how to control the gain of a transistor?

Discussion in 'Physics' started by Labiva, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Labiva

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    i was seeing a data sheet of a transistor. it reads the gain or hFE value between 100 to 300. what does that mean. till now i was of the view that a transistor has a fixed gain value. if the gain varies then what are the conditions upon which it depends?
  2. paulktreg

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 2, 2008
    They do have fixed gain but hfe isn't an "exact science" and the gain of any particular transistor of that type will be between 100 and 300.
  3. Labiva

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    ok thanks. but is there any way by which we can determine the gain of a particular transistor?
  4. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    My digital volt meter (DVM) has transistor sockets on the front for inserting transistors. It has two settings, PNP and NPN and shows the hFE on the display.
  5. wmodavis

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2010
    You can control the gain of a transistor by changing the collector current and any one of several other parameters. Check the specific transistor data sheet to see the many ways to affect Hfe.
  6. Papabravo


    Feb 24, 2006
    ....And you design circuits that do not depend on a particular value of hfe. It actually is much less of a problem than you might think. In fact it is actually a non-problem.
  7. Austin Clark

    Active Member

    Dec 28, 2011
  8. ramancini8

    Active Member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Transistor gain varies with temperature, emitter current, base-emitter breakdown, and age. In saturated circuits gain variation is compensated by using a large margin, and in linear circuits gain is made dependent on passive components through the use of feedback.
    Austin Clark likes this.
  9. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    β is a minimum spec.

    With most transistor designs, it is the collector resistance (or reactance) divided by the emitter resistance (or reactance).
  10. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008
    Why is it a minimum spec if it is given as a range?

    Also, I've always seen beta defined at the ratio of collector current to base current. Can you elaborate on how it relates to the ratio of collector resistance to emitter resistance, and how these resistances (or reactances) are defined?
  11. steveb

    Senior Member

    Jul 3, 2008

    To help quantify it, one can derive a relation using the Ebers-Moll model of the bipolar transistor. The relation is approximate since it uses a low frequency model and does not include all effects, but it still shows some of the basic behavior for most practical cases. The effective beta (defined as the ratio of collector current to base current) would be as follows and is a function of (temperature T, base emitter voltage Vbe and base collector voltage Vbc). Note that the alpha's and beta's with subscripts R and F are constants, and V_T is the thermal voltage KT/q.

    \beta(V_{be}, V_{bc}, T)=\beta_F\ {{( e^{V_{be}/V_T}-1)-(e^{V_{bc}/V_T}-1)/\alpha_R} \over{(e^{V_{be}/V_T}-1)+\beta_F(e^{V_{bc}/V_T}-1)/\beta_R}}

    This above relation is good for cutoff, saturation and the linear region.

    In the linear region, the relation reduces to \beta_F, a constant.

    If the cutoff region is ignored (which it usually can be ignored because then the transistor is pretty much off anyway), then a relation for saturation and the linear region can be written in terms of the collector emitter voltage Vce, as follows.

    \beta(V_{ce}, T)=\beta_F\ {{e^{V_{ce}/V_T}-1/\alpha_R} \over{e^{V_{ce}/V_T}+\beta_F/\beta_R}}

    This relation is useful because it allows the Ebers-Moll model, which is a voltage controlled model, to be recast primarily into a current controlled model with I_c=\beta I_b, and the saturation region operation, with dependence on Vce, can be modeled as a voltage controlled modification to the current controlled model.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012