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I've read a topic on Transistors about "Using a Transistor as a switch" and then it says "To use a Transistor as a switch you have to work the Transistor on either Cut-Off mode or in Saturation mode". And then it says that "A Transistor behaves as an open switch in cut-off mode and as a closed switch in saturation mode".

So I wanted to ask as to why a Transistor behaves as an open switch in cut-off mode though it is not open and as a closed switch in saturated mode though it has some resistance? (In CE configuration)

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Consider these four circuits:

schematic

simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

How much current is flowing through BAT1 and SW1? The circuit is open so no current can flow. \$0A\$.

How much current is flowing through BAT2 and R1? By Ohm's law: \$9V/100000000\Omega = 0.00000009A\$. That's so close to 0A it like an open switch.

How much current is flowing through BAT3 and SW2? There's no resistance to limit the current, so it is unlimited. \$\infty A\$ (through in practice this can't happen, we are talking about ideals)

How much current is flowing through BAT4 and R2? Again by Ohm's law: \$9V / 0.001 = 9000A\$. That's so much current it's like infinite current, like a closed switch.

An ideal open switch is equivalent to an infinitely large resistor, \$\infty \Omega\$. An ideal closed switch is equivalent to a resistor with no resistance, \$0\Omega\$.

So while a BJT in saturation has some resistance, the resistance is small enough that we can usually consider it to be like a closed switch. Also, though you don't mention it, a BJT in cutoff has some small leakage current, that is, its resistance is very large, but not infinite. Still, we can usually consider it to be like an open switch.

You have to work the transistor in saturation or cutoff mode because if you don't, you get a transistor that's somewhere in between, like a resistor, but not a switch. Instead of almost \$0\Omega\$ or almost \$\infty\Omega\$ you get a number in between. There are many applications of transistors like this (amplifiers), but an amplifier is not like a switch.

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