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12/29/2014

OperationalAmplifierBasicsOpamptutorial

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OperationalAmplifierBasics
Aswellasresistorsandcapacitors,OperationalAmplifiers,orOpampsastheyaremorecommonly
called,areoneofthebasicbuildingblocksofAnalogueElectronicCircuits.Operationalamplifiersarelinear
devicesthathaveallthepropertiesrequiredfornearlyidealDCamplificationandarethereforeused
extensivelyinsignalconditioning,filteringortoperformmathematicaloperationssuchasadd,subtract,
integrationanddifferentiation.
AnOperationalAmplifierisbasicallyathreeterminaldevicewhichconsistsoftwohighimpedanceinputs,
onecalledtheInvertingInput,markedwithanegativeorminussign,()andtheotheronecalledthe
NoninvertingInput,markedwithapositiveorplussign(+).
ThethirdterminalrepresentstheOperationalAmplifiersoutputportwhichcanbothsinkandsourceeithera
voltageoracurrent.Inalinearoperationalamplifier,theoutputsignalistheamplificationfactor,knownas
theamplifiersgain(A)multipliedbythevalueoftheinputsignalanddependingonthenatureoftheseinput
andoutputsignals,therecanbefourdifferentclassificationsofoperationalamplifiergain.
VoltageVoltageinandVoltageout
CurrentCurrentinandCurrentout
TransconductanceVoltageinandCurrentout
TransresistanceCurrentinandVoltageout
Sincemostofthecircuitsdealingwithoperationalamplifiersarevoltageamplifiers,wewilllimitthetutorials
inthissectiontovoltageamplifiersonly,(VinandVout).
TheamplifiedoutputsignalofanOperationalAmplifieristhedifferencebetweenthetwosignalsbeing
appliedtothetwoinputs.Inotherwordstheoutputsignalisadifferentialsignalbetweenthetwoinputsand
theinputstageofanOperationalAmplifierisinfactadifferentialamplifierasshownbelow.

DifferentialAmplifier
ThecircuitbelowshowsageneralizedformofadifferentialamplifierwithtwoinputsmarkedV1andV2.The
twoidenticaltransistorsTR1andTR2arebothbiasedatthesameoperatingpointwiththeiremitters
connectedtogetherandreturnedtothecommonrail,VeebywayofresistorRe.
DifferentialAmplifier
Thecircuitoperatesfromadualsupply+VccandVeewhichensuresaconstantsupply.Thevoltagethat
appearsattheoutput,Voutoftheamplifieristhedifferencebetweenthetwoinputsignalsasthetwobase
inputsareinantiphasewitheachother.
Soastheforwardbiasoftransistor,TR1isincreased,theforwardbiasoftransistorTR2isreducedandvice
versa.Thenifthetwotransistorsareperfectlymatched,thecurrentflowingthroughthecommonemitter
resistor,Rewillremainconstant.
Liketheinputsignal,theoutputsignalisalsobalancedandsincethecollectorvoltageseitherswingin
oppositedirections(antiphase)orinthesamedirection(inphase)theoutputvoltagesignal,takenfrom
betweenthetwocollectorsis,assumingaperfectlybalancedcircuitthezerodifferencebetweenthetwo
collectorvoltages.
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OperationalAmplifierBasicsOpamptutorial

ThisisknownastheCommonModeofOperationwiththe
commonmodegainoftheamplifierbeingtheoutputgain
whentheinputiszero.
OperationalAmplifiersalsohaveoneoutput(although
thereareoneswithanadditionaldifferentialoutput)oflow
impedancethatisreferencedtoacommonground
terminalanditshouldignoreanycommonmodesignals
thatis,ifanidenticalsignalisappliedtoboththeinverting
andnoninvertinginputsthereshouldnochangetothe
output.
However,inrealamplifiersthereisalwayssomevariation
andtheratioofthechangetotheoutputvoltagewith
regardstothechangeinthecommonmodeinputvoltage
iscalledtheCommonModeRejectionRatioorCMRR.
OperationalAmplifiersontheirownhaveaveryhighopen
loopDCgainandbyapplyingsomeformofNegativeFeedbackwecanproduceanoperationalamplifier
circuitthathasaveryprecisegaincharacteristicthatisdependantonlyonthefeedbackused.
Anoperationalamplifieronlyrespondstothedifferencebetweenthevoltagesonitstwoinputterminals,
knowncommonlyastheDifferentialInputVoltageandnottotheircommonpotential.Thenifthesame
voltagepotentialisappliedtobothterminalstheresultantoutputwillbezero.AnOperationalAmplifiersgain
iscommonlyknownastheOpenLoopDifferentialGain,andisgiventhesymbol(Ao).

EquivalentCircuitofanIdealOperationalAmplifier

OpampParameterandIdealisedCharacteristic
OpenLoopGain,(Avo)
InfiniteThemainfunctionofanoperationalamplifieristoamplifytheinputsignalandthe
moreopenloopgainithasthebetter.Openloopgainisthegainoftheopampwithoutpositive
ornegativefeedbackandforsuchanamplifierthegainwillbeinfinitebuttypicalrealvalues
rangefromabout20,000to200,000.
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Inputimpedance,(Zin)
InfiniteInputimpedanceistheratioofinputvoltagetoinputcurrentandisassumedtobe
infinitetopreventanycurrentflowingfromthesourcesupplyintotheamplifiersinputcircuitry(
Iin=0).Realopampshaveinputleakagecurrentsfromafewpicoampstoafewmilliamps.

Outputimpedance,(Zout)
ZeroTheoutputimpedanceoftheidealoperationalamplifierisassumedtobezeroactingas
aperfectinternalvoltagesourcewithnointernalresistancesothatitcansupplyasmuch
currentasnecessarytotheload.Thisinternalresistanceiseffectivelyinserieswiththeload
therebyreducingtheoutputvoltageavailabletotheload.Realopampshaveoutput
impedancesinthe10020krange.

Bandwidth,(BW)
InfiniteAnidealoperationalamplifierhasaninfinitefrequencyresponseandcanamplifyany
frequencysignalfromDCtothehighestACfrequenciessoitisthereforeassumedtohavean
infinitebandwidth.Withrealopamps,thebandwidthislimitedbytheGainBandwidthproduct
(GB),whichisequaltothefrequencywheretheamplifiersgainbecomesunity.

OffsetVoltage,(Vio)
ZeroTheamplifiersoutputwillbezerowhenthevoltagedifferencebetweentheinverting
andthenoninvertinginputsiszero,thesameorwhenbothinputsaregrounded.Realop
ampshavesomeamountofoutputoffsetvoltage.

Fromtheseidealizedcharacteristicsabove,wecanseethattheinputresistanceisinfinite,sonocurrent
flowsintoeitherinputterminal(thecurrentrule)andthatthedifferentialinputoffsetvoltageiszero
(thevoltagerule).Itisimportanttorememberthesetwopropertiesastheywillhelpusunderstandthe
workingsoftheOperationalAmplifierwithregardstotheanalysisanddesignofopampcircuits.
However,realOperationalAmplifierssuchasthecommonlyavailableuA741,forexampledonothave
infinitegainorbandwidthbuthaveatypicalOpenLoopGainwhichisdefinedastheamplifiersoutput
amplificationwithoutanyexternalfeedbacksignalsconnectedtoitandforatypicaloperationalamplifieris
about100dBatDC(zeroHz).ThisoutputgaindecreaseslinearlywithfrequencydowntoUnityGainor1,
atabout1MHzandthisisshowninthefollowingopenloopgainresponsecurve.

OpenloopFrequencyResponseCurve

Fromthisfrequencyresponsecurvewecanseethattheproductofthegainagainstfrequencyisconstantat
anypointalongthecurve.Alsothattheunitygain(0dB)frequencyalsodeterminesthegainoftheamplifier
atanypointalongthecurve.ThisconstantisgenerallyknownastheGainBandwidthProductorGBP.
Therefore:

GBP=GainxBandwidthorAxBW.

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Forexample,fromthegraph
abovethegainoftheamplifierat
100kHzisgivenas20dBor10,
thenthegainbandwidthproductis
calculatedas:
GBP=AxBW=10x100,000Hz=
1,000,000.

Similarly,theoperationalamplifiers
gainat1kHz=60dBor1000,
thereforetheGBPisgivenas:
GBP=AxBW=1,000x1,000Hz
=1,000,000.Thesame!.

TheVoltageGain(AV)oftheoperationalamplifiercanbefoundusingthefollowingformula:

andinDecibelsor(dB)isgivenas:

AnOperationalAmplifiersBandwidth
Theoperationalamplifiersbandwidthisthefrequency
rangeoverwhichthevoltagegainoftheamplifieris
above70.7%or3dB(where0dBisthemaximum)ofitsmaximumoutputvalueasshownbelow.

Herewehaveusedthe40dBline
asanexample.The3dBor70.7%
ofVmaxdownpointfromthe
frequencyresponsecurveisgiven
as37dB.Takingalineacrossuntil
itintersectswiththemainGBP
curvegivesusafrequencypoint
justabovethe10kHzlineatabout
12to15kHz.Wecannow
calculatethismoreaccuratelyas
wealreadyknowtheGBPofthe
amplifier,inthisparticularcase
1MHz.

OperationalAmplifier
ExampleNo1.
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Usingtheformula20log(A),wecancalculatethebandwidthoftheamplifieras:
37=20logAtherefore,A=antilog(3720)=70.8
GBPA=Bandwidth,therefore,1,000,00070.8=14,124Hz,or14kHz
Thenthebandwidthoftheamplifieratagainof40dBisgivenas14kHzaspreviouslypredictedfromthe
graph.

OperationalAmplifierExampleNo2.
Ifthegainoftheoperationalamplifierwasreducedbyhalftosay20dBintheabovefrequencyresponse
curve,the3dBpointwouldnowbeat17dB.Thiswouldthengivetheoperationalamplifieranoverallgainof
7.08,thereforeA=7.08.
Ifweusethesameformulaasabove,thisnewgainwouldgiveusabandwidthofapproximately141.2kHz,
tentimesmorethanthefrequencygivenatthe40dBpoint.Itcanthereforebeseenthatbyreducingthe
overallopenloopgainofanoperationalamplifieritsbandwidthisincreasedandvisaversa.
Inotherwords,anoperationalamplifiersbandwidthisinverselyproportionaltoitsgain,(A1/BW).Also,
this3dBcornerfrequencypointisgenerallyknownasthehalfpowerpoint,astheoutputpowerofthe
amplifierisathalfitsmaximumvalueasshown:

OperationalAmplifiersSummary
WeknownowthatanOperationalamplifiersisaveryhighgainDCdifferentialamplifierthatusesoneor
moreexternalfeedbacknetworkstocontrolitsresponseandcharacteristics.Wecanconnectexternal
resistorsorcapacitorstotheopampinanumberofdifferentwaystoformbasicbuildingBlockcircuits
suchas,Inverting,NonInverting,VoltageFollower,Summing,Differential,IntegratorandDifferentiatortype
amplifiers.
OpampSymbol
AnidealorperfectOperationalAmplifierisadevicewithcertainspecial
characteristicssuchasinfiniteopenloopgainAo,infiniteinputresistanceRin,
zerooutputresistanceRout,infinitebandwidth0toandzerooffset(theoutput
isexactlyzerowhentheinputiszero).
ThereareaverylargenumberofoperationalamplifierICsavailabletosuiteverypossibleapplicationfrom
standardbipolar,precision,highspeed,lownoise,highvoltage,etc,ineitherstandardconfigurationorwith
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internalJunctionFETtransistors.
OperationalamplifiersareavailableinICpackagesofeithersingle,dualorquadopampswithinonesingle
device.Themostcommonlyavailableandusedofalloperationalamplifiersinbasicelectronickitsand
projectsistheindustrystandardA741.

InthenexttutorialaboutOperational
Amplifiers,wewillusenegative
feedbackconnectedaroundtheop
amptoproduceastandardclosed
loopamplifiercircuitcalledan
InvertingAmplifiercircuitthat
producesanoutputsignalwhichis
180ooutofphasewiththeinput.

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