UIUC Dept.


A differential amplifier amplifies the difference between two voltages, vd, to produce an output, vout. Ideally, only the amplified differential voltage appears at the output, but, if the same voltage is applied to both inputs, a non-ideal amplifier will produce a small output. A voltage signal that appears at both inputs of a differential amplifier is called a common-mode voltage, vc. If the two input voltages are denoted v1 and v2 then by definition:

We can rearrange these equations

Thus the common-mode voltage is any voltage that appears equally at both inputs and half of the differential voltage is at each input. In biomedical applications (and many others), it is the differential voltage that is of interest. The common-mode signal may be interference from other electronic devices or electrically excitable cells, and can be quite large. A differential amp provides gain to the voltages at the inputs to produce the output. ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

Ideally, the differential gain, Gd, is finite and the common-mode gain, Gc, is zero and neither is frequency dependent. With Gc = 0, none of the common-mode signal, vc, will appear at the output. An important parameter quantifying amplifier performance is the common-mode rejection ratio, CMRR, the ratio of differential gain to common-mode gain. In good differential amps, CMRR can be 90 dB or higher. Operational amplifiers are good general purpose amplifiers and can be used as differential amplifiers. But when a source to be amplified has a high source resistance a differential amplifier built from an op amp is not a good choice because of the low input resistance of the circuit. This 1

The instrumentation amplifier is a differential amplifier with high CMRR and input resistance. (v2-v1). the buffered inputs ensure very high input impedance. ( This circuit has many useful characteristics. ( ) ( ) ( ) The last op amp circuit is a differential amplifier and the output voltage is vout=(vb-va)(R2/R1). which ensures that very little current can enter the device even when the source has a resistance of 100 kΩ or more (like a biopotential electrode). the instrumentation amplifier. It must be (v2-v1)/RG. Therefore. the output voltage can be written as a function of the two inputs voltages. The input impedance of instrumentation amplifiers can be as high as several GΩ. is amplified.UIUC Dept. Because no current can enter the inputs of the buffer op amps. This equation can be combined with the equation above and. 2 )( ) .THREE OP-AMP INSTRUMENTATION AMPLIFIER Operational amplifiers have extremely high input impedance.    The gain can be set with one resistor. As mentioned previously. FIGURE 1 . Any common-mode signal will be eliminated because only the differential input. consider the current through RG. To analyze the rest of the circuit. two op amps are used as buffers at the inputs to the instrumentation amplifier. Therefore. of BIOE limitation can be overcome by combining three op amps into the circuit shown in Figure 1. an expression for (vb-va) can be found. RG. if R2=R1. this current must also flow through each R resistor.

The input circuitry is designed to protect both instrumentation and patients from high voltage shocks. of BIOE Integrated instrumentation amplifiers combine all three op amps and R. but it ensures that the resistors are precisely matched. FIGURE 2 . We can build a general biopotential amplifier with an instrumentation amplifier. The gain of the instrumentation amplifier is set by connecting RG (of the appropriate value) between two pins of the chip. In next week’s lab you will build an electrocardiograph by adding additional circuitry for amplification and filtering so be sure to keep your circuit in your lab locker. The same holds true for the resistors labeled R1 and R2.BIOPOTENTIAL AMPLIFIER To ensure that our amplifier’s common-mode gain remains small. the common-mode gain will not be zero and lower common-mode rejection results. many of the same characteristics that are used to describe operational amplifiers are also used to describe instrumentation amplifiers. Even though Figure 1 shows the instrumentation amplifier as a circuit of three operational amplifiers.UIUC Dept. 3 . The instrumentation amplifier is now shown as a single amplifier (the gain resistor is not shown). Not only does this save time and money. R2. The resistors have a tolerance of 1% (instead of 5%) and the capacitors are 5% (instead of 10-20%). instrumentation amplifiers are used in many different kinds of instruments. As the name states. the resistors and capacitors should have a tighter tolerance than we have used in our other circuits. The diodes ensure that the inputs to the amplifier cannot become greater than the turn-on voltage of the diodes. For example. and R1 resistors into a single chip. especially medical devices. If the two resistors labeled R are not precisely the same value. The capacitors offer a low impedance path to ground for voltage spikes while the resistors will dissipate the energy from the shocks as heat. Such a circuit is shown in Figure 2 . instrumentation amplifiers have large input impedance and finite bandwidth.

b. ground).UIUC Dept. 2) Read the specification sheet of the AD622 instrumentation amplifier (linked from the course website) and find the manufacturer's specs for each of the following. PRE-LAB QUESTIONS 1) Read the lab procedure.g. This differential signal’s amplitude is 10 mV at 100 Hz. R2. Draw all connections needed to use the AD622 to achieve a gain of 100. What is the common-mode rejection (CMR=1/GC) at the interference frequency? c. Suppose the AD622 will be used to amplify a signal of interest 100 times. d. an interference signal is also present at the inputs to the AD622. After amplification by the AD622. Does the AD622 have the bandwidth to achieve this differential gain at 100 Hz? b. a. e. DC power supply. All terminals of the AD622 should be connected to something (e. and C3 (Figure 2)? This affects only the differential voltage. This common-mode signal has amplitude of 50 mV and a frequency of 1 kHz. What is the common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR) (in V/V and dB) in this case? 5) What is the corner frequency of the low-pass filter formed by R1 and C1 (Figure 2)? This affects only the common-mode voltage. 6) What is the corner frequency of the low-pass filter formed by R1.. voltage gain maximum output voltage input bias current input impedance and input impedance at 100 Hz -3 dB bandwidth slew rate common-mode rejection (the inverse of common-mode gain) 3) Consider the ``Connection Diagram'' on page one of the spec sheet.) 4) Refer to the spec sheet's ``Typical Characteristics'' graphs to answer these questions. of BIOE In this week’s lab. g. (The REF terminal is discussed on page nine of the spec sheet. Unfortunately. a. you will use the instrumentation amplifier to amplify a signal from the function generator and will test various characteristics of the instrumentation amplifier and biopotential amplifier. 4 . c. f. what are the amplitudes of the two signals? d.

Power the amplifier with ±9V.0 V rather than 0 V? BIOPOTENTIAL AMPLIFIER 8) Build the circuit shown in Figure 2. 2) Apply a 100 Hz sinusoidal differential input signal to your amplifier. 7) Apply a sinusoidal differential input signal again. If the output of the amplifier is clipped even when the function generator’s output is minimized. What is the steepest slope (slew rate) that the AD622 can achieve? Save a waveform showing this. Save the clipped waveform. You will know the output is clipped if does not appear to be sinusoidal. clipping will occur around 8 V. 3) Increase the input voltage until clipping occurs at the output. The -3 dB frequency is the frequency at which Vout = 0. Does the presence of the input protection circuitry affect the amplification? Is the input signal much different from the signal at the inputs to the instrumentation amplifier? 5 . Can you adjust the REF voltage so that the output signal is centered on 3. What is the gain of the amplifier? Show graphs of the input and output voltage in your report. 9) Apply the same input voltage as you did in Step 2 above. 6) Apply the same sinusoidal voltage to both inputs.707 * Gd * Vin? 5) Change the input signal to a square wave to measure the slew rate.UIUC Dept. Rather than grounding the REF pin on the AD622 apply a voltage from the 6V output on the DC power supply. of BIOE LAB PROCEDURE INSTRUMENTATION AMPLIFIER 1) Build a circuit to provide a differential gain of 100 using the AD622 instrumentation amplifier. Increase the frequency to find the bandwidth limit of the instrumentation amplifier at this gain. What are the maximum and minimum output voltages? 4) Reduce the input voltage level. you will need to build a voltage divider circuit to further reduce the signal. but is flat on the top and bottom of the waveform. What is the common-mode gain? You will probably need to increase the amplitude of the common-mode input voltage in order to see any signal at the output. With power supply voltage of 9 V.

What gain resistor will you use? d. What should REF be set to? e.e. What is the CMRR of your amplifier? 6 . CLEAN UP Be sure to save your circuit so that you can build onto it next week. The signal of interest is 0. what are possible reasons why? 3) What input protection circuitry is built in to the AD622? (See the manufacturer's spec sheet. Create a plot of the signals at the input to the instrumentation amplifier and at the output when this happens. What is the maximum output voltage? c. Your boss suggests using the Analog Devices AD8223 instrumentation amplifier because it can operate from a single power supply and draws very little current.UIUC Dept. 2) Create a table comparing your measured values to spec sheet values. If there are any discrepancies. How is the gain selected? What is the available range of gains? b.05 sin(2π100t) V. no negative supply is available). The output of the amplifier will be the input to an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that can only accept voltages of 0-5 V.. What is the output voltage of the amplifier given your answers to the previous question? f. of BIOE 10) Increase the input signal amplitude until the input diodes turn on for at least part of the cycle.) 4) What does the REF pin on the AD622 do? Why do you think that the manufacturer includes it? 5) You have been chosen to design an instrumentation amplifier circuit to be used in a portable device and the only supply voltage available is +5V (i. Find the AD8223 spec sheet online and answer the following questions. POST-LAB QUESTIONS 1) Answer any questions that appear in the lab procedure. a.

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