• Wednesday August 12,2020


We explain to you what a transistor is, its origin and how it works. In addition, the types of transistors and their integrated circuits.

The transistors have their origin in the need to control the flow of electric current.
  1. What is a transistor?

It is called a transistor (from English: fer trans fer re sistor, transfer resistor ) to a type of semiconductor electronic device, capable of modifying a signal Electrical output in response to an input, serving as an amplifier, switch, oscillator or rectifier thereof.

It is a type of device commonly used in many devices, such as watches, lamps, tomographs, cell phones, radios, televisions and, above all, as a component of integrated circuits (chips or microchips).

The transistors have their origin in the need to control the flow of the electric current in various applications, as part of the evolution of the electronics field. Its direct predecessor was an apparatus invented by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in Canada in 1925, but it would not be until the middle of the century when it could be implemented using semiconductor materials (instead of vacuum tubes or).

The first achievements in this regard consisted in the extension of the power of an electrical signal from conducting it through two gold struts applied to a germanium crystal.

The name of the transistor was proposed by the American engineer John R. Pierce, based on the first models designed by Bell Laboratories. The first contact transistor appeared in Germany in 1948, while the first high frequency was invented in 1953 in the United States.

These were the first steps towards the electronic explosion of the second half of the twentieth century, which allowed, among many other things, the development of computers.

Materials such as germanium (Ge), silicon (Si), gallium arsenide (GaAs) or silicon and germanium alloys or silicon and aluminum are used in the construction of the transistors today. Depending on the material used, the device may withstand a certain amount of electrical voltage and a maximum resistance heating temperature.

  1. How does a transistor work?

Every transistor is composed of three elements: base, collector and emitter.

The transistors operate on a current flow, operating as amplifiers (receiving a weak signal and generating a strong signal) or as switches (receiving a signal and cutting off the path) of it. This occurs depending on which of the three positions a transistor occupies at a given time, and which are:

  • In active . The passage of a variable current level (more or less current) is allowed.
  • In court . It does not let the electric current pass.
  • In saturation Let the entire flow of the electric current (maximum current).

In this sense, the transistor functions as a stopcock of a pipe: if it is fully open it lets in all the water flow, if it is closed it does not let anything pass, and in its intermediate positions it allows more or less water to pass through.

Now, every transistor is composed of three elements: base, collector and emitter. The first is the one that mediates between the emitter (through which the current flow enters) and the collector (through which the current flow leaves). And it does, in turn, activated by a smaller electric current, different from that modulated by the transistor.

In this way, if the base does not receive current, the transistor is placed in the cutting position; if it receives an intermediate current, the base will open the flow in a certain amount; and if the base receives enough current, then the dike will open completely and the total modulated current will pass.

It is thus understood that the transistor operates as a way of controlling the amount of electricity that passes at a given time, thus allowing the construction of logical interconnection relationships.

  1. Types of transistors

There are several types of transistors:

  • Point contact transistor . Also called "contact tip", it is the oldest type of transistor and operates on a Germanium base. It was a revolutionary invention, although it was difficult to manufacture, fragile and noisy. Today he is no longer employed.
  • Bipolar junction transistor . Manufactured on a crystal of semiconductor material, which is selectively contaminated and controlled with arsenic or phosphorus atoms (electron donors), to generate the base, emitter and collector regions.
  • Field Effect Transistor In this case a silicon rod or some other similar semiconductor is used, in whose terminals ohmic terminals are established, thus operating by positive voltage.
  • Phototransistors They are called light-sensitive transistors in spectra close to the visible one. So they can be operated by means of remote electromagnetic waves.
  1. Integrated circuits

Integrated circuits are small structures of silicon or other semiconductors.

The integrated circuits are better known as chips or microchips, and are small structures of silicon or other semiconductors, in a plastic ceramic encapsulation, which we usually find in the electronic panels of various artifacts (computers, calculators, televisions, etc.).

These circuits are made up of numerous tiny transistors and resistors placed in a line, to efficiently perform manipulation tasks of an electrical signal, such as amplification .

Interesting Articles



We explain what sunlight is, what is its origin and composition. In addition, why its risks and benefits are so important. The Earth receives around 4, 000 hours of sunlight a year in its equatorial regions. What is sunlight? We call sunlight the full spectrum of electromagnetic radiation from the central star of our Solar System, the Sun



We explain what trigonometry is, a bit of history about this branch of mathematics and the most important concepts it uses. Trigonometry is used where it is required to measure accurately. What is Trigonometry? Trigonometry is, according to the etymological meaning of the word, the measurement of the triangles (from the Greek trigon and metron )

Web navigator

Web navigator

We explain what a web browser is and its difference with a web browser. In addition, some examples of this program. The web browser allows the user to access web pages through the Internet. What is a web browser? It is known as a web browser (or simply browser) or also a web browser (or simply browser) to a computer program that allows the user to enter to the Web pages you want , as long as you know the URL address where you are located (for example: www



We explain to you what an electron is, what are the characteristics it possesses and how was the discovery of this subathemic particle. The size of an electrode is 1836 times smaller than the protons. What is an electron? An electroelectron is a type of subatomic particle that has a negative electrical charge , and is actively orbiting the atomic nucleus (composed of protons and neutrons), which in turn presents a positive charge

Exploitation of man by man

Exploitation of man by man

We explain to you what is the exploitation of man by man and what is its meaning. In addition, exploitation in the primitive community. A few get rich thanks to the efforts of many others. What is the exploitation of man by man? It is known as the exploitation of man by man to one of the most important postulates of the Theory of the economy of capitalism proposed by the German philosopher Karl Marx, father of a whole doctrine of thought: Marxism



We explain to you what biochemistry is, its history and the importance of this science. In addition, the branches that compose it and what a biochemist does. Biochemistry studies the material composition of living beings. What is the biochemical? The biochemistry is the chemistry of life, that is, the branch of science that is interested in the material composition of living beings