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INDUSTRIAL CONTROL HANDBOOK - 3.6 JUNCTION FIELD EFFECT TRANSISTOR (J-FETS)

J-FETs are used in power electronic circuits to control high voltages at lower currents. The maximum current for J-FETs that are used in power control circuits is approximately 10 A. Fig. 3-23 shows the symbols for an n-channel J-FET and a p-channel J-FET and a diagram that shows the arrangement of the three layers of the n-channel transistor. The J-FET has three terminals that are called the source, drain, and gate. If you compare the J-FET to an NPN or PNP transistor, the source provides a function similar to the transistor emitter, the drain is similar to the collector and the gate is similar to base. The n-channel has its source and drain made of n-material, and the p-channel has its source and drain made of p-material. Even though the J-FET cannot control larger currents like a thyristor, it is used in circuits because it provides fast reaction times and high impedance.

FIGURE 3-23 The electronic symbols for n-channel and p-channel J-FET. The location of the three layers is also shown.FIGURE 3-23 The electronic symbols for n-channel and p-channel J-FET. The location of the three layers is also shown. (Courtesy of Philips Semiconductors.)

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