# UIUC Dept.

of BIOE

BIOE 415 LAB 4 INSTRUMENTATION AMPLIFIERS
INTRODUCTION
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.

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.