Kerry Wong writes:
Transistors operating in their avalanche regions are often used to generate fast rise pulses (see avalanche pulse generator using 2N3904). Many transistors can also avalanche when the connections to collector and emitter are reversed. When operating in reverse avalanche region, these transistors are sometimes referred to as negistors.
Because the asymmetry and doping differences between the base-emitter and base-collector junctions, the avalanche voltages for reversely connected BTJs are usually magnitudes lower than their normal avalanche voltages. Here, I decided to test a few different transistors and see at what voltages the reverse avalanche occur.
The circuit I used is a simple LED flasher, similar to what was described here. As with any circuit that exhibits negative differential resistance, the principle of operation is quite simple. The capacitor is charged via a current limiting resistor…