What Is an IGBT?

An IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) is a transistor whose input section has a MOS structure and its output section has a bipolar structure. This transistor has the characteristics of a MOSFET with high input impedance and high switching speed, and the characteristics of a bipolar transistor with low saturation voltage.
See IGBT Structure for the structure of the IGBT.

Features of IGBTs

The features of IGBTs when compared with power MOSFETs and bipolar transistors are shown below.

Item Power MOSFET Bipolar Transistor IGBT
Structure (arrows indicate the direction of the drain current / collector current)

Circuit Diagram
Control Systems Voltage control Current control Voltage control
Driving Power Small Large Small
Switching Speed Fast Slow Medium
Breakdown Voltage About 30 V to 800 V About 50 V to 800 V About 400 V to 1200 V
Increasing the Current Easy (about 1 A to 100 A) Difficult (about 2 A to 25 A) Easy (about 15 A to 40 A)
  • Low Stepping Motor
  • Low-voltage/high-voltage brushless DC motor
  • Switching power suply
  • Audio
  • Low-voltage/high-voltage brushless DC motor
  • Solenoid
  • High-voltage brushless DC motor
  • Inverter

IGBT Structure

This section describes the structure and features of IGBTs. Compared to the punch-through type, the non-punch-through type and field-stop type have faster switching speed, lower loss, and thinner / smaller size.

Structure Punch-through (PT) Type Non-punch-through (NPT) Type Field-stop (FS) Type
Section View
Switching Speed Slow Fast Fast
Short Circuit Withstand Time Short Long Medium
Manufacturing Difficulty Easy Difficult Difficult

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