Learning Electronics - MOSFETs

Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors are just like ordinary transistors, but require only a tiny voltage at the gate to turn the flow of current on. Once the gate of the MOSFET is opened, no further voltage is required to keep the current flowing, as opposed to a traditional BJT which requires a constant current to its base.

MOSFETs and transistors in various packages.

MOSFETs are useful as electronic switches, a small voltage to the gate such as from a microcontroller, can be used to switch on a much larger voltage and current. Due to their CMOS-based technology, MOSFETs are also very good at switching on and off at very high speeds and using much less energy than BJTs.

Packages

Transistors and MOSFETs come in a variety of surface mount and through-hole packages such as TO-98, TO-220 and TO-247, the larger size packages are designed to be mounted onto a heatsink to dissipate the heat generated from the component.

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Further reading

Some links about MOSFETs would be good.