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Module 3

Amplifiers: Introduction to transistor biasing, operating point, concept

of load line, thermal stability, fixed bias, self bias, voltage divider bias.
Classification of amplifiers, RC coupled amplifier - voltage gain and
frequency response. Multistage amplifiers - effect of cascading on gain
and bandwidth.
Feedback in amplifiers - Effect of negative feedback on amplifiers.
MOSFET Amplifier- Circuit diagram and working of common source
MOSFET amplifier.


When an AC input is applied to a transistor amplifier then the amplified
AC output isthe result of a transfer of energy from the applied dc
supplies. So DC operating voltage is necessary for proper working of a
Transistor Biasing is the process of setting a transistors DC operating
voltage or current conditions to the correct level so that any AC input
signal can be amplified correctly by the transistor.
During the design or synthesis stage the choice of parameters for the
required dc levels will affect the ac response. The dc level of operation
of a transistor is controlled by a number of factors, including the range
of possible operating points on the device characteristics. Once the
desired dc current and voltage levels have been defined, a network
must be constructed that will establish the desired operating point

Operating point is a fixed point on the characteristics of a transistor, it
is also called the quiescent point (abbreviated Q-point). By definition,
quiescent means quiet, still, inactive. The biasing circuit can be
designed to set the device operation at any of these points or others
within the active region. The figure 1 shows a general output device
characteristic with four operating points indicated.

Figure 1. Various operating points within the limits of operation of a

In the given figure 1 :ICmax - maximum collector current,VCEmax maximum collector-to-emitter voltage,curvePCmax - maximum power
Cutoff region, defined by IB 0 , and the saturation region,
defined by VCE VCEsat.
The BJT device could be biased to operate outside these maximum
limits, but the result of such operation would be either a considerable
shortening of the lifetime of the device or destruction of the device.
In general, it is preferable to operate where the gain of the device is
constant (or linear).

If no bias were used, the device would initially off, resulting in a

Q-point at A
Since Point C is near VCE= 0V, the peak-to-peak value of output

obtained would be limited.

Point D is very close to Pcmax curve of transistor. Therefore the
output voltage swing in the positive direction is limited.

Point B is located in the middle of active region, it provides linear

gain & largest possible output voltage and current swing.
Therefore operating point for a transistor amplifier is selected to
be in the middle of the active region.


Load line is the straight line drawn on the output characteristics.
Consider a common emitter npntransistor circuit shown in Fig. 2 (i),
where no signal is applied. The output characteristics of this circuit is
shown in Fig 2 (ii)

Fig 2 (i) common emitter npntransistor circuit (ii) output characteristics

of the common emitter circuit
Load line is defined by output equation. According to the circuit in Fig
2(i), output equation is the following:

Now in order to obtain location of the load line on horizontal axis of the
output charactertics:
Put Ic = 0 in equation (1)
then VCE = Vcc (0)Rc
VCE = Vcc



. (2)

This equation gives point B in Fig 2(ii) on the collector-emitter voltage axis(x-axis)
To find location of load line on vertical axis of the output charactertics:
Put VCE = 0 in equation (1)
Then 0 = Vcc IcRc
This gives Ic = Vcc/Rc



. (3)

This equation gives point A in Fig 2(ii) on the collector current axis(xaxis)
By joining this two points: A and B, load line is obtained over output
characteristics of a transistor as shown in figure 2 (ii).
Intersection of load line with the characteristics will determine the
point of operation of the transistor. So point where d.c. load line
intersects the proper base current curve is called operating point.

After selecting the operating point, the effect of temperature must also
be taken in account. Some transistor parameters are affected due to
change in temperature as follows:

increases with increase in temperature.

|VBE|: decreases about 7.5 mV per degree Celsius (C) increase in

ICBO (reverse saturation current): doubles in value for every 10C
increase in temperature.

Figure 3: (a)Change in VBE with rise in temperature
rise in temperature

(b) Change in ICBO with

Any or all of these factors can cause the operating point to drift from
the designed point of operation.
Thermal Runaway
The relationship between Ic and ICBO is ..

So as ICBO increases with increase in temperature, Ic will also increase.

Increase in Ic will increase collector power dissipation. This will raise
the junction temperature, which leads to further increase in Ic. This
complete process is cumulative and ultimately leads to destruction of
transistor. This is called thermal runaway.
Since Ic = IB ,Ic increases with increase in transistor gain, .
Increase in VBE also leads to increase in Ic. So finally it can be said that
the increase in , VBE&ICBOnot only shifts the operating point from the
desired position but also leads to destruction of the transistor
This problem can be avoided by using stabilisation circuitry.
Stability Factors, S(ICO), S(VBE), and S()
A stability factor, S, is defined for each of the parameters affecting bias stability as listed below:



delta symbol signifies change in that quantity. Networks that are quite stable and
relatively insensitive to temperature variations have low stability

Simplest transistor bias circuit

Fig 4. Fixed-bias circuit

In a fixed bias circuit, base is kept positive wrt emitter, so emitter

base junction is forward biased

Here collector is maintained at positive voltage wrtemitter,
therefore collector base junction is reverse biased

Forward Bias of BaseEmitter

Consider first the baseemitter circuit loop of Fig.

Fig 5. Baseemitter circuit loop

Writing Kirchhoffs voltageequation in the clockwise direction for the
loop, we obtain
Note the polarity of the voltage drop across RB as established by the
indicated direction
ofIB. Solving the equation for the current IB will result in the following:


Equation (4.4) is certainly not a difficult one to remember if one simply

keeps in
mind that the base current is the current through RB and by Ohms law
that current
is the voltage across RB divided by the resistance RB. The voltage across
RB is the applied
voltageVCC at one end less the drop across the base-to-emitter junction

In fixed-bias method of biasing,

IB is independent of IC so that IB/IC= 0 or S()=0

The biasing circuit is simple and easy to construct but here
stabilisation is poor and increase in collector current due to
temperature increase can cause heating and damage of transistor.


Fig 5. Collector to base circuit

It is a simple method.
Suppose the temperature increases. This will increase collector
leakage current and hence thetotal collector current. But as soon
as collector current increases,
acrossRC. The result is that
available across

VCEdecreases due to greater drop

VCBdecreasesi.e. lesser voltage is

RB. Hence the base `currentIB decreases. The

smaller IBtends to decrease the collector current to original value.

The circuit does not provide good stabilisation because stability
factor is fairly high, thoughit is lesser than that of fixed bias.
Therefore, the operating point does change, although to
lesserextent, due to temperature variations and other effects.


The name voltage divider comes from the voltage divider formed by
R1and R2. The voltage drop across R2forward biases the base - emitter

This is the most widely used method of providing biasing and

stabilisation to a transistor.
The emitter resistance

RE provides stabilisation.


Fig 6. Voltage divider bias circuit

It is clear from exp. (i) above that IC does not at all depend upon .Though
IC depends upon VBE
but in practice V2 >>VBE so that IC is practically independent of VBE. Thus IC in this circuit is almost
independent of transistor parameters and hence good stabilisation is ensured. It is due to this reason that
potential divider bias has become universal method for providing transistor biasing.
Suppose the collector current IC increases due to rise in temperature. This will cause the voltagedrop
across emitter resistance RE to increase. As voltage drop across R2 (i.e. V2) isindependent ofIC, therefore,
VBE decreases. This in turn causes IB to decrease. The reduced value of IB tends torestore IC to the original
Collector-emitter voltage VCE.
Applying Kirchhoff 's voltage law to the collector side,


(becauseIE IC)

= IC (RC + RE) + VCE