# 2.4 Common Drain Amplifier

The common drain amplifier is analogous to the common collector emitter follower. The JFET version is also known as a source follower. The prototype amplifier circuit with device model is shown in Figure 2.4.1 . As with all voltage followers, we expect a non-inverting voltage gain close to unity, a high πππ and low πππ’π‘.

The input signal is presented to the gate terminal while the output is taken from the source. Many bias circuits may be used here as long as they do not have a grounded source terminal such as constant voltage bias.

## Voltage Gain

In order to develop an equation for the voltage gain, π΄π£, we follow the same path we took with the common source amplifier earlier in this chapter. First, we start with the fundamental definition, namely that voltage gain is the ratio of π£ππ’π‘ to π£ππ, and proceed by expressing these voltages in terms of their Ohm’s law equivalents.

(2.4.1)

Equation 2.4.1 is very similar to the gain equation derived for the swamped common source amplifier; the notable changes being the lack of the minus sign indicating that this circuit does not invert the signal, and ππΏ replacing ππ in the denominator. It is worth remembering that ππΏ here is the AC source resistance while in the common source amplifier ππΏ is the AC drain resistance. To avoid potential confusion, this equation could also be written as

(2.4.2)

In any event, the goal is to make sure that ππππβ«1 . By doing so, the voltage gain will be very close to unity.

## Input Impedance

The analysis for common drain input impedance is virtually identical to that for the swamped common source amplifier. The result is replicated here for convenience.

(2.4.3)

## Output Impedance

In order to investigate the output impedance, we’ll separate the load resistance from the source bias resistor, as shown in Figure 2.4.2.

From the position of ππΏ, looking back toward the source we find ππ in parallel with the impedance looking back into the source terminal. The voltage at this node is π£πΊπ and the current entering this node is ππ·. The ratio of the two must yield the impedance looking into the source.

(2.4.4)

Therefore, the output impedance is

(2.4.5)

We can expect this value to be much smaller than the output impedance of typical common source amplifiers.

Example 2.4.1

For the follower shown in Figure 2.4.3 , determine the input impedance and output voltage. Assume πππ=100 mV, πΌπ·ππ=30 mA, ππΊπ(πππ)=β2 V.

This is a follower using self bias. We’ll find ππ via the self bias graph.

ππ is 1 k Ξ© , yielding 30 for ππ0ππ . The normalized drain current from the self bias graph is approximately 0.05.

Thus πππ’π‘ is 71.6 mV. By inspection, πππ may be approximated as 2.2 M Ξ© .

Example 2.4.2

For the circuit shown in Figure 2.4.4 , determine the input impedance and output voltage. Assume πππ=100 mV, πΌπ·ππ=36 mA, ππΊπ(πππ)=3 V.

This follower uses combination bias with a P-channel JFET. Note that the source is at the top. We’ll find ππ via the combination bias graph for π=3 ( π=πππ/ππΊπ(πππ)) .

ππ is 1.8 kΞ©, yielding 43.2 for ππ0ππ. The normalized drain current from the π=3 combination bias graph is approximately 0.17.

Thus πππ’π‘ is 86.4 mV. By inspection, πππ may be approximated as 390 k Ξ© .