Different Types of Transistors and Their Functions & Uses

Transistors are a type of semiconductor component that is used to amplify signals. they are tiny semiconductors that make your Apple products work. There are many different types of transistors, and each one has its own unique function in the circuit along with different shapes and sizes. but they all have one thing in common: they act as a type of switch for electric currents. Transistors come in three types: bipolar junction transistor (BJT), metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), and thyristor. Each type is made up to handle specific electrical needs.

Types of Transistor

What is a Transistor?

A transistor is a semiconductor device that can amplify and switch electronic signals as well as convert alternating current to direct current. The term “transistor” was coined at Bell Labs in 1948 by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley.

Transistors are used to regulate the current in an electric circuit. A transistor has three terminals: the base terminal which controls the current flowing through the collector and emitter of the transistor; this is also known as a bipolar junction transistor (BJT).

Other types of transistors include field-effect transistors (FET) and metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET). A BJT functions on voltage changes across its base-emitter junction while a FET operates on voltage differences between its gate and source

List of Commonly Used Transistors:

  • Bipolar Junction Transistor
  • PNP Transistor
  • NPN Transistor
  • JFET Transistor
  • Darlington Transistor

Bipolar Junction Transistor

The transistor is a fundamental device in the modern world, and understanding how it works can be really helpful. The transistor was invented by John Bardeen and Walter Brattain in 1947.

A bipolar junction transistor, or BJT for short, is a three-layer semiconductor device that amplifies and switches electric currents. It uses two junctions to pass current in opposite directions through different types of silicon. The type of current flowing determines the amount of voltage gain the device will have.

Bipolar junction transistors are made up of three regions: the base region, collector region, and emitter region. The voltage across these regions determines whether current flows or not through this circuit component.

It’s an extremely important invention that has helped shape the way society operates today, because of its use in computers, cell phones, televisions, etc.


In the world of electronics, there are a number of different components that you can use to provide power. One such component is a MOSFET, which stands for a metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor.

The MOSFET is a transistor that converts an input voltage to an output current. It has three terminals, the source terminal (S), gate terminal (G), and drain terminal (D). The MOSFET’s job is to control the flow of electric charge from one circuit node to another, which means it can be used as either a switch or amplifier.

The acronym itself has some interesting origins and meanings behind it! It is important to know how they work because they are used in all sorts of electronic devices like computers, TVs, microwaves, and more.

PNP Transistor

The PNP transistor is an electronic component that can be used to amplify voltage. It was invented in 1947 by Bell Labs scientists, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain. when it became commercially available from many manufacturers like Motorola and General Electric Company (GEC).

The PNP transistor is used in the amplification of electric signals. It does this by amplifying small changes in current or voltage and converting them to a larger signal. The entire circuit is made up of three parts: an emitter, base, and collector. A common use for the PNP transistor is in radio transmitters where it controls the amplitude of the transmitted signal that can be received by radios across large distances.

NPN Transistor

NPN Transistor is a type of transistor that was invented by John B. Johnson and William Shockley in 1948. The NPN transistor consists of three different layers: the collector, base, and emitter. It works by electrons traveling from the negative terminal (emitter) to the positive terminal (collector).

As electrons move through the semiconductor, they are amplified or weakened depending on what materials have been used for each layer.

This means that an electrical current can be turned into a much larger signal which can be used for many things such as amplifying sound or light signals in order to transmit information over long distances without needing lots of power sources like electricity.

JFET Transistor

The JFET transistor is a semiconductor device that can amplify or switch electronic signals. It is one of the most common types of transistors, and its construction has been around since the 1950s.

There are many different constructions for JFETs, but they all have three terminals- Drain (D), gate (G), and Source (S). The gate terminal controls current flow between the source and drain terminals by acting as a variable resistor that can be changed using an external voltage input.

Each circuit diagram symbol for this component will have two parallel lines with arrows on either end to represent its ability to both amplify or attenuate signals. This allows them to be used in amplifiers for audio equipment, radio receivers/transmitters

Darlington Transistor

The Darlington transistor is the result of two transistors being combined into one. This type of transistor can be used to create a circuit that requires more power than what a single transistor could handle. What the author means by “Darlington Transistor” is an electronic device created in 1948 by John Ambrose Fleming and named after English physicist Sir Brian David Josephson who discovered it independently at around the same time (but for different purposes).


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