Dummy Question: Solid State/IGBT

Thread Starter


Joined 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.


Joined 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.