Electric current from source to drain in a p-channel JFET is restricted when a voltage is applied to the gate.
Pin configurationdrain, gate, source
Electronic symbol
JFET N-dep symbol.svg JFET P-dep symbol.svg

The junction-gate field-effect transistor (JFET) is one of the simplest types of field-effect transistor.[1] JFETs are three-terminal semiconductor devices that can be used as electronically controlled switches or resistors, or to build amplifiers.

Unlike bipolar junction transistors, JFETs are exclusively voltage-controlled in that they do not need a biasing current. Electric charge flows through a semiconducting channel between source and drain terminals. By applying a reverse bias voltage to a gate terminal, the channel is "pinched", so that the electric current is impeded or switched off completely. A JFET is usually "on" when there is no voltage between its gate and source terminals. If a potential difference of the proper polarity is applied between its gate and source terminals, the JFET will be more resistive to current flow, which means less current would flow in the channel between the source and drain terminals. JFETs are sometimes referred to as depletion-mode devices, as they rely on the principle of a depletion region, which is devoid of majority charge carriers. The depletion region has to be closed to enable current to flow.

JFETs can have an n-type or p-type channel. In the n-type, if the voltage applied to the gate is negative with respect to the source, the current will be reduced (similarly in the p-type, if the voltage applied to the gate is positive with respect to the source). A JFET has a large input impedance (sometimes on the order of 1010 ohms), which means that it has a negligible effect on external components or circuits connected to its gate.

  1. ^ Hall, John. "Discrete JFET" (PDF). linearsystems.com.