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Experiment 8: Common Emitter Amplifier Design Using

A Aim:

To choose an appropriate operating point for CE amplifier design from I C vs VCE

characteristics of a given BJT
To design a stable classical biasing network
To design a CE amplifier using coupling and bypass capacitors, and the classical biasing
network for the following specifications:
VCC = 20 V & Gain (AVO) = 250

A. Components:
BJT - 2N2222
Voltage sources
Current sources

B. Theory:
Common emitter (CE) amplifier is one of three basic single-stage bipolar-junction-transistor
(BJT) amplifier topologies, typically used as a voltage amplifier. In this circuit the base terminal
of the transistor serves as the input, the collector is the output, and the emitter is common to both
(for example, it may be tied to ground reference or a power supply rail), hence its name.
Common emitter amplifiers give the amplifier an inverted output and can have a very
high gain that may vary widely from one transistor to the next. The gain is a strong function of
both temperature and bias current, and so the actual gain is somewhat unpredictable. Stability is
another problem associated with such high gain circuits due to any unintentional positive
feedback that may be present.
Other problems associated with the circuit are the low input dynamic range imposed by
the small-signal limit; there is high distortion if this limit is exceeded and the transistor ceases to
behave like its small-signal model. One common way of alleviating these issues is with the use
of negative feedback, which is usually implemented with emitter degeneration. Emitter
degeneration refers to the addition of a small resistor (or any impedance) between the emitter and
the common signal source (e.g., the ground reference or a power supply rail). This impedance R E
reduces the overall transconductance of the circuit by a factor of (1+g mRE), which makes the
voltage gain
A v=

g m RC RC

1+ gm R E R E .......................................... (1)

So, the voltage gain depends almost exclusively on the ratio of the resistors R C and RE rather than
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the transistor's intrinsic and unpredictable characteristics. The distortion and stability
characteristics of the circuit are thus improved at the expense of a reduction in gain.

C. Circuit Diagrams:

Fig. 1: BJT in CE configuration to obtain IC vs VCE characteristics (RUN 1)

Fig. 2: IC vs VCE characteristics of a typical BJT (RUN 1)

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Fig. 3: Classical biasing arrangement using (a) single power supply (b) two power supplies (RUN 2)

Fig. 4: CE amplifier circuit (RUN 3)

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D. Procedure:
RUN 1:
1. Construct the circuit shown in Fig. 1 and obtain I C vs VCE characteristics for IB values
ranging from 10 A to 100 A in steps of 10 A. You will get a graph which looks similar
to the one shown in Fig. 2.
2. Now, to choose an appropriate operating point, we need to select a point which is almost
at the center of the graph. So, lets select the point corresponding to V CE=VCC/2 (for
maximum output voltage swing) and IB=50 A.
3. IB, IC, IE, VBE and VCE values corresponding to the selected operating point are: _____.
RUN 2:
4. Now that we know the operating point, we need to construct a biasing network so that
operating point stays stable with respect to and temperature variations. We will use the
classical BJT biasing arrangement (shown in Fig. 3b) for this purpose.
5. Since we know IC and VCE value at the operating point, we can calculate R C+RE value
using the following formula:
R C + R E=


A vO =gm RC =

6. Since equation for gain is given by

, we can obtain


value using the following formula:

RC =

7. Now that we know

8. In order to calculate

RC + R E





A vO V T

, we can calculate


as well.

values, we need to choose a particular value of

. It should be as close as possible to the value of VBE+IERE for obtaining a stable

operating point. So, choose a VBB which is slightly greater than VBE+IERE. (you already
know VBE, IE, and IE values at the operating point right!)
9. Finally, obtain the value of RB using the below formula which you can easily obtain by
applying KVL to the circuit shown in Fig. 3a:
RB =

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10. Calculate the values of R1 and R2 from VBB and RB using the following relations:

RB =

R1 + R2

R1 R2
R 1+ R 2

11. So, the values of RC, RE, R1, and R2 are: _____.
12. Now, construct the biasing circuit shown in Fig. 3b using the values you have just
calculated and cross check whether the biasing is proper or not by checking voltages and
currents at various nodes.
RUN 3:
13. Once biasing is done, apply a small sinusoidal ac signal (20 mV) at vary it frequency
from 10 Hz to 10 MHz (using AC analysis) provided in LTspice.
14. Plot the semi-log graph of gain vs frequency.
RUN 4:
15. Now, connect a resistor (RE2) in series with CE and observe how the gain is changing
with the value of RE2. Is the gain that you observed in LTspice approximately equal to the
gain obtained theoretically using equation (1)?

E. Results:
An appropriate operating point for CE amplifier design is chosen from I C vs VCE characteristics
of the given BJT. Then a biasing network is constructed to set a stable operating point. A small ac
signal is applied to the amplifier using coupling and by-pass capacitors, and the obtained gain is
found to be approximately equal to the specified value.

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