## Junction Field Effect Transistors. Source Follower Amplifier

**Junction Field Effect Transistors. Source Follower Amplifier**

As mentioned in Lecture 16, there are two major families of transistors. We’ve worked with BJTs in the past few lectures. The second transistor type we will consider is the field effect transistor (FET). In the NorCal 40A, we use discrete junction field effect transistors (JFETs). (Recall that in ICs, metal oxide semiconductor FETs are usually used.) Four important points concerning the JFET are:

1. Probably the simplest transistor,

2. Very large input impedance (but MOSFETs even larger),

3. Virtually obsolete compared to the MOSFET,

4. Now used mainly in discrete circuit design – switches, amplifiers, etc.

In the NorCal 40A, JFETs are used in the:

1. Buffer Amplifier (as a buffer amplifier–duh!),

2. Variable Frequency Oscillator, VFO (as the gain element in the oscillator),

3. Automatic Gain Control, AGC (as a voltage controlled variable resistance).

**Physical Behavior of Junction Field Effect Transistors**

As with BJTs, there are n and p type JFETs. We use only n-type in the Norcal 40A (the J309).

itself often connected to the p-type body. By making V_{gs} more negative, the gate pn junction develops a larger depletion region. This has the effect of narrowing the channel and, consequently, decreasing Id (the drain current). Eventually, when V_{gs} =V _{c}(<0) the channel becomes closed (or “pinched off”). V_{c} is called the cutoff voltage and is less than zero. (For the J309, V_{c} ? ?2.5V.)

Mathematically, the drain current is expressed as

I_{dss} is the drain to source current with the gated shorted to the source. This characteristic curve is shown in

The slope of this drain current versus V_{gs} is called the transconductance g_{m} of the JFET:

The significance of gm to a JFET is analogous to ? for a BJT. Substituting (9.74) into (9.75) and performing the differentiation Gives

This curve is simply a straight line, as shown in

Interestingly, we see that g_{m} actually changes as V_{gs} changes. The ? for BJTs did not have such dependence. Later in Section 11.4 (and Probs. 26 and 27), we will harness this behavior of JFETs to make a nice oscillator!

**Small Signal Model of the JFET**

The low frequency, small signal model for an n-type JFET is shown in

The gate is open circuited, which models the extremely large input impedance of properly biased JFETs (remember that the input can be a reversed-biased pn junction). This input impedance is easily greater than 1 M?.In the model above, r_{0} is the output resistance of the JFET. It’s often neglected in paper analysis of these circuits. (However, in Prob. 27, r_{d} = r_{0} = 5 k? is used in second-order calculations.)

**Source Follower FET Amplifier**

A JFET source follower amplifier is very similar to the BJT emitter follower

The FET source follower (1) has a very large input impedance, (2) is very simple to bias, and (3) has G_{v}<1 . the source follower is used in buffer amplifier (q5) norcal 40a. isolates transmit mixer from driver amplifier. this isolation keeps changes input impedance to affecting mixer.

Surprisingly, R alone is all that’s needed to set the bias of the source follower, provided the gate is dc grounded (but, of course, not ac grounded!).

As an example of a dc grounded gate, consider the Buffer Amplifier in the NorCal 40A. Notice that R10 and L6 provide a dc path to ground so there is no dc current. Also, notice that ac signals at the gate are not grounded. The dc source voltage in the above circuit is

V_{s} = I_{b}R

where Ib is the drain to source bias current. Then

V_{gs} =V_{g} ?V_{s} =0 ? I_{b} R = ?I_{b} R

This is simply an equation for a straight line. This straight line is the load line and we can use it together with the JFET characteristic equation (9.74) to determine the dc bias point for

V_{gs} and I_{ds}.

Referring to

The intersection of the load line with the JFET characteristic curve gives a graphical solution for the dc bias point of the source follower amplifier: V_{gs} = V_{b } and I_{d} = I_{b}. Once the source follower has been properly biased, the ac output impedance and the voltage gain can be easily determined. Using the small-signal equivalent circuit model for the source follower

From this circuit we see that

v = g_{m} v_{gs} R

where

v_{gs} = v_{g} ? v_{s} = v_{i} – v

Substituting (9.79) into (9.78) we find

Now, solving for the ratio of output to input voltage, we find

Or

where Gv is the voltage gain. The JFET transconductance is usually quite small. But if we choose R such that g_{m} R>> (i.e., R>> g_{m}^{?1} ), then

G_{v} <<1

which is typical for a source-follower JFET amplifier