Bipolar Transistors

  • P. L. Hower
Part of the Earlier Brown Boveri Symposia book series (EBBS)


Despite its age, the bipolar transistor is still one of the major switching components used for power electronics applications. For those cases where controlled turn-off is required, it is probably the dominant component. In recent years this dominance has been challenged by the emergence of power MOSFETs and GTOs as possible alterna­tives for power-switching applications. In this paper the three devices are compared. The bipolar receives the most attention, with particular emphasis on performance limi­tations imposed by the physical properties of the starting material (silicon) and pro­cessing techniques. The failure modes and turn-off behavior are also considered. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible future trends in the design and fabrica­tion of power bipolar transistors.


Bipolar Transistor Power Transistor IEDM Tech Output Transistor Power Electronic Application 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    R.M. Scarlett and W. Shockley, “Secondary Breakdown and Hot Spots in Power Transistors,” IEEE Int. Conv. Rec., 11, Part III (1963) 3–13.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    P.L. Hower and V.G.K. Reddi, “Avalanche Injection and Second Breakdown in Transistors,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, ED-17 (April 1970) 320–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    L.E. Clark, “High Current-Density Beta Diminution,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, ED-17 (September 1970) 661–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. Olmstead et al., “High-Level Current Gain in Bipolar Power Transistors,” RCA Rev. 32 (1971) 222–246.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Y. Nakatani et al., “A New Ultra-High Speed High-Voltage Switching Transistor,” Proc. Powercon 7, Paper J3, San Diego, 1980.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    T.C. New et al., “High Power Gate-Controlled Switch,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, ED-17 (September 1970) 706–710.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    H.W. Becke and J.M. Neilson, “A New Approach to the Design of Gate Turn-Off Thyristors,” IEEE Power Elec. Spec. Conf., Los Angeles, 1975, 292–299.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    P.L. Hower, “A Comparison of Bipolar and Field-Effect Transistors as Power Switches,” IEEE Ind. Appl. Soc. Conf. Record-1980, Cinncinatti, 682–688.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    P.L. Hower, “Application of a Charge-Control Model to High-Voltage Power Transistors,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, ED-23 (August 1976) 863–870.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    H. Schlangenotto and W. Gerlach, “On the Effective Carrier Lifetime in p-s-n Rectifiers at High Injection Level,” Solid-State Elec, 12 (1969) 267–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    N. Oh-uchi et al., “A New Silicon Heterojunction Transistor Using Doped SIPOS,” IEDM Tech. Digest (1979) Washington, 522–524.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    P.L. Hower, “Optimum Design of Power Transistor Switches,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, ED-20 (April 1973) 462–435.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    P.L. Hower and W.G. Einthoven, “Emitter Current-Crowding in High-Voltage Transistors,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, ED-25 (April 1973) 465–471.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    P.L. Hower, “A New Method of Characterizing the Switching Performance of Power Transistors,” IEEE Ind. App. Soc. Conf. Record-1978, Toronto, 1978, 1044–1049.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    K.S. Tarneja and P.L. Hower, “A New High Power Transistor,” IEEE Ind. App. Soc. Conf. Record-1981, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    E.D. Wolley, “Gate Turn-Off in p-n-p-n Devices,” IEEE Trans. Electron Devices, ED-13 (July 1966) 590–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    P.L. Hower, “A Model for Turn-Off in Bipolar Transistors,” IEDM Tech. Digest (1980) Washington, 289–292.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    D.L. Blackburn and D.W. Berning, “Some Effects of Base Current on Transistor Switching and Reverse-Bias Second Breakdown,” IEDM Technical Digest (1978) Washington, 671–675.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. L. Hower
    • 1
  1. 1.Unitrode Corp.WatertownUSA

Personalised recommendations