I am rather new to digital logic, so please try to make you answers as understandable/simple as you can. Anyway, In fig 1, everything works as you would expect, where the led(circle symbol in schematic) lights up only when both inputs(bases of transistors) are high. In figure 2, however, when replacing the led with another logic gate, like an OR gate, The AND gate's "output" is always high. I know why this happens (explained on this question): its because in fig.1, there has to be a current flow through the led for it to light, whereas in fig.2, it's basically like connecting the OR gate's input directly to 5v. So my question is, where would I put the output of the AND gate in fig.2 to only turn on the OR gate when both inputs/transistor bases are high?

Fig. 1

Fig. 2 enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ I have though about moving the output to the emitter of the bottom transistor, but then saturating only the bottom transistor would turn on the output because of the base current. \$\endgroup\$
    – parzival
    Sep 10, 2017 at 22:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your observation is correct. You could lower the value of the resistor connected to the emitter of the bottom transistor to around 100 ohms. But in reality you wouldn't do that; you would simple use MODFETs instead of BJT transistors. If you don't know the difference between the transistors, I suggest you read a bit on MOSFETs and start using them in your tinkering and studies about digital logics. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Sep 10, 2017 at 23:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ what kind specifically do you recommend that i start tinkering with? any models that are most popular or commonly used? also, are mosfets best? or would any fet be good too? \$\endgroup\$
    – parzival
    Sep 10, 2017 at 23:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm my previous comment I wrote MODFETs by accident. It was supposed to be MOSFETs as well. You can use other FETs that are not specifically MOSFETs, but there is no reason to do so as the vast majority of the logic circuits in IC design are done using MOSFETs. Regarding the model, if you just want to simulate it, the parameter you wanna pay attention to is Vth which is the voltage at which the transistor starts to conduct. I would advice you to try to make a "not" gate (aka inverter) using a N-MOS and a P-MOS. That is the basis of the CMOS complementary logic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Sep 11, 2017 at 0:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ The N-MOS is used to pull the output node to GND and the P-MOS is used to pull the output to VDD. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Sep 11, 2017 at 0:21

1 Answer 1



simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

Figure 1. The NAND gate is much simpler.

As you are discovering the AND gate is not so simple.

Try simulating this NAND gate and see how you get on. To make an AND gate you need to invert the NAND output. Note that in a logic chip that this would increase the propagation delay.

Note also that the I've added individual base resistors to prevent short circuiting the bases together.

From comment:

This isn't really answering my question. I was wondering about the AND gate, and also, my question is why wouldn't the output always be high? isn't the output just connected directly to +5v through R1?

No. The output in my Figure 1 is connected to a potential divider consisting of R1, Q1 and Q2. If both Q1 and Q2 turn on their resistance will be much lower than R1's and the output voltage will be pulled low - to about 2 x \$ V_{SAT} \$ = 2 x 0.2 = 0.4 V or so.

Your AND gate suffers a few problems. One major one is that using NPN transistors in that configuration you lose 0.7 V on the base-emitter junction. Anyway, as you have seen, the bias through the bottom transistor tends to raise the emitter voltage.

To have the resistance in the negative leg of your "AND" gate you would have to use PNP transistors.


simulate this circuit

Truth table
In1  In2  OUT
0    0    1
1    0    1
0    1    1
1    1    0

This is still a NAND gate! You need an inverter after it to create an AND.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This isn't really answering my question. i was wondering about the AND gate, and also, my question is why wouldn't the output always be high? isn't the output just connected directly to +5v through R1? \$\endgroup\$
    – parzival
    Sep 10, 2017 at 23:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ See the update. \$\endgroup\$
    – Transistor
    Sep 10, 2017 at 23:30

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