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. 796-9678
Mfr. Part No.BC337-25 A1
£0.118
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 800 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 50 V 5 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4152
Mfr. Part No.BC337-25 A1
£0.031
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 800 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 50 V 5 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4161
Mfr. Part No.BC548A A1
£0.026
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 100 mA 30 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 30 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9701
Mfr. Part No.BC547C A1
£0.103
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 100 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 50 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4158
Mfr. Part No.BC547C A1
£0.027
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 100 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 50 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9710
Mfr. Part No.BC548A A1
£0.026
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 100 mA 30 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 30 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9672
Mfr. Part No.BC337-40 A1
£0.118
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 800 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 50 V 5 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 146-2333
Mfr. Part No.BC548B A1
£0.026
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 100 mA 30 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 30 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9713
Mfr. Part No.BC548B A1
£0.093
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 100 mA 30 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 30 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4150
Mfr. Part No.BC337-40 A1
£0.031
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 800 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 50 V 5 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4164
Mfr. Part No.BC549C A1
£0.026
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 100 mA 30 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 30 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9723
Mfr. Part No.BC549C A1
£0.101
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 100 mA 30 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 30 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9739
Mfr. Part No.BC550C A1
£0.101
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 100 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 50 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4169
Mfr. Part No.BC550C A1
£0.026
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 100 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 50 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4155
Mfr. Part No.BC546B A1
£0.027
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 100 mA 65 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 80 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9690
Mfr. Part No.BC546B A1
£0.103
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 100 mA 65 V TO-92 Through Hole 500 mW Single 80 V 6 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9767
Mfr. Part No.BC817-40 RFG
£0.096
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 500 mA 45 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 300 mW Single 50 V 5 V - 3 1 3 x 1.4 x 1.2mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4176
Mfr. Part No.BC817-40 RFG
£0.026
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
Units
NPN 500 mA 45 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 300 mW Single 50 V 5 V - 3 1 3 x 1.4 x 1.2mm -
RS Stock No. 796-9675
Mfr. Part No.BC337-16 A1
£0.116
Each (In a Pack of 250)
Units
NPN 800 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 50 V 5 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -
RS Stock No. 170-4151
Mfr. Part No.BC337-16 A1
£0.03
Each (On a Tape of 4000)
Units
NPN 800 mA 45 V TO-92 Through Hole 625 mW Single 50 V 5 V - 3 1 5.1 x 4.1 x 4.7mm -