The aim of this report is to give an introduction of the behavior of a n-chanel-JFET.

Before we start please have a quick look at the introduction of JFETs.

The voltage for the measurements and the measurement itself was carried out with a KEITHLEY 2612A SYSTEM SourceMeter.

To work with the source-meter please have a quick look at the manual of the KEITHLEY device.

JFET n-channel en

In the example-plot above we can see that there are two regimes. The first regime is called "linear region" in which the JFET behaves like a ohmic resistor. In the second regime we can see that the drain-source-current remains almost constant, this is called saturation regime.

The left plot shows how the gate-source-voltage effects the drain-source-current. We can see, that for high gate-source-voltages the drain-source current decreases to a leakage current that is almost zero.

The drain current of the linear regime can be described as

\begin{equation} I_D=I_p\left[\frac{V_D}{V_p}-\frac{2}{3}\left(\frac{V_{bi}+V_D-V_G}{V_p}\right)^{3/2}+\frac{2}{3}\left(\frac{V_{bi}-V_G}{V_p}\right)^{3/2}\right], \end{equation}

and in the saturation regime as

\begin{equation} I_D=I_p\left[\frac{1}{3}-\frac{V_{bi}-V_G}{V_p}+\frac{2}{3}\left(\frac{V_{bi}-V_G}{V_p}\right)^{3/2}\right]. \end{equation}

Experimental part

First of all we are going to measure the I-U characteristics of a n-channel-JFET. For an open gate the JFET behaves like a ohmic resistor, the JFET is therefor conductive. Now we connect the gate, source and drain and measure the drain-source-current. For this measurement we are varying the drain-source-voltage at a certain gate voltage and plot the drain-source-current over the drain-source-voltage.

Now we need to communicate with the KEITHLEY SourceMeter. For this purpose we can use the following Python script

Python file for measuring the JFET characteristics

Now we can look at the following diagram for a gate-source-voltage of 0 V. Now we can see that for increasing drain-source-voltages the drain-source-current increases to a certain point called pinch-off-voltage. If we now increase the voltage furthermore, the drain current remains almost constant.

If we do the measurement again with a applied negative gate-source-voltage, we can investigate that the space-charge-area is increasing and therefor the drain-source-current decreases. This behavior can be seen in the following diagram,

for which we have increased the gate-source-voltage only by 0.1 V steps to see the decreasing drain-source-current.

> Now we are testing how the n-channel-JFET is behaving if we increase the gate voltage to a very high level.

Now we can see a graph for 0 V, -2 V and -16 V. For 0 V we get the same result as in our last graph, for 2 V the drain-source-current is decreasing rapidly and for -16 V the current is almost zero, except for a small leaking current, for all applied drain-source-voltages.

Now we can calculate the drain current for no gate-source-voltage to evaluate if the current of the saturation regime matches with the calculated one. First of all we are going to assume that the bias-voltage Vbi = 0.7 V, the pinch-off-voltage Vp ≈ 7.5 V, and the pinchoff-current is estimated according to data sheets of similar n-channel-JFETs with Ip ≈ 0.06 A. If we now insert our values to the second equation we get for the drain-source-current ID ≈ 0.009 A which matches our results for a gate-source-voltage of 0 V .