The Transistor as a Switch

Transistors can be considered as a type of switch in electronic circuits. They are used in a variety of circuits and all the circuit chips will contains at least one transistor. Transistors are the basic component of electronics and are of in two main types; NPN and PNP. Most circuits uses NPN type transistor. There are hundreds of transistors which work at different voltages. All transistors in the world can be classified into these two categories.

Transistors Lecture Notes : Transistors can be produced in different shapes but they have only three leads (legs).

The BASE  - The lead responsible for activation of the transistor.
The COLLECTOR  - The lead which is the positive part of transistor.
The EMITTER  -  The lead which is the negative part of transistor.

Figure 1 shows the symbol of an NPN transistor.

Figure 1 shows an NPN transistor which can be used as a type of switch. A small current or voltage at the base will yields for a larger voltage to flow through the other two leads ie,from the collector to the emitter.

Figure 2 is based on an NPN transistor. When the switch is in ON state, a current passes through the resistor to the base of the transistor. The transistor then permits the current to flow from the +9 volts to the 0vs, and the lamp glows.

The transistor needs to get a voltage at its ‘base’ portion and until this happens the lamp does not glows.

As transistors can be damaged easily by a high voltage / current, the resistor is used to protect the transistor. Transistors are the essential component in electronic circuits. Transistors can sometimes used to amplify a signal. For oscillators also transistor plays the key role.

Sreejith Hrishikesan

Sreejith Hrishikesan is a ME post graduate and has been worked as an Assistant Professor in Electronics Department in KMP College of Engineering, Ernakulam. For Assignments and Projects, Whatsapp on 8289838099.

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