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drift transistor[′drift tran‚zis·tər]
a transistor in which the motion of the charge carriers is caused mainly by a drift field. The field is produced by the uneven distribution of impurities in the base region of the device. It speeds up the motion of the minority charge carriers to the collector, increasing the gain and maximum operational frequency. The diffusion method has several modifications, whose names are also used to distinguish the types of drift transistors: alloy-diffused, conversion, planar, planar-epitaxial, and mesa.
Drift transistors are generally made from single crystals of germanium and silicon. They are used to amplify and generate oscillations with frequencies ranging from hundreds of kilohertz up to several gigahertz, as well as to switch signals in electronic devices.