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 Maximum Base Emitter Saturation Voltage
RS Stock No. 739-0442
Mfr. Part No.2N3904TA
MYR0.73
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
NPN 200 mA 40 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 60 V 6 V 300 MHz 3 1 5.2 x 4.19 x 5.33mm -
RS Stock No. 843-1575
Mfr. Part No.2N3904BU
MYR0.469
Each (In a Pack of 50)
units
NPN 200 mA 40 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 60 V 6 V 100 MHz 3 1 5.2 x 4.19 x 5.33mm -
RS Stock No. 178-4685
Mfr. Part No.2N4403BU
MYR0.125
Each (In a Bag of 10000)
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 805-1043
Mfr. Part No.2N3904TAR
MYR0.206
Each (In a Pack of 200)
units
NPN 200 mA 40 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 60 V 6 V 300 MHz 3 1 5.2 x 4.19 x 5.33mm -
RS Stock No. 805-1056
Mfr. Part No.2N3904TFR
MYR0.206
Each (In a Pack of 200)
units
NPN 200 mA 40 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 60 V 6 V 300 MHz 3 1 5.2 x 4.19 x 5.33mm -
RS Stock No. 739-0445
Mfr. Part No.2N4403TA
MYR0.826
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
PNP 600 mA 40 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 40 V 5 V - 3 1 5.2 x 4.19 x 5.33mm -
RS Stock No. 463-616
Mfr. Part No.BC817-16LT1G
MYR0.154
Each (In a Pack of 200)
units
NPN 500 mA 45 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 300 mW Single 50 V 5 V 100 MHz 3 1 0.94 x 2.9 x 1.3mm -
RS Stock No. 922-7743
Mfr. Part No.ZTX653
MYR1.706
Each (In a Bag of 4000)
units
NPN 2 A 100 V E-Line Through Hole 1 W Single 120 V 5 V 175 MHz 3 1 4.01 x 4.77 x 2.41mm -
RS Stock No. 295-517
Mfr. Part No.ZTX653
MYR2.938
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
NPN 2 A 100 V E-Line Through Hole 1 W Single 120 V 5 V 175 MHz 3 1 4.01 x 4.77 x 2.41mm -
RS Stock No. 102-1352
Mfr. Part No.BC817-16LT1G
MYR0.087
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
units
NPN 500 mA 45 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 300 mW Single 50 V 5 V 100 MHz 3 1 0.94 x 2.9 x 1.3mm -
RS Stock No. 168-6055
Mfr. Part No.TIP36C
MYR6.274
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. 890-2682
Mfr. Part No.2SC5200-O(S1,F,S)
BrandToshiba
MYR13.234
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
NPN 15 A 230 V TO-3PL Through Hole 150 W Single 230 V 5 V - 3 1 20.5 x 26 x 5.2mm -
RS Stock No. 739-0307
Mfr. Part No.SS8050DBU
MYR0.697
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
NPN 1.5 A 25 V TO-92 Through Hole 1 W Single 40 V 6 V - 3 1 4.58 x 3.86 x 4.58mm -
RS Stock No. 862-4979
Mfr. Part No.MJ21193G
MYR29.54
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
PNP 16 A 250 V TO-204AA Through Hole 250 W Single -400 V -5 V - 2 1 39.37 x 26.67 x 8.51mm -
RS Stock No. 296-267
Mfr. Part No.MJ15003G
MYR30.32
Each
units
NPN 20 A 140 V TO-204AA Through Hole 250 W Single 140 V 5 V 2 MHz 2 1 39.37 x 26.67 x 8.51mm -
RS Stock No. 168-6056
Mfr. Part No.TIP35C
MYR5.951
Each (In a Tube of 30)
units
NPN 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. 251-3558
Mfr. Part No.TIP36C
MYR7.226
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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. 251-3564
Mfr. Part No.TIP35C
MYR8.29
Each
units
NPN 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. 166-2584
Mfr. Part No.SS8050DBU
MYR0.163
Each (In a Bag of 10000)
units
NPN 1.5 A 25 V TO-92 Through Hole 1 W Single 40 V 6 V - 3 1 4.58 x 3.86 x 4.58mm -
RS Stock No. 184-868
Mfr. Part No.2SC5198-O(Q)
BrandToshiba
MYR6.73
Each
units
NPN 10 A 140 V TO-3PN Through Hole 100 W Single 140 V 5 V 30 MHz 3 1 19 x 15.9 x 4.8mm -