Transistor connection: Common base(CB) common Emitter(CE) common collector(CE)

Transistor connections

There are three leads in a transistor i.e. emitter ,base and collector terminals. When a transistor is to be connected in a circuit, we requires four terminals; two for the input and two for the output. This difficulty is overcome by making one terminal of the transistor common to both input and output terminals. The input is fed between this common terminal and one of the other two terminals. The output is obtained between the common terminal and the remaining terminal. Transistor can be connected in a circuit in the following three ways:

  1. Common base(CB) connection
  2. Common emitter(CE) connection
  3. Common collector(CC) connection

1.Common Base (CB) connection

In common base connection ,input signal is applied between emitter and base and output is taken from collector and base. The base of the transistor is common to both input and output circuits and hence the name common base connection. A common base npn transistor circuit is shown in fig (i) and fig(ii) shows the common base pnp transistor circuit.




(i) current amplification factor α is given by:

(ii) collector current,

(iii) Input resistance,

output resistance,

2.Common emitter(CE) connection

In this arrangement ,input signal is applied between base  and emitter and output is taken form the collector and emitter. The emitter of the transistor is common to both input and output circuits and hence the name is common emitter connection. The fig (i) shows the npn transistor circuit and fig (ii) shows pnp transistor circuit.




(i) current amplification factor β is given by:




Out of the three transistor connections, the common emitter circuit is the most efficient. It is used in about 90 to 95 percent of all transistor applications. It is used because of:

  1. High current gain: The current gain is very high in range of 20 to 500.In a common emitter connection ,Ic is the output current and IB is the input current. The collector current is given by:
    As the value of β is very high, the output current Ic is much higher than the input current IB. Hence ,the current gain is very high in CE arrangement.
  2. High voltage and power gain: Due to the high current gain, the common emitter circuit has the highest voltage and power gain of three transistors connections.
  3. Moderate output to input impedance ratio: The ratio of output impedance to input impedance is small. Hence the coupling becomes efficient in this arrangement.

3.Common collector(CC) connection

In this circuit arrangement, input signal is applied between base and collector while output is taken between the emitter and collector. Here, collector of the transistor is common to both input and output circuits and hence the name is common collector connection. The fig(i) shows common collector npn transistor circuit and fig(ii) shows common collector pnp circuit.



(i) current amplification factor γ is given by;

Current gain is same as the common emitter circuit i.e

But the voltage gain is always less than 1.

(ii) The relation between γ  and α is,

(iii)The collector current is;

(iv)The common collector circuit has very high resistance (about 750 kΩ) and very low output resistance (about 25Ω) as a result the voltage gain provided by this circuit is always less then 1.This arrangement is used for amplification. Due to relatively high input resistance and low output resistance ,this circuit is primarily used for impedance matching i.e. for driving a low impedance load form a high impedance source.

Comparison of Transistor connections

S.NCharacteristicsCommon BaseCommon EmitterCommon collector
1Input resistanceLow(about 100 Ω )Low (about 750Ω)Very high (about 750Ω)
2Output resistanceVery high(about 450kΩ)High(about 45kΩ)Low(about 50Ω)
3Voltage gainAbout 150About 500Less than 1
4ApplicationsFor high frequency applicationsFor audio frequency applicationsFor impedance matching
5Current gainNo(less than 1)High(β)Appreciable

Related terms:

  1. What is diode? Formation of PN junction Biasing of Diode characteristics and uses of diode
  2. Transistors
  3. What is n-type semiconductor?
  4. What is P-type semiconductor?
  5. Zener Diode-Explanation working Applications circuit diagram :Zener diode as Voltage Regulator
  6. Volt-Ampere Characteristic of a PN Junction Diode

For more notes on Electrical Engineering:

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