Dummy Question: Solid State/IGBT

Discussion in 'Homework Help' started by ItsTheFark, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. ItsTheFark

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Hey guys im new to the circuit world (fairly, self taught myself everything i know) and no matter how much i surf google, i cannot find a "Dummies guide to Solid State switches or IGBT's"

    Will someone please explain to me in dummy-terms? Are IGBT's Solid State switches and vice versa? If not whats the diff.?

    All help is welcome

    ~The Fark.
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    I'm not sure there is one. An IGBT is roughtly a device with a insulated gate controlling it, but the output structure of a power PNP transistor. See the Wikipedia article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulated-gate_bipolar_transistor

    If, by "solid state switch" you mean a device whose conduction may be controlled by an applied voltage, then yes, it is.
  3. ericwertz


    Aug 26, 2009
    The trick is that the category of these devices is usually referred to as SSR, or "solid state relays". To also be confused with "solid state rectifiers", in case you thought you might be understanding it at that point.

    Once you "SSR" in Wikipedia, it will get you to MOSFETs, then Power MOSFETS, then finally IGBTs. On the way there, you'll probably learn about other SSRs, and which are better for what applications, like for instance, AC vs DC, isolation, etc.

    I'd suggest the book "Practical Electronics for Inventors" if you haven't seen it already. It's kind of a mini-encyclopedia for the level of interest you (and I) are probably at. And it's actually affordable.