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IGBT Transistor

IGBT Transistor

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The Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor also called an IGBT for short, is something of a cross between a conventional Bipolar Junction Transistor, (BJT) and a Field Effect Transistor, (MOSFET) making it ideal as a semiconductor switching device.

The IGBT Transistor takes the best parts of these two types of common transistors, the high input impedance and high switching speeds of a MOSFET with the low saturation voltage of a bipolar transistor, and combines them together to produce another type of transistor switching device that is capable of handling large collector-emitter currents with virtually zero gate current drive.

The Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor, (IGBT) combines the insulated gate (hence the first part of its name) technology of the MOSFET with the output performance characteristics of a conventional bipolar transistor, (hence the second part of its name).

The result of this hybrid combination is that the “IGBT Transistor” has the output switching and conduction characteristics of a bipolar transistor but is voltage-controlled like a MOSFET.

IGBTs are mainly used in power electronics applications, such as inverters, converters and power supplies, were the demands of the solid state switching device are not fully met by power bipolars and power MOSFETs. High-current and high-voltage bipolars are available, but their switching speeds are slow, while power MOSFETs may have higher switching speeds, but high-voltage and high-current devices are expensive and hard to achieve.

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