V-FET and SIT

 

The static induction transistor (SIT) is a three-terminal semiconductor device. Similarly to other active devices (like the bipolar-junction transistor (BJT) or the junction field-effect transistor (JFET), in a SIT the current flow between two terminals (the source and the drain) can be controlled through the third terminal (the gate).

Static induction transistor (SIT) was invented by Y. Watanabe and  Professor Junichi Nishizawa of Tohoku University in 1950 with a multichannel structure; it controlled current flow by means of the static induction or electrostatic field surrounding two opposed gates. Many years passed before transistor fabrication technology was sufficiently developed to take advantage of this concept. In 1975, however, experimental SITs were fabricated  and the source-drain current of this device was shown to follow the predicted space-charge injection model.

 Static induction transistor (SIT) shows non-saturating I-V character and high-frequency and high-efficiency characteristics as the result of the reduction of the series channel resistance. SIT has a caged type gate electrode similar to the grid in vacuum tube triode and the electro-static potential around the gate electrode control the flow of majority carriers).

The idea was so innovative that the current establishment in the solid state electronics community had difficulty understanding and accepting this discovery.
The IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices the leading IEEE periodical had difficulty finding proper reviewers and as a result the reviewing process continued for years.
Japan was the only country where static induction family devices were successfully fabricated.

As said the SIT has been originally conceived as a solid-state analog of the vacuum-tube triode. The device is normally on, and a reverse bias applied to the gate is used to modulate the drain-source current. In this mode of operation the steadystate current drawn from the gate is negligible, and the SIT can be considered as a voltage-controlled device, like the JFET.

 

 

A SIT, however, can also be designed to operate with a forward bias applied to the gate terminal (in this case, the device is called bipolar-mode SIT or BSIT). In this mode of operation a significant current flows through the gate of the SIT and the device becomes current-controlled, similar to a BJT. The BSIT is generally designed as a normally off device and is characterized by a much larger current-handling capability with respect to SIT.

SITs are a class of transistors with a short-channel FET structure in which a current flowing vertically between source and drain is controlled by the height of an electrostatically induced potential energy barrier under the source. This electrostatic barrier develops at pinch-off when negatively charged opposing gate depletion layers coalesce to completely deplete the source-drain channel of mobile charge carriers.

Analogous to the vacuum triode, both the gate (grid) voltage and the drain (anode) voltage affect the drain (anode) current because, in the SIT, the height of the induced electrostatic barrier is influenced by both these potentials.

By 1969, it became a complete device having non-saturating type voltage/current characteristics. One of the main advantages of the SIT device is its high speed switching characteristics. Since no carriers are injected from the gate, switching can be performed at an extremely high speed (without storage effects) and a small gate resistance (rg) is used for minimum high frequency signal loss.

SIT have high input impedance and is a voltage controlled device and therefore low drive power is required at the gate. The absence of electric current concentrations for very high breakdown voltage resistance can be explained by the negative temperature coefficient of the drain current, due to some residual channel resistance, which makes it difficult for thermal runaway to occur. Thus SITs are highly suited for high power applications. The non-saturating current/voltage characteristic is based on the SIT exponential function characteristics due to their reduced negative feedback capacitance. SITs can be defined as a type of V-channel field effect transistor (FET) in which the distance between the source and depletion layer of the drain is so reduced that the negative feedback of the channel resistance will not affect the direct current characteristics. SITs require a negative voltage signal in order to turn off as they are normally-on devices.

They can operate as a unipolar or bipolar device (BSIT). Generally, the unipolar mode is used for high frequency applications whereas the bipolar mode is utilized for circuits handling high power. Reason being, the bipolar mode requires the removal of minority carriers from the bulk substrate, which takes more time, thus maximum frequency is reduced.

However static induction transistors presented here are normally-ON devices, meaning they require the application of a negative gate voltage signal (respect to the positive main voltage Vds)  (Vds and Vgs may be opposite) in order to turn the device OFF. In the SIT structure, the gate voltage controls the current flow through the means of depletion regions that extend from the gate junctions into the n-type channel, extending deeper as an increase in the magnitude of the negative gate-to-source voltage. When the device has zero gate voltage or a small negative gate voltage, a small depletion region forms between the p+ / n- interface, and the channel that forms has a width of the distance between the two depletion regions. With a positive drain-source voltage, majority carrier electrons flow from the source to the drain. With large applied voltages and currents, a resistive voltage drop occurs along the length of the channel, causing a distortion in the width of the depletion layers. If the pinch-off voltage Vp is applied to the gate and a large drain to source voltage is applied to the device, full pinch-off does not occur, and current will continue to flow. In order to guarantee full pinch-off under high Vds operation, a voltage must be applied to the gate that is more negative than the rated pinch-off voltage of the device. The requirement of a negative gate voltage is essential to proper device operation.

This latter characteristic is usefully exploited in the production of audio amplifiers in class B or AB because unlike other devices it virtually never turned off completely and therefore also in this mode of operation does not pass completely by the on-state to the off one with all benefits on the sound for the failure to produce artifacts due to oscillations that otherwise would be generated by switching between the aforementioned states.

So a Static Induction Transistor (SIT) is basically a power JFET with a buried gate, as shown in Figure b. Construction as well as operation is reminiscent of a vacuum tube.

                            V-FET is a V-groove JFET.                                                                                  SIT has an embedded meshlike grid                                           

 

Other SIT construction and electrical symbol.        Typical output characteristics of SIT (n channel)                         Output characteristics of Yamaha 2SJ24 (p channel)              

 

I became interested in SIT (Static Induction Transistor) since 1985, when an Italian magazine (ELETTRONICA OGGI) did an interesting article about these new devices and their excellent characteristics that promised incredible performance in the field of industrial electronics, telecommunications to very high frequency and in the field of the electronics of low-frequency (audio-frequency amplifiers). In particular for the latter use was captured by the dream of one day come into possession and build around the magnificent power amplifiers for use Hi-Fi. Advantages of using audio could be seen for three main characteristics:

 

  1. output curves similar to triodes with high linearity and absence of the phenomenon of saturation characteristics;

  2. parasitic capacities significantly lower than other devices of similar power that would have resulted in a much higher operation band.

  3. the device, as mentioned above, unlike all others, never turned off completely, so it exhibits a significant advantage in the realization of class B and AB amplifiers, because here the distortion switching is absent.

I could list other prerogatives, as the increased stability of operation when the temperature varies or the low output impedance, but from the point of view of audio, these three points described above are fundamental, all the rest is a more.
By whom were products such devices? from Japanese TOKIN.
Who saw them? Perhaps anybody in Europe, much less in Italy.

And  Internet? At that era Internet do not existed or were very little information around. For a while the mystery behind the VFET was obscured by lack of data and curves. However since then I have done continuous researches without find anything about. After several years of unsuccessful attempts, finally begins to find some news about it. People began to realize that SIT and V-FET had a lot in common. Indeed they could be considered synonyms as they had the same operating principle and the same type of curves (triode like), as well as the same inventor.

In the audio field such devices were known as V-FET (mainly by Sony) referring to the construction technology, the "V-shaped vertical channel" (see diagram above), while in industry were known as SIT stands for Static Induction Transistor referring to the physical principle relative to the "ELECTROSTATIC" field which with its "INDUCTION" governs the operation.

At the end with the names V-FET, VJFET and SIT we intend the same class of devices.

If we thinking about applications for which they are intended, today there may be a subdivision: 

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the V-FET were almost exclusively used in the audio gear (low or very low power and frequency) and for this reason they were also manufactured in complementary pairs;

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the SIT instead have been optimized for the industry, for the power electronics and for telecommunication  for which there are devices of several KW and / or frequency of GHz. They, however, are manufactured only with one polarity (N channel) and as tubes versions do not exist complementary P-channel: ie unlike Vfet real, SITs were built only in N-channel. Another difference is that it could exist with bipolar charge carriers (BSIT).  (Very high current/power)

With the enlargement of the family, it grew in theory the chances of finding someone around. But the search proved very difficult because even despite the production of " Vfet audio amplifiers" in the '70/80 by Sony, Yamaha, Sansui, Hitachi, Wega, JVC many users complained of not being able to repair their failed equipment due to lack of parts of such special devices.

However, with time and stubbornness I managed to make some spare for my accomplishments, as well as I have given news in some important forum to allow other fans to get hold of them and make his own V-FET amplifier.
As a member of DIYAUDIO.COM I also presented the following projects:

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 12 Watt Class A single-ended amplifier with Sony V-FET  2SK79 and 2SJ28:     http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/pass-labs/154009-2sj28-vfet-se-amplifier.html

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50 Watt Class AB push-pull amplifier  (in several version) with Sony V-FET 2SK82, 2SJ28:      http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid-state/166143-new-complementary-v-fet-amp-best-past.html

For other VFet amplifiers made by me you must look in the "DIY SCHEMES" page.

However, on this page I want to submit some V-fet schematics that I have proposed in the past on the aforementioned forums related to a user's request that required  V-FET amp design not using complementary pairs.
Being only virtually computer-simulated circuits but not  really made, so then they are not intended complete and definitive, it should be noted that I do not assume any responsibility for any damage that could arise if someone wants to build them on their own.

The following circuits are however very interesting and original, as well as very simple to implement, especially because they require a power supply section very simplified compared to other V-FET schematics that require up to 6 or more power supplies because of the different polarity of the Vds with respect to Vgs as mentioned above.

In the basic scheme that you see below, circuit needs even only a single power supply.

For a push-pull (balanced) V-FET amp I do not think there can be some simpler schematic with fewer components!

Click on the button below to see:

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main schematic (missing details about power rail  and  control circuit of output offset),

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sinusoidal waveform at max power,

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harmonic distortion at various powers.

Being uncertain in the parasitic capacitances of Vfet model used in simulator, all frequency responses have not been intentionally published, but it is expected to be good if not excellent within the audio band.
The RMS power of the various circuits example ranging from 10 watts to 220 watts into 8 ohms.

V-FET amp WHITE BABY SITV-FET amp LIGHT BABY SITV-FET amp LITTLE BLACK BABY SIT

 

V-FET amp LIGHT SRPP BABY SITV-FET amp RED SRPP BABY SITV-FET amp BLACK SRPP BABY SITV-FET amp BLACK BIG BROTHER BABY SIT

 

V-FET LITTLE CIRCLOTRON BABY SITV-FET BLUE CIRCLOTRON BABY SITV-FET BLACK CIRCLOTRON BABY SITV-FET TUBEY CIRCLOTRON BABY SIT

How to test V-FET

1) with multimeter

By this first simple mode you can check if it is a genuine V-FET.     (example here is for N channel Type (2SKxx).

With a multimeter on diode function (for N devices) put positive terminal on gate and negative on the source one time and on the drain last time: everytime you must measure a pn junction (0,4-0,5V).

You must measure the 0,4V of  pn junction voltage either among gate to source and among gate to drain.

Then with a multimeter on resistance function, across Drain to Source you must measure a resistance of about 0,5-1,5 Ohm

 

That is similarly to measure a signal jfets.

 

For P channel Type (2SJxx) you must invert the multimeter terminals (negative on gate and positive one time on drain and then on source).

 

2) in circuit

To verify these devices in deep you need a little circuit with: (Example is for N devices) 

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1 power supply of about 25-35 Vdc

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1 100 Ohm 5-10 W resistor wired from Drain to positive rail. This is the load resistance Rd

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1 100 Ohm 5-10 W variable resistor wired from source to negative rail. This is the source resistance Rs.

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1 piece of wire from negative rail to gate.

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1 voltmeter in parallel at the two ends of the 100  Rd resistor.

           It is better if you put device on a heatsink                    

           Operations 

  1. Maintain the power supply off.

  2. Start with variable resistor Rs to max value.

  3. Switch the power supply in on state.

  4. You would read a voltage drop on voltmeter .

  5. If no, then you must diminuish slowly the value of  the Rs since you read a value in voltmeter. Relative current  in circuit is V/Rd so for an Id of 100 mA you must read 10 V

Generally, the N Vfets are going in on state when the Vgs is lower than -15V but is depend on model and rank (-5V at least)

 

 

LIST OF V-FET OR SIT TRANSISTORS

 

N CHANNEL P CHANNEL MANIFACTURER
2SK60 2SJ18 SONY
2SK63 SONY
2SK69 2SJ19 NEC
2SK70 2SJ20 NEC
2SK71 2SJ21 NEC
2SK73 PANASONIC
2SK75 YAMAHA
2SK76 2SJ26 YAMAHA
2SK77 2SJ27 YAMAHA
2SK78 2SJ24 YAMAHA
2SK79 SONY
2SK82 2SJ28 SONY
2SK89 2SJ29 HITACHI
2SK98 2SJ38 YAMAHA
V132 V133 DITRATHERM
2SK180 TOKIN
2SK181 TOKIN
2SK182 TOKIN
2SK182E TOKIN
2SK183 TOKIN
2SK183E TOKIN
2SK183H TOKIN
2SK183HE TOKIN
2SK183V TOKIN
2SK183VE TOKIN
THF50 TOKIN
THF50S TOKIN
THF51 TOKIN
THF51S TOKIN
THF52 TOKIN
THF53 TOKIN
TS300 TOKIN
TS300H TOKIN
TKS15R52 TOKIN
TKS17R52 TOKIN
TKS45F220 TOKIN
TKS45F221 TOKIN
TKS45F320 TOKIN
TKS45F322 TOKIN
TKS45F323 TOKIN
TKS60P13 TOKIN
TKS60P23 TOKIN
TKS12P13 TOKIN
TKS12P23 TOKIN
TKS25R31 TOKIN
TKS45R12 TOKIN
TM401-N TOKIN
TM401-M TOKIN
TM401-H TOKIN
TM400-N TOKIN
TM400-M TOKIN
TM400-H TOKIN
TM201-N TOKIN
TM201-M TOKIN
TM201-H TOKIN
TM200-N TOKIN
TM200-M TOKIN
TM200-H TOKIN
TM101-N TOKIN
TM101-M TOKIN
TM101-H TOKIN
TM100-N TOKIN
TM100-M TOKIN
KP801A
KP901G
RUSSIAN
KP926 RUSSIAN
TC20 TOKIN
TC30 TOKIN

4 NEW V-FET SCHEMATICS WITH VERY LOW DISTORTION

The diagrams that follow have been developed and simulated in the last year with the intention of realizing amplifiers with the greatest possible linearity (low distortion), to better enhance the use and the role of Vfet in medium power audio applications.

Before proceeding with the description of the different circuits it should be noted that at the moment they are only simulated and not realized practically.

From this, it follows that the undersigned assumes no responsibility for any malfunctions and negative consequences caused by the realization in their own  of such projects (DIY) .

 

The first scheme I intend to bring to your attention could only be called "NUMBER ONE", the first, in fact.

It is a directly coupled complementary symmetry circuit  up to 100 watts of rms power into 8 ohms, but more importantly, it has a very low harmonic distortion over all the power and particularly excellent up to 35 watts effective. These values are obtained in spite of the class AB operation and with the use of moderate  global feedback . The power supply system is also quite simple and involves the use of a dual power supply. An easy to build amplifier, with good power for domestic use and excellent performance.

Notes.: This amplifier is designed for 8-ohm speakers. If you plan to drive loads of 4 ohms it  must be added another pair of V-FET. In this case the maximum power could reach 200 Wrms.

In the above: spectrum of the distortion at 1W

above: distortion spectrum at 30W

above: distortion spectrum at 100W

frequency response and  phase response

horizontal rule

 

The second circuit that I present is called "BOB" initial of "Best of Both" world, that is best of that tube circuits and semiconductor circuits.

By the first it uses the output transformer and the use of devices of an identical polarity in the two branches of the push-pull, giving a better balance of the signal.
By the seconds it using the Vfet, also in a unique polarity for better symmetry, and an output power and a speed transient from the solid state field.

Everything is driven to the level of further excellence through the use of a special phase splitter (in my opinion): the Fully Differential Phase Inverter. It allows a perfectly balanced driving signal of  the power devices with positive effects on the linearity and purity of the output signal.

The power is greater than 50 W rms into 8 Ohms, with a very low distortion profile, particularly within the first 28Wrms / 8.
The amount of total feedback involved is quite moderate and the power supply system is very simple by providing only two required voltages.

Notes: This amp is designed for 8-ohm speakers. For loads less than that it is advisable to double output pairs. Consequently the achievable power could increase or doubling

above: harmonic distortion at 1W

above: harmonic distortion at 28W

above: harmonic distortion at 50W

frequency and phase response

horizontal rule

 

The third circuit is a direct derivation of the second so called "HI BOB". The addition of HI specifies that it is a version with a higher gain (open loop) than the version of the second circuit.
Being closed-loop gain equals exactly the previous one, the result is a higher feedback coefficient. This allows you to achieve truly ultra low distortion levels placing itself in this sense as a reference to beat.

Despite the higher level of GNFB adopted, it still remains very far from the high doses achieved by other circuits. The extreme linearity is MAINLY obtained with the choice of the devices and the best operating point work. It is in fact almost identical to the second schematic except for the addition of the two by-pass capacitors.

The output power in this case reaches 55 W rms into 8 Ohms, with a very low distortion rate which extends up to 40 W rms / 8.

Notes: This amp is designed for 8-ohm speakers. For loads less than that it is advisable to double output pairs. Consequently the achievable power could increase or doubling

above: harmonic distortion at 1W

above: harmonic distortion at 28W

above: harmonic distortion at 55W

trend of the frequency response and phase response

horizontal rule

The fourth and last circuit, although it is always dedicated to the achievement of a high linearity, it is quite different in the logic.
It, in fact, is distinguished for the following main reasons:

  1. It does not make use of GNFB

  2. Always works in class A.

The schematic is a full complementary from input to output with a new design that is easy to recognize three X letters , hence the name given to this "XXX Amplifier".

The sensitivity of this amplifier is quite low, so it is not recommended for everyone and is especially dedicated to the purists, those who appreciate circuits without the global feed-back, where performance measured mainly by instruments correspond to the actual performance, in a real system with real speakers and not artificial loads.


The maximum output power is 50 W rms into 8 Ohm, all working in Class A.

Notes: This scheme is optimized for use with 8 Ohm  loads. In the case of use of 4-Ohm speakers, it is imperative to the doubling of the output devices. In this case, the output power could reach 100W.

in the above: harmonic distortion at 1W

in the above: harmonic distortion at 10W

in the above: harmonic distortion at 20W

in the above: harmonic distortion at 50W

trend of frequency and phase response