enter image description here

There is a design recommendation to add a capacitor across the base and emitter of Q2 to avoid the unwanted/unexpected turn ON of Q2.

Calculation of new capacitor across Vbe:

enter image description here

My questions :

  1. Can someone show me the current path and the voltage across the components when there is no capacitor across Vbe which will provide the unexpected turn ON of Q2 during high dV/dt at VBAT?

Please also show the current path and voltage across the components when there is capacitor added between base and emitter which will avoid the unexpected turn ON of Q2 during High dV/dt at VBAT?

Question 2 :

I am not able to understand the formula and how there are arriving at the value of the new capacitor which is taken to be 1nF. Can someone provide clear explanation of the formula?

If you cannot provide any answer related to the above circuit image and formula present in the question, I request you to provide your own simple circuit image explaining the current path and voltages in it with and without the base emitter capacitance and your formula for arriving at the base emitter capacitor value.

EDIT : In the above circuit image, the resistor R57 is 47k and 100mW (power rated) package. and R403 is 10k and 100mW (power package). There is no capacitor added across the base-emitter of the transistor. But there is a design recommendation for this circuit which recommends to add a capacitor across the base emitter of the transistor to avoid unexpected turn ON of the transistor during high dV/dt.

So, the formula attached above in the circuit asks to add a capacitor between the base emitter of the PNP transistor of a value of 1nF to avoid the unexpected turn ON of the transistor.

My question is, I just want to understand how the transistor turns ON during High dV/dt when there's NO capacitor across B-E junction of Q2 and when there's a capacitor of 1nF (which is recommended to add - coming based on the above formula) added to the base-emitter junction of Q2. Would like to know how the current flows and voltages across the components during both instances (with 1nF added and without 1nF)

Also, not sure what is the formula which is used above to arrive at 1nF. So, want to ask whether anyone has seen this type of formula to calculate the capacitor across B-E of the transistor. If you have not used this type of formulas, then how to arrive at the capacitor value.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your title talks about a base-emitter capacitor, but you show a base-collector capacitor, which is it? What is the application of the circuit, and the reason to 'avoid turn on'? Without this context, answering the question is impossible. Rather like the answer to 'what's the best vehicle for me' could be bike, compact car, or 44 tonne lorry, depending on the context. \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil_UK
    Oct 10, 2020 at 5:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ errors: BC847 is NPN , not PNP=BC857. and its Cbe is 11.5pF nom and Ccb=1.5pF max \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2020 at 5:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ WHat is source V(f) and Z(f)? "design recommendation to add a capacitor across the base and emitter" yet you add it to Collector .. very confused 100M .. where did you get this idea? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2020 at 5:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ diodes.com/assets/Datasheets/ds30278.pdf - BC847PN is a dual transistor package with NPN and PNP. I was referring this package. \$\endgroup\$
    – user220456
    Oct 10, 2020 at 6:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edited the question and added further details to avoid any confusion. \$\endgroup\$
    – user220456
    Oct 10, 2020 at 6:20

2 Answers 2


The current path at Turn-ON. The capacitor is a short circuit.

enter image description here

And the current path with the additional capacitor across \$R_{57}\$ resistor with a much larger capacitance value then \$C_{CB0} + C_{LEAK}\$

enter image description here

Now the BJT won't be able to Turn ON because \$C_1 >> C_{CB0} + C_{LEAK}\$ and we have a capacitive voltage divider thus \$V_{BE} = V_{bat} \times \frac{C_{CB0}}{C_{CB0} + C_1} \approx 24V \times \frac{6pF}{1nF} \approx 0.114V \$ (at the end of a charing phase).

And after this \$C_1\$ capacitor will be discharged by \$R_{57}\$ resistor. So that the steady-state voltage at the base is equal to \$24V\$.

enter image description here

And at the same time, the small charging current will be flowing through \$ C_{CB0} + C_{LEAK}\$

  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you for the clear explanation with the current flow diagrams. Just one question, in your last line, C1 will be "discharged by R57 resistor" --- > Will it get discharged through R57 to VBAT (24V) or GND? \$\endgroup\$
    – user220456
    Oct 10, 2020 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ No, C1 will be only discharged by R57 resistor. Try to treat a charged capacitor as a small battery. Then you will see the discharging path. I edit my answer \$\endgroup\$
    – G36
    Oct 10, 2020 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the clear answer. Very well explained for me to understand in simple terms. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$
    – user220456
    Oct 10, 2020 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ At turn on, current will pass through R57 initially until the voltage across it exceeds ~0.6V, at which time ONLY will it flows as base current in Q2. One effective way to improve the immunity of the circuit to switch on transients is to reduce the value of R57 before adding an extra component. R57 > 4k7 for example. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 10, 2020 at 18:23

From reading the question, and the operating condition of high dV/dT of collector_base voltage, you seek to understand the value of a capacitive voltage divider.


With rapid dV/dT across the Cap_ColBase (1.5pF, for example), the charging current needs to be absorbed somewhere, and NOT flow into the base_emitter region of the transistor.

I'd plan to add a large enough cap across emitter_base to hold the delta_V_BE to less than 0.1 volts, or perhaps even 0.05 volts.

Assume 1.5pF needs to be charged as the collector voltage quickly changes by 24 volts, and we want to hold the base_emitter voltage change to 0.05 volts, the ratio is

  • 24volts / 0.05 volts = 24 * 20 = 480X.

Thus we should consider adding 1.5 pF * 480 == 480 + 240 = 720 pF.

For design margin, use at least 1,000 pF.


Another way is to actively clamp the base_emitter voltage to near zero.

This requires a low R_out driver.

If the 24 volts transitions in 24 nanoSeconds, the peak current is

  • I = C * dV/dT = 1.5pF * 24volt/24nS = 1.5e-12 * 1e+9 volts per second.


  • I = 1.5 milliAmps

And we need to hold the change in base_emitter voltage to less than 0.05 volts

Thus the output resistance (incremental resistance) of the base_driver circuit needs to be less than

  • R_incremental = V / I = 0.05v / 1.5mA = 0.05 / 0.0015 = 5/0.15 = 35 ohms

And you need a design (safety) margin, to be provided under ALL conditions.

I'd plan on 10 ohms, or less.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you please draw two images with and without the base emitter capacitor of 1nF added mentioned the current flow path and the voltage at each nodes please \$\endgroup\$
    – user220456
    Oct 10, 2020 at 13:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.