**FET Biasing Methods – Fixed Bias, Self Bias, Potential Divider Bias and Current Source Bias:**

Unlike BJTs, thermal runaway does not occur with FETs. However, the wide differences in maximum and minimum transfer characteristics make I_{D} levels unpredictable with simple fixed-gate bias voltage. To obtain reasonable limits on quiescent drain currents I_{D} and drain-source voltage V_{DS}, source resistor and potential divider bias techniques must be used. With few exceptions, MOSFET bias circuits are similar to those used for JFETs. Various FET Biasing Methods are discussed below :

**Fixed Bias:**

In this FET Biasing Methods, DC bias of a FET device needs setting of gate-source voltage V_{GS} to give desired drain current I_{D}. For a JFET drain current is limited by the drain-source saturation current I_{DSS}. Since the FET has such a high input impedance that no gate current flows and the dc voltage of the gate set by a voltage divider or a fixed battery voltage is not affected or loaded by the FET.

Fixed dc bias is obtained using a battery V_{GG}. This battery ensures that the gate is always negative w.r.t. source and no current flows through resistor R_{G} and gate terminal i.e. I_{G} ≡ 0. The battery provides a voltage V_{GS} to bias the N-channel JFET, but no resulting current is drawn from the battery V_{GG}. Resistor R_{G} is included to allow any ac signal applied through capacitor C to develop across R_{G}. While any ac signal will develop across R_{G}, the dc voltage drop across R_{G} is equal to I_{G}R_{G} i.e. 0 volt.

The gate-source voltage V_{GS} is then

The drain-source current I_{D} is then fixed by the gate-source voltage.

This current then causes a voltage drop across the drain resistor R_{D} and is given as

and output voltage,

Since V_{GG} is fixed value of dc supply and the magnitude of gate-to-source voltage V_{GS} is also fixed, hence this circuit is named as **fixed bias circuit**. Since this bias circuit uses two batteries V_{DD} and V_{GG}, it is also known as **two battery bias circuit**.

A FET has a high input impedance. To make advantage of it, R_{G} should be as large as possible so that the input impedance of the circuit remains high. If R_{G} is extremely large a charge accumulated on the gate may take a long time to leak off. A reasonable upper limit is 1 MΩ. Normally R_{G} should not exceed this value.

**Self-Bias:**

This is the most common FET Biasing Methods. Self-bias for an N-channel JFET is shown in Fig. 13.15. This circuit eliminates the requirement of two dc supplies i.e., only drain supply is used and no gate supply is connected. In this circuit, a resistor R_{S}, known as **bias resistor**, is connected in the source leg.

The dc component of drain current I_{D} flowing through R_{S} makes a voltage drop across resistor R_{S}. The voltage drop across R_{S} reduces the gate-to-source reverse voltage required for FET operation. The capacitor C_{S} bypasses the ac component of the drain current I_{D}. The addition of resistor R_{G} in the circuit does not disturb the dc bias. This is because gate current flowing through it is zero and the gate leakage current is also almost zero.

Thus, gate is essentially at dc ground. The resistor R_{G} is inserted in the circuit to avoid the short circuiting of the ac input voltage. Further, if there is a leakage, the resistor R_{G} will provide to it an escape route. Otherwise, the leakage current would build up static charge (voltage) at the gate which could change the bias. The resistor R_{S}, the feedback resistor, also helps in preventing any variation in FET drain current.

Since no gate current flows through the reverse-biased gate, the gate current I_{G} = 0 and, therefore,

With a drain current I_{D} the voltage at the S is

The gate-to-source voltage is then

So voltage drop across resistance R_{S} provides the biasing voltage V_{GS} and no external source is required for biasing and this is the reason that it is called **self-biasing**.

The operating point (i.e. zero signal I_{D} and V_{DS}) can easily be determined and equation given below :

Thus dc conditions of JFET amplifier are fully specified.

Self-biasing of a JFET stabilizes its quiescent operating point against any change in its parameters like transconductance. Let the given JFET be replaced by another JFET having the double conductance then drain current will also try to be double but since any increase in voltage drop across R_{S}, therefore, gate-source voltage, V_{GS} becomes more negative and thus increase in drain current is reduced.

**Potential Divider Bias:**

A slightly modified form of DC FET Biasing Methods is provided by the circuit shown in Fig. 13.16. The resistors R_{G1} and R_{G2} form a potential divider across drain supply V_{DD}. The voltage V_{2} across R_{G2} provides the necessary bias. The additional gate resistor R_{G1} from gate to supply voltage facilitates in larger adjustment of the dc bias point and permits use of larger valued R_{S}.

The gate is reverse biased so that I_{G} = 0 and gate voltage

The circuit is so designed that I_{D}R_{S} is larger than V_{G} (or V_{2}) so that V_{GS} is negative. This provides correct bias voltage.

The operating point can be determined as

Maximum gain is achieved by making resistance R_{D} as large as possible and for a given level of I_{D} it needs maximum voltage drop across resistor R_{D}. However, greatest bias stability is achieved by making R_{S} as large as possible.

If the gate voltage V_{G} is very large as compared to gate-to-source voltage V_{GS}, the drain current is approximately constant. In practice, the voltage divider bias is less effective with JFET than BJT. This is because in BJT, V_{BE} = 0.7 V (silicon) with only minor variations from one transistor to another transistor. But in a JFET, the V_{GS} can vary several volts from one JFET to another.

**Current-Source Bias:**

In this FET Biasing Methods, When the drain supply voltage V_{DD} is not large, there may not be enough gate voltage to swamp out the variations in V_{GS}. In such a case current-source bias (Fig. 13.17) may be used. In this arrangement, the BJT pumps a fixed current through the JFET. The drain current is given by

Figure 13.18 illustrates how effective current-source bias is. Both Q points have the same value of drain current. Although V_{GS} is different for each Q point, V_{GS} no longer has any effect on the value of drain current.