Transistors are fundamentally three-terminal devices. On a bi-polar junction transistor (BJT), those pins are labeled collector (C), base (B), and emitter (E).
The circuit symbols for both the NPN and PNP BJT are below:
NPN (Not Pointint iN)
Transistors rely on semiconductors to work their magic. A semiconductor is a material that’s not quite a pure conductor (like copper wire) but also not an insulator (like air). The conductivity of a semiconductor – how easily it allows electrons to flow – depends on variables like temperature or the presence of more or less electrons. Let’s look briefly under the hood of a transistor. Don’t worry, we won’t dig too deeply into quantum physics.
A Transistor as Two Diodes
Transistors are kind of like an extension of another semiconductor component: diodes. In a way transistors are just two diodes with their cathodes (or anodes) tied together:
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