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Thermal runaway

Latest Updated:03/01/2006

Question:

Thermal runaway

Answer:

The power that remains after the power input to a transistor is output by means of a signal is consumed internally by the transistor, which causes the temperature of the junction to rise. However, this does not cause a problem as long as the heat that is generated is balanced by the heat that is dispersed.
When these two factors are not balanced, however, changes in parameters such as ICBO,VBE,hFE that occur due to the rise in temperature cause the collector current to increase, which raises the junction temperature even further.
The continual repetition of this cycle causes an infinite rise in temperature, which eventually leads to meltdown and destruction of the junction. This phenomenon is known as thermal runaway.
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