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# Why does the hfe changes?

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#### Karkas

##### Member
Hi, this is for an electronics lab report.
I've made three graphics for the output characteristics (for Ib=5µA, 15µA and 40µA) and thre for the input characteristics (for Vce= 2V, 4V and 6V) for an NPN transistor (2N3904), and calculated the hfe for two ponits Ib= 15µA; Vce= 2V and Ib= 40µA; Vce= 6V, the first was 220 and the second was 232, of course these values read from the output characteristics graphic, i know that hfe will change if I give a higher base current, and if I have a higher collector emitter voltage, but what other factors can make it change how it changed in my practice?

Thanks.

#### audioguru

##### Well-Known Member
Temperature changes also change the hFE of a transistor. It causes "thermal runaway".

#### Karkas

##### Member
Well i have to make a report of that, and i know that it changes as the base current and colector emitter voltage change, now with that i can say too that the temperature also affects it, but is there another factor?

#### audioguru

##### Well-Known Member
is there another factor?
Silicon transistors have a max allowed emitter-base voltage (when the voltage is the reverse of what is normal). It is 5V to 7V. If the voltage is exceeded in a circuit continuously or for many times then the junction is damaged and the hFE is permanently reduced.

#### Karkas

##### Member
Thanks for the answer, it will be useful. But wouldn't it be 0,5 to 0,7 V?
I mean the base emitter voltage.

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#### audioguru

##### Well-Known Member
Normally the base-emitter junction of a transistor is forward biased so it conducts like a diode with a 0.7V voltage drop.
But if the base-emitter junction is reverse biased then it breaks down with what is called Avalanche Breakdown at 5V to 7V.

The datasheet for every silicon transistor lists the max allowed reverse voltage called "VEBO, Max Emitter-Base voltage" and is 6V for the 2N3904.

#### BrownOut

##### Banned
Hi, this is for an electronics lab report.
I've made three graphics for the output characteristics (for Ib=5µA, 15µA and 40µA) and thre for the input characteristics (for Vce= 2V, 4V and 6V) for an NPN transistor (2N3904), and calculated the hfe for two ponits Ib= 15µA; Vce= 2V and Ib= 40µA; Vce= 6V, the first was 220 and the second was 232, of course these values read from the output characteristics graphic, i know that hfe will change if I give a higher base current, and if I have a higher collector emitter voltage, but what other factors can make it change how it changed in my practice?

Thanks.

Did you notice that the graph of output characteristics is non-linear? What method are you using to calculate hfe? This quantity is defined as the tangent of the operating point on the curve. Any two points on the curve will have different tangents.

Last edited:

#### Karkas

##### Member
Did you notice that the graph of output characteristics is non-linear? What method are you using to calculate hfe? This quantity is defined as the tangent of the operating point on the curve. Any two points on the curve will have different tangents.

Yes i know that, i calculated it finding the Ic for the Vce specified, and for the constant base current y calculated it by using β=Ic/Ib, i know that if i take another value of Vce in the same graph hfe would be different, but the change is considered insignificant, and we make the aproach to lines with slope 0.

#### Karkas

##### Member

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