Bipolar Transistors

Bipolar Transistors are a solid state, three-pin devices made from three layers of silicon. A bipolar transistor is designed to amplify current, bipolar transistors can also function as a switch. There are two main types of transistor, PNP (positive negative positive) or NPN (negative positive-negative).

How a Bipolar transistor is made

Bipolar transistors are constructed by joining two signal diodes back to back creating two PN junctions connected in series, sharing a common P or N terminal. By nature, silicon does not normally conduct electricity well. However, when silicon is treated with certain chemicals or impurities we can make the material and electrons behave in a different way. This process is called doping. The doping process improves the semiconductors ability to conduct electricity.

How do bipolar transistors work?

Bipolar transistors have two possible functions, switching, and amplification. Due to the devices three layers of doped semiconductor material, supplying the transistor with a signal voltage enables the discrete component to act as an insulator or a conductor. This clever change provides the transistors with two basic functions, switching (digital) electronics or amplification (analog) electronics.

Transistors are available in panel, surface and through-hole mounting options in plastic package or metal can versions. All have three terminals or pins, the Base, the Collector, and the Emitter.

They are also available as;

  • Digital transistors - are made of a semiconductor material, usually silicon, which conducts the current (or electricity) with little resistance. They also tend to have at least three terminals for easy connection to an external circuit.
  • UJT transistors - constructed of a bar of lightly dope N type silicone with a small piece of heavily doped P type material attached to one side. Since the silicon bar is lightly dope it has very high resistance.

Applications of bipolar transistors?

Transistors are one of the most widely used discrete components in electronic designs and circuits. Transistors are used for the amplification of all types of electrical signals in circuits made up of individual components rather than ICs (integrated circuits).


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Description Price Transistor Type Maximum DC Collector Current Maximum Collector Emitter Voltage Package Type Mounting Type Maximum Power Dissipation Transistor Configuration Maximum Collector Base Voltage Maximum Emitter Base Voltage Maximum Operating Frequency Pin Count Number of Elements per Chip Dimensions Minimum Operating Temperature
RS Stock No. 485-9711
Mfr. Part No.TIP29C
$1.064
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
NPN 1 A 100 V TO-220 Through Hole 2 W Single 100 V 5 V - 3 1 9.15 x 10.4 x 4.6mm -65 °C
RS Stock No. 806-4447
Mfr. Part No.KSA992FBU
$0.124
Each (In a Pack of 200)
units
PNP 50 mA 120 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single -120 V -5 V 1 MHz 3 1 4.58 x 3.86 x 4.58mm -
RS Stock No. 124-9941
Mfr. Part No.2N5686G
$18.879
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
NPN 50 A 80 V TO-204 Through Hole 300 mW Single 80 V 5 V - 2 1 38.86 x 26.67 x 8.51mm -
RS Stock No. 862-4893
Mfr. Part No.2N5686G
$27.27
Each
units
NPN 50 A 80 V TO-204 Through Hole 300 mW Single 80 V 5 V - 2 1 38.86 x 26.67 x 8.51mm -
RS Stock No. 168-6167
Mfr. Part No.TIP29C
$0.584
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
NPN 1 A 100 V TO-220 Through Hole 2 W Single 100 V 5 V - 3 1 9.15 x 10.4 x 4.6mm -
RS Stock No. 168-6055
Mfr. Part No.TIP36C
$3.021
Each (In a Tube of 30)
units
PNP 25 A 100 V TO-247 Through Hole 125 W Single 100 V 5 V 3 MHz 3 1 20.15 x 15.75 x 5.15mm -
RS Stock No. 166-3611
Mfr. Part No.KSA992FBU
$0.056
Each (In a Bag of 10000)
units
PNP 50 mA 120 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single -120 V -5 V 1 MHz 3 1 4.58 x 3.86 x 4.58mm -
RS Stock No. 793-0753
Mfr. Part No.MMBT3904LT3G
$0.067
Each (In a Pack of 200)
units
NPN 900 mA 40 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 300 mW Single 60 V dc 6 V 100 MHz 3 1 3.04 x 1.4 x 1.01mm -55 °C
RS Stock No. 122-0087
Mfr. Part No.MJ15024G
$7.539
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
NPN 16 A 250 V TO-204 Through Hole 250 W Single 400 V 5 V 4 MHz 3 1 8.51 x 39.37 x 26.67mm -
RS Stock No. 103-2948
Mfr. Part No.MMBT3904LT1G
$0.028
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
units
NPN 200 mA 40 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 300 mW Single 60 V 6 V 300 MHz 3 1 0.94 x 2.9 x 1.3mm -
RS Stock No. 544-9646
Mfr. Part No.MJ15024G
$12.42
Each
units
NPN 16 A 250 V TO-204 Through Hole 250 W Single 400 V 5 V 4 MHz 3 1 8.51 x 39.37 x 26.67mm -65 °C
RS Stock No. 145-2798
Mfr. Part No.BC560CG
$0.053
Each (In a Bag of 5000)
units
PNP 100 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 50 V 5 V 250 MHz 3 1 5.33 x 5.2 x 4.19mm -
RS Stock No. 774-3237
Mfr. Part No.2N5038G
$14.09
Each
units
NPN 20 A 90 V TO-204AA Through Hole 140 W Single 150 V 7 V 5 MHz 2 1 39.37 x 26.67 x 8.51mm -65 °C
RS Stock No. 545-0343
Mfr. Part No.MMBT3904LT1G
$0.231
Each (In a Pack of 50)
units
NPN 200 mA 40 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 300 mW Single 60 V 6 V 300 MHz 3 1 0.94 x 2.9 x 1.3mm -55 °C
RS Stock No. 163-0837
Mfr. Part No.2N5038G
$10.05
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
NPN 20 A 90 V TO-204AA Through Hole 140 W Single 150 V 7 V 5 MHz 2 1 39.37 x 26.67 x 8.51mm -
RS Stock No. 170-3540
Mfr. Part No.MMBT3904LT3G
$0.025
Each (On a Reel of 10000)
units
NPN 900 mA 40 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 300 mW Single 60 V dc 6 V 100 MHz 3 1 3.04 x 1.4 x 1.01mm -
RS Stock No. 103-5143
Mfr. Part No.MJL21194G
$5.86
Each (In a Tube of 25)
units
NPN 16 A 250 V TO-3BPL Through Hole 200 W Single 400 V 5 V 1 MHz 3 1 20.3 x 5.3 x 29mm -
RS Stock No. 774-3571
Mfr. Part No.MJL21194G
$8.40
Each
units
NPN 16 A 250 V TO-3BPL Through Hole 200 W Single 400 V 5 V 1 MHz 3 1 20.3 x 5.3 x 29mm -65 °C
RS Stock No. 124-9936
Mfr. Part No.2N3055AG
$5.922
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
NPN 15 A 60 V TO-204 Through Hole 115 W Single 100 V 7 V 1 MHz 2 1 39.37 x 26.67 x 8.51mm -
RS Stock No. 485-9979
Mfr. Part No.BD237
$1.446
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
NPN 2 A 80 V SOT-32 Through Hole 25 W Single 80 V 5 V 3 MHz 3 1 10.8 x 7.8 x 2.7mm -65 °C