18 May Hence, the development of Gate Turn off Thyristor (GTO) addresses the major problem of the thyristor by ensuring the turn OFF mechanism. Production of GTOs commenced in the mid s. A GTO is a thyristor that can be turned off by applying a current to the gate in the reverse direction to that. The conventional thyristor can only be turned off by effectively reducing the anode current to zero, but the gate turn off thyristor.

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The turn-on snubber circuit, in essence an inductor, limits the rate of current rise. Rather than the gate being used to turn the thyristor on, within a gate turn-off thyristor, GTO, the gate pulse turns the device off.

Gate Turn Off Thyristors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Although they are not nearly as well known as the more standard forms of thyristor, the gate turn off thyristor, is now widely used as it is able to overcome many of the disadvantages of the traditional thyristor. The device turn off is achieved by applying a negative bias to the gate with respect to the cathode.

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The resulting voltage drop in the base starts to reverse bias the junction and thereby stopping the current flow in this transistor – TR2. ABB’s website uses cookies. Gate Turn Off Thyristor. Thyrristor the gate-cathode behaves like PN junction, there is a relatively small voltage between the terminals. The key capability of the gate turn-off thyristor is its ability to be turned off by the use of the gate electrode on the device.


All GTOs require protective networks called “snubbers” for turn-on and turn-off. This has the drawback that it renders the junction nearest to the cathode normally referred to as J3 with a low breakdown voltage – typically 40 volts. The minimum on and off time is handled in DC motor chopper circuits by using a variable switching frequency at the lowest and highest duty cycle.

It may be noted however, that the turn off time of a GTO is approximately ten times faster than that of a comparable SCR. This pulls the collector thgristor this transistor down towards the emitter voltage and in turn this turns on the other transistor – TR1.

Are you looking for support or purchase information? GTO thyristors are available with or without reverse blocking capability.

Gate turn-off thyristors (GTO) | ABB

When this is done, it turns on TR2 in the diagram. Gate turn-off thyristor structure.

Equivalent circuit of a gate turn off thyristor. The first thyristors were developed in the mids and established their place in the market as a high current high voltage switch.

Thyristors are switched ON by a gate signalbut even after the gate signal is de-asserted removedthe thyristor remains in the ON-state until a turn-off condition occurs which can be the application of a reverse voltage to the terminals, or a decrease of the forward current below a certain threshold value known as the “holding current”. When we do, we usually picture men in white shirts and dark glasses hunched over calculators and slide rules.


High current devices, i. Unlike the insulated gate bipolar transistor IGBTthe GTO thyristor requires external devices ” snubber circuits” to shape the turn on and turn off currents to prevent device destruction.

In this non-conducting state the gate turn-off thyristor is said to be in its forward blocking mode. Contact information What would you like to do?

Gate turn-off thyristors (GTO)

Send me more information. The fact that TR1 is now switched on ensures current flows into the base of TR2, and thus this feedback process ensures that once the gate turn-off thyristor like any other thyristor is turned on it remains on.

It was invented at General Electric. A GTO is a thyristor that can be turned off by applying a current to the gate in the reverse direction to that required to turn it on. When the current filaments are extinguished, the overall current flow stops and the depletion layers around the junctions grow – the gate turn-off thyristor enters its forward blocking state again.

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