
resultsinlesscollectorcurrent .Becauseanincreaseincollectorcurrentwithtemperatureisopposed,the
operatingpointiskeptstable.
Merits:
Circuitstabilizestheoperatingpointagainstvariationsintemperatureand(i.e.replacementoftransistor).
Circuitstabilizestheoperatingpoint(asafractionof )againstvariationsin .
Demerits:
AlthoughsmallchangesinareOK,largechangesinwillgreatlychangetheoperatingpoint. mustbe
chosenonceisknownfairlyaccurately(perhapswithin~25%),yetthevariabilityofbetween"identical"
partsisoftenlargerthanthis.
Inthiscircuit,tokeep independentof ,thefollowingconditionmustbemet:

whichisthecasewhen

As valueisfixed(andgenerallyunknown)foragiventransistor,thisrelationcanbesatisfiedeitherby
keeping fairlylargeormaking verylow.
If islarge,ahigh isnecessary,whichincreasescostaswellasprecautionsnecessarywhile
handling.
If islow,thereversebiasofthecollectorbaseregionissmall,whichlimitstherangeofcollector
voltageswingthatleavesthetransistorinactivemode.
Theresistor causesanACfeedback,reducingthevoltagegainoftheamplifier.Thisundesirableeffectis
atradeoffforgreaterQpointstability.However,aT(RCR)networkcanbeusedtoreducetheAC
feedback,whichhoweverposesaheavierloadonthecollectorthanthesimplefeedbackresistor.Athigher
frequenciesaRLfeedbacknetworkcanbeused,however,itwillintroducepeakingintothefrequency
responseatvariouspoints.

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Usage:Thenegativefeedbackalsoincreasestheinputimpedanceoftheamplifierasseenfromthebase,whichcan
beadvantageous.Duetothegainreductionfromfeedback,thisbiasingformisusedonlywhenthetradeofffor
stabilityiswarranted.

Fixedbiaswithemitterresistor
Thefixedbiascircuitismodifiedbyattachinganexternalresistortothe
emitter.ThisresistorintroducesnegativefeedbackthatstabilizestheQ
point.FromKirchhoff'svoltagelaw,thevoltageacrossthebaseresistoris

FromOhm'slaw,thebasecurrentis

Thewayfeedbackcontrolsthebiaspointisasfollows.IfVbeisheld
constantandtemperatureincreases,emittercurrentincreases.However,a
largerIeincreasestheemittervoltageVe=IeRe,whichinturnreducesthe
voltageVRbacrossthebaseresistor.Alowerbaseresistorvoltagedrop
reducesthebasecurrent,whichresultsinlesscollectorcurrentbecauseIc=

Fixedbiaswithemitterresistor

IB.CollectorcurrentandemittercurrentarerelatedbyIc=Iewith
1,sotheincreaseinemittercurrentwithtemperatureisopposed,andtheoperatingpointiskeptstable.
Similarly,ifthetransistorisreplacedbyanother,theremaybeachangeinIC(correspondingtochangeinvalue,
forexample).Bysimilarprocessasabove,thechangeisnegatedandoperatingpointkeptstable.
Forthegivencircuit,

Merits:
Thecircuithasthetendencytostabilizeoperatingpointagainstchangesintemperatureandvalue.
Demerits:
Inthiscircuit,tokeepICindependentofthefollowingconditionmustbemet:

whichisapproximatelythecaseif

Asvalueisfixedforagiventransistor,thisrelationcanbesatisfiedeitherbykeepingREverylarge,or
makingRBverylow.
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IfREisoflargevalue,highVCCisnecessary.Thisincreasescostaswellasprecautionsnecessary
whilehandling.
IfRBislow,aseparatelowvoltagesupplyshouldbeusedinthebasecircuit.Usingtwosuppliesof
differentvoltagesisimpractical.
Inadditiontotheabove,REcausesacfeedbackwhichreducesthevoltagegainoftheamplifier.
Usage:
Thefeedbackalsoincreasestheinputimpedanceoftheamplifierwhenseenfromthebase,whichcanbe
advantageous.Duetotheabovedisadvantages,thistypeofbiasingcircuitisusedonlywithcarefulconsideration
ofthetradeoffsinvolved.
CollectorStabilizedBiasing

Voltagedividerbiasing
ThevoltagedividerisformedusingexternalresistorsR1andR2.The
voltageacrossR2forwardbiasestheemitterjunction.Byproperselection
ofresistorsR1andR2,theoperatingpointofthetransistorcanbemade
independentof.Inthiscircuit,thevoltagedividerholdsthebasevoltage
fixedindependentofbasecurrentprovidedthedividercurrentislarge
comparedtothebasecurrent.However,evenwithafixedbasevoltage,
collectorcurrentvarieswithtemperature(forexample)soanemitter
resistorisaddedtostabilizetheQpoint,similartotheabovecircuitswith
emitterresistor.
Inthiscircuitthebasevoltageisgivenby:
voltageacross

provided

Voltagedividerbias

Also
Forthegivencircuit,

Merits:
Unlikeabovecircuits,onlyonedcsupplyisnecessary.
Operatingpointisalmostindependentofvariation.
Operatingpointstabilizedagainstshiftintemperature.
Demerits:
Inthiscircuit,tokeepICindependentofthefollowingconditionmustbemet:
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whichisapproximatelythecaseif

whereR1||R2denotestheequivalentresistanceofR1andR2connectedinparallel.
Asvalueisfixedforagiventransistor,thisrelationcanbesatisfiedeitherbykeepingREfairlylarge,or
makingR1||R2verylow.
IfREisoflargevalue,highVCCisnecessary.Thisincreasescostaswellasprecautionsnecessary
whilehandling.
IfR1||R2islow,eitherR1islow,orR2islow,orbotharelow.AlowR1raisesVBclosertoVC,
reducingtheavailableswingincollectorvoltage,andlimitinghowlargeRCcanbemadewithout
drivingthetransistoroutofactivemode.AlowR2lowersVbe,reducingtheallowedcollectorcurrent.
Loweringbothresistorvaluesdrawsmorecurrentfromthepowersupplyandlowerstheinput
resistanceoftheamplifierasseenfromthebase.
ACaswellasDCfeedbackiscausedbyRE,whichreducestheACvoltagegainoftheamplifier.Amethod
toavoidACfeedbackwhileretainingDCfeedbackisdiscussedbelow.
Usage:
Thecircuit'sstabilityandmeritsasabovemakeitwidelyusedforlinearcircuits.
VoltagedividerwithACbypasscapacitor
Thestandardvoltagedividercircuitdiscussedabovefacesadrawback
ACfeedbackcausedbyresistorREreducesthegain.Thiscanbeavoided
byplacingacapacitor(CE)inparallelwithRE,asshownincircuitdiagram.
TheresultisthattheDCoperatingpointiswellcontrolled,whiletheAC
gainismuchhigher(approaching),ratherthanthemuchlower(but
predictable)valueof
withoutthecapacitor.

Voltagedividerwithcapacitor

Emitterbias
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Whenasplitsupply(dualpowersupply)isavailable,thisbiasingcircuitis
themosteffective,andprovideszerobiasvoltageattheemitterorcollector
forload.ThenegativesupplyVEEisusedtoforwardbiastheemitter
junctionthroughRE.ThepositivesupplyVCCisusedtoreversebiasthe
collectorjunction.Onlytworesistorsarenecessaryforthecommon
collectorstageandfourresistorsforthecommonemitterorcommonbase
stage.
Weknowthat,
VBVE=Vbe
IfRBissmallenough,basevoltagewillbeapproximatelyzero.Therefore,
emittercurrentis,
IE=(VEEVbe)/RE
TheoperatingpointisindependentofifRE>>RB/

Emitterbias

Merit:
Demerit:
Thistypecanonlybeusedwhenasplit(dual)powersupplyisavailable.

ClassBandABamplifiers
Signalrequirements
ClassBandABamplifiersemploy2activedevicestocoverthecomplete360degofinputsignalflow.Each
transistoristhereforebiasedtoperformoverapproximately180degoftheinputsignal.ClassBbiasiswhenthe
collectorcurrentIcwithnosignalisjustconducting(about1%ofmaximumpossiblevalue).ClassABbiasis
whenthecollectorcurrentIcisabout1/4ofmaximumpossiblevalue.TheclassABpushpulloutputamplifier
circuitbelowcouldbethebasisforamoderatepoweraudioamplifier.

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Apracticalamplifiercircuit

Q3isacommonemitterstagethatprovidesamplificationofthesignalandtheDCbiascurrentthroughD1andD2
togenerateabiasvoltagefortheoutputdevices.TheoutputpairarearrangedinclassABpushpull,alsocalleda
complementarypair.ThediodesD1andD2provideasmallamountofconstantvoltagebiasfortheoutputpair,
justbiasingthemintotheconductingstatesothatcrossoverdistortionisminimized.Thatis,thediodespushthe
outputstageintoclassABmode(assumingthatthebaseemitterdropoftheoutputtransistorsisreducedbyheat
dissipation).
Thisdesignautomaticallystabilizesitsoperatingpoint,sinceoverallfeedbackinternallyoperatesfromDCup
throughtheaudiorangeandbeyond.Theuseoffixeddiodebiasrequiresthediodestobebothelectricallyand
thermallymatchedtotheoutputtransistors.Iftheoutputtransistorsconducttoomuch,theycaneasilyoverheatand
destroythemselves,asthefullcurrentfromthepowersupplyisnotlimitedatthisstage.
Acommonsolutiontohelpstabilizetheoutputdeviceoperatingpointistoincludesomeemitterresistors,typically
anohmorso.Calculatingthevaluesofthecircuit'sresistorsandcapacitorsisdonebasedonthecomponents
employedandtheintendeduseoftheamplifier.

Seealso
Biasing(electronics)
Smallsignalmodel
Bipolarjunctiontransistor
MOSFET

References
1.A.S.Sedra&K.C.Smith(2004).MicroelectronicCircuits(5thed.).NewYork:OxfordUniversityPress.p.397,Figure
5.17,andp.&nbsp1245.ISBN0195142519.

Furtherreading
Patil,P.K.Chitnis,M.M.(2005).BasicElectricityandSemiconductorDevices.PhadkePrakashan.

Externallinks
Bias(http://www.answers.com/topic/biastechnology?cat=technology#SciTech_Encyclopedia)fromSci
TechEncyclopedia
ElectricalEngineeringTrainingSeries:Typesofbias(http://www.tpub.com/neets/book7/25d.htm)
Retrievedfrom"https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bipolar_transistor_biasing&oldid=724240134"
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