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OPAMP EXPERIMENTS
INTEGRATED CIRCUITS AND OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIERS
An integrated circuit is defined as a combination of interconnected circuit
elements inseparably associated on or within a continuous semiconductor (often
called a chip).
A number of important electronic devices, such as diodes and transistors, are
separate devices that are indi vidually packaged and interconnected in a circuit
with other devices to form a complete, functional unit. Such devices are referred
to as discrete components. In an IC, however, many transistors, diodes,
resistors and capacitors are fabricated on a single tiny chip of semiconductor
material and packaged in a single case to form a functional circuit. An IC is thus
treated as a single device.
Operational amplifiers (Opamps) are integrated electronic devices. In our
laboratory course, we will be concerned wi th what the circuit does more from an
external viewpoint than from an internal, componentlevel viewpoint.
The operational amplifier is an electronic circuit element designed to be
used with other circuit elements to perform a specified signal processing
operation. It is basically a “solidstate device” wi th several circuits within a single
package capable of sensing and amplifying dc and ac input signals. (“Solid state”
gets its name from path that electrical signals take through solid pieces of
semiconductor material. Prior to the use of solid state devices, electricity passed
through various elements inside of a heated vacuum tube.)
Early opamps were constructed with vacuum tubes and worked with high
voltages. Today’s opamps are linear integrated circuits that use relati vely low dc
supply voltage and are reliable and inexpensi ve.
1. OPAMP BASICS
SYMBOL AND TERMINALS
The schematic diagram for a standard opamp is represented as a triangle as
shown in Figure 1.1.
The inverting input is represented by a minus sign. The voltage at this input will
cause the output voltage to be inverted by180°. The noninverting input is
represented by a plus sign. The voltage at this input wi ll cause the voltage at the
output to be in phase. The output terminal is at the apex of the triangle. Power
supply leads are shown above and below the triangle. The dual (±) power supply
connections enable the output to swing both positi ve and negati ve. These dc
voltages must always be connected even though they may not be indicated on a
schematic diagram. Other leads coming out of the opamp may be used for
frequency compensation or nulling components. These leads are also left off the
schematic symbol for simplicity. Thus the simplified standard opamp symbol is:
CIRCUIT FUNCTION OF THE OPAMP
The circuit function of the opamp is that it senses the difference between voltage
signals applied at its two input terminals (v
nonin
 v
in
), multiply this by a number A
(or A
v
, called the differential gain or voltage gain) and cause the resulting voltage
A(v
nonin
– v
in
) to appear at the output terminal.
THE IDEAL AND PRACTICAL OPAMP
To illustrate what an opamp is, we consider its ideal characteristics. A practical
opamp, of course, falls short of these ideal standards, but it is much easier to
understand and analyze the device from an ideal point of view.
Characteristics of an ideal opamp are:
 Infinite voltage gain and infinite bandwidth
 Infinite input impedance (open) so that it does not load the driving source
 Zero output impedance
These characteristics are illustrated in Figure 1.3.
Although modern IC opamps approach parameter values that can be treated as
ideal in many cases, the ideal device can never be made. Any device has
limi tations, and the IC opamp is no exception. Opamps have both voltage and
current limitations. Peak to peak output voltage, for example, is also limi ted by
internal restrictions such as power dissipation and component ratings.
Characteristics of a practical opamp are:
 Very high input impedance, which produces negligible current at the inputs
 Very high voltage gain, which is useful for amplifying very small signals
 Very low output impedance, so that it is affected very little by other circuit
loads
These characteristics are illustrated in Figure 1.4.
INTERNAL BOLCK DIAGRAM OF AN OPAMP
A typical opamp is made up of three types of amplifier circuits as shown in block
diagram (Figure 1.5).
THE 741 OP AMP
The 741 operational amplifier is one of the commonly used integratedcircuit
opamps. It has eight pin connections as shown in Figure 1.6.
The lead identification shown in the Figure 1.6 is usually selfexplanatory. The
positi ve supply voltage is connected to the +V terminal, and the negati ve supply
voltage is connected to the –V terminal. Input and output terminals are clearly
indicated. The balance terminals (someti mes designated “Offset Null”) are
connected to a potentiometer for null adjusting. Terminals marked “NC” (no
connection) are included for physical ruggedness of the package.
OPAMP INPUT SIGNAL MODES
Singleended input
When an opamp is operated in the singleended mode, one input is grounded
and the signal voltage is applied only to the other input, as shown in Figure 1.7.
In the case where the signal voltage is applied to the inverting input as in Figure
1.7a, an inverted, amplified signal voltage appears at the output. In the case
where the signal is applied to the noninverting input with the inverting input
grounded, as in Figure 1.7b, a noninverted, amplified signal vol tage appears at
the output.
Differential input
In the differential mode, two oppositepolarity (outofphase) signals are applied
to the inputs, as shown in Figure 1.8. This type of operation is also referred to as
doubleended. The amplified difference between the two inputs appears on the
output.
Commonmode input
In the commonmode, two signal voltages of the same phase, frequency and
amplitude are applied to the two inputs, as shown In Figure 1.9. When equal
input signals are applied to both inputs, they cancel, resulting in a zero output
voltage.
This action is called commonmode rejection. Its importance lies in the situation
where an unwanted signal appears commonly on both opamps inputs.
Commonmode rejection means that this unwanted signal will not appear on the
output and distort the desired signal. Commonmode signals (noise) generally
are the result of the pickup of radiated energy on the input lines, from adjacent
lines, the 60 Hz power line, or other sources.
INPUT/OUTPUT VOLTAGE POLARITY
An important function to remember about an opamp is the relationship of input
voltage polarity to output voltage polarity. Figure 1.10 illustrates this relationship,
where the noninverting input is at 0V or ground. If the inverting input is more
positi ve than the noninverting input, the output will be at negati ve voltage
potential. Similarly, if the inverting input is more negati ve than noninverting input,
the output voltage wi ll be at a posi ti ve potential. This relationship remains even if
both input voltages are positi ve or negati ve.
OPAMP GAIN
Ideally, the gain of an opamp should be infinite, however, practically, the gain
may exceed 200,000 in the openloop mode. In the openloop mode, there is no
feedback from the output to the input and voltage gain (A
v
) is maximum, as
shown in Figure 1.11a.
The openloop voltage gain, A
OL
, of an opamp is the internal voltage gain of the
device and represents the ratio of output voltage to input voltage when there are
no external components. The openloop voltage gain, also referred to as large
signal voltage gain, is not a wellcontrolled parameter. In a practical circuit, the
slight voltage difference at the inputs wi ll cause the output voltage to attempt to
swing to the maxi mum powersupply level. The maxi mum voltage at the output
will be about 90% of the supply voltage because of the internal voltage drops of
the opamp. The output is said to be at saturation and can be represented (for
either polarity) by +V
sat
and –V
sat
. As an example, an opamp circuit in the open
loop mode using a ±15V supply would have its output swing from +13.5 to 13.5.
With this type of circuit the opamp is very unstable and the output will be 0V for
a 0V difference between the inputs, or the output voltage wi ll be at ei ther
extreme, wi th a slight voltage difference at the inputs. The openloop mode is
found primarily in voltage comparators and leveldetector circuits.
The versatility of the opamp is demonstrated by the fact that it can be used in so
many types of circuits in the closedloop mode, as shown in Figure 1.11b.
External components are used to feedback a portion of the output voltage to the
inverting input. This feedback stabilizes most circuits and can reduce the noise
level. The voltage gain (A
v
) will be less than maxi mum gain in openloop mode.
Closedloop gain must be controlled to be of any value in a practical. By adding
resistor R
in
to the inverting input as shown in Figure 1.11c, the gain of the
opamp can be controlled. The resistance ratio of R
f
to R
in
determines the voltage
gain of the circuit and can be found by the formula
f
v
in
R
A
R
= ÷
The minus sign indicates that the opamp circuit is in the inverting configuration.
If both R
in
and R
f
are the same value, the A
v
equals 1, or unity gain as shown in
Figure 1.11d. In this noninverting configuration, the voltage out equals the
voltage in and A
v
equals +1.
OPAMP FREQUENCY RESPONSE
The gain of an opamp decreases with an increase in frequency. The gain gi ven
by manufactures is generally at zero hertz or dc. At very low frequencies, the
openloop gain of an opamp is constant, but starts to taper off at about 6Hz or
so at a rate of 6 dB/octave or 20db/decade (an octave is a doubling in
frequency, and a decade is tenfold increase in frequency). This decrease
continues unti l the gain is uni ty, or 0dB. The frequency at which the gain is unity
is called the unity gain frequency. The unity gain point occurs at 1MHz. The unity
gain frequency establishes the reference point at which many opamps are
specified by manufacturers.
Figure 1.12 shows a voltagegain versus frequencyresponse curve. In the open
loop mode, the gain falls off very rapidly as frequency increases. When the
frequency increases tenfold, the gain decreases by 10. The breakover point
occurs at 70.7% of the maxi mum gain. The frequency bandwidth is normally
considered at the point where the gain falls to the breakover point. Therefore, the
openloop bandwidth is about 10 Hz for this example. Opamps usually require
degenerati ve feedback in amplifier circuits, and this feedback increases
bandwidth of the circuit. For a closedloop gain of 100, the bandwidth has
increased to about 10 kHz. Lowering the gain to 10 increases the bandwidth to
about 100 kHz.
The gainbandwidth product is equal to the unitygain frequency. It not only tells
us the upper useful frequency of a circuit, but allows us to determine the
bandwidth for a given gain. For example (referring to Figure 1.12, which shows a
frequencyresponse curve for a frequencycompensated opamp, such as the
741), if you multiply the gain and bandwidth of a specific circuit, the product will
equal the unitygain frequency:
gain bandwidth product = gain bandwidth= unity  gain frequency ×
GBP = 100 10 kHz = 1000000 Hz (1MHz) ×
or
GBP = 10 100 kHz = 1000000 Hz (1MHz) ×
Therefore, if we wanted to know the upper frequency limit or bandwidth of a
circuit with gain of 100, we would di vide the unitygain frequency by gain:
unity gain frequency
bandwidth =
gain
1000000
BW = = 10kHz
100
OFFSET NULLING
Ideally the output voltage of an opamp should be zero when the voltages at both
inputs are the same or zero. If the two input terminals of the opamp are tied
together and connected to ground, it wi ll be found that a finite dc voltage exists at
the output (Figure 1.13a). This is the output dc offset voltage (V
OO
). In a critical
circuit, this offset can cause error voltages at output. If we divide the output dc
offset voltage by the gain A
OL
, we obtain the input offset voltage V
IO
. The latter
may be represented by a voltage source connected in series wi th one of the input
leads of an ideal opamp, which would cause the output dc voltage to be reduced
to zero as shown in Figure 1.13b.
Most integrated circuit opamps provide a means of compensating for offset
voltage. An external potentiometer is connected to one of the inputs and then it is
adjusted to bring back the output voltage to zero when the voltage difference at
the inputs is zero. This method is called “offset nulling” or “input offset voltage
compensation”. Many opamps have offset nulling pins, as shown in Figure 1.14.
The ends of the potentiometer are connected to these pins wi th the viper
attached to the –V supply. Often null circuits are used wi th an opamp but are not
shown on the schematic diagram.
2. OPAMP PARAMETERS
The following parameters are useful to know when working with opamps.
INPUT PARAMETERS:
Differential input voltage
The difference of voltage between the two inputs is called differential input
voltage.
Input offset voltage (V
IO
)
The ideal opamp produces zero volts out for zero volts in. In a practical opamp,
however, a small dc voltage, V
out
(error), appears at the output when no
differential input voltage is applied. The input offset voltage, V
IO
, is the differential
dc voltage required between the inputs to set the output to zero volts. Typical
values of input offset voltage are in the range of 2mV or less. In the ideal case, it
is 0 volts.
Input bias current (I
B
)
In order for the (real) opamp to operate, its two input terminals have to be
applied by finite dc currents, termed the input bias currents. By definition, the
input bias current, I
B
, is the average of both input currents. Ideally, the two input
bias currents are equal.
Input offset current (I
IO
)
Ideally, the two input bias currents are equal, and thus their difference is zero. In
a practical opamp, however, the bias currents are not exactly equal. The input
offset current, I
IO
, is the difference of the input bias currents (expressed as an
absolute value).
Commonmode input voltage range
All opamps have li mitations on the range of voltages over which they will
operate. The commonmode input voltage range is the range of input voltages
which, when applied to both inputs, will not cause clipping or other output
distortion. Many opamps have commonmode input voltage ranges of ±10V with
dc supply voltages of ±15V.
Input resistance (Z
I
)
This is the resistance “looking in” at either input with the remaining input
grounded.
OUTPUT PARAMETERS:
Output offset voltage (V
OO
)
Output offset voltage, V
OO
, is a slight unwanted voltage at the output when the
voltage between inputs is zero. Ideally, V
OO
should be zero.
Output shortcircuit current (I
OSC
)
The maximum output current that the opamp can deli ver to a load is called
output shortcircuit current, I
OSC
.
Output voltage maximum swing (±V
Omax
)
Depending on the load resistance, output voltage maxi mum swing, ±V
Omax
, is the
maxi mum peak output voltage that the opamp can supply without saturation or
clipping.
Output resistance (Z
O
)
This is the resistance “looking into” the opamp’ s output.
DYNAMIC PARAMETERS:
Openloop voltage gain (A
OL
)
Ratio of the output voltage to the differential input voltage in a differential
amplifier without the external feedback is called openloop voltage gain, A
OL
, or
differential gain.
Slew rate (SR)
The maximum rate of change of the opamp’s output voltage under large signal
conditions is called slew rate, SR.
out
ΔV
SR=
Δt
where
out max max
ΔV =+V  (V )
Δt is the ti me interval required for the output voltage to go from its lower li mit to
its upper li mit.
The unit of slew rate is volts per microsecond (V/µs).
Slew rate tells how fast the opamp can react to changes at input. It reflects the
opamp’s ability of handling varying signals. If one tries to drive the output at a
rate of voltage change greater than the slew rate, the output would not be able to
change fast enough and would not vary over the full range expected resulting in
signal clipping or distortion. In any case, the output would not be an amplified
duplicate of the input signal if opamp slew rate is exceeded.
Consider the unity gain follower circuit in Figure 2.1 and let the input voltage V
±
be the step voltage of height V (shown in Figure 2.2a). When the opamp is slew
rate li mited (or slewing) it is not capable of responding to its input signal without
distortion and the output appears as shown in Figure 2.2b.
If sinusoidal waveform is applied at the inputs of the unity gain follower, the op
amp slew rate li miting causes nonlinear distortion as shown in Figure 2.3.
OTHER PARAMETERS AND DEFINITIONS:
Supply current
This is the current the opamp will draw from the power supply.
Commonmode voltage (V
CM
)
Commonmode voltage is an unwanted, but unavoidable voltage on both inputs,
such as 60cycle hum.
Commonmode gain (A
CM
)
Ideally, an opamp provides zero gain for commonmode signals but practical op
amps do exhibi t a very small commonmode gain, (A
CM
), which is defined as the
ratio of the commonmode output voltage to the commonmode input voltage.
Commonmode rejection ratio (CMRR)
Commonmode rejection ratio, (CMRR), is a measure of the abili ty of the opamp
to reject signals that are simultaneously present at both inputs. It is the ratio of
the openloop voltage gain, A
OL
, to the commonmode gain, A
CM
.
OL
CM
A
CMRR=
A
The higher the CMRR, the better. A high value of CMRR means that the open
loop gain, A
OL
, is high and the common mode gain A
CM
, is low and the
performance of the opamp in terms of rejection of common mode signals is
better.
Power supply voltage rejection ratio (PSRR)
The ratio of the change in the power supply voltage to the resulting change in
input offset voltage is called power supply voltage rejection ratio, (PSRR).
Variation in power supply voltage wi ll also affect the input offset voltage.
Power supply decoupling
Capacitors in the range 0.1 to 1.0 µF connected from the power supply voltages
to ground to bypass voltage variations to ground provide the power supply
decoupling.
Input protection
Diodes, zener diodes, and/or resistors are used at the inputs to protect the op
amp from excessi vely large input voltages.
Latchup
Latchup is a condition where a large input signal causes the output to remain in
+V
sat
or –V
sat
. Diodes and resistors used in the output circuit can prevent this.
Output protection
A lowvalue resistor connected in series wi th the output of an opamp to li mit
current during a shortcircuit condition provides output protection. Some opamps
have the protection built in.
3. PRACTICAL OPAMP CIRCUITS
(DESIGN USING OPAMP)
One of the early applications of operational amplifiers was to build circuits that
performed mathematical operations. Indeed, the operational amplifier takes its
name from this important application. Many of the opamp circuits that perform
mathematical operations are used so often that they have been gi ven names
(e.g. summing amplifier, difference amplifier, integrator, differentiator etc).
Opamp can be connected in a large number of circuits to provide various
operating characteristics. Some of the basic applications are discussed below:
 “Openloop mode” circuits
 “Basic linear amplifier” circuits
 “Integrator”, “Differentiator” and “Square wave generator” circuits
OPENLOOP MODE CIRCUITS:
Comparator is a circuit that compares two input voltages and produces an
output in either of two states indicating the greater than or less than relationship
of the inputs. In this application, the opamp is used in the openloop
configuration, with the input voltage on one input and a reference voltage on the
other.
The polarity of the voltage at the output of an opamp depends on the
relationship of the polarity between the voltages at the inputs. The inverting ( )
input is referenced to the noninverting (+) input. When the inverting () input is
more posi ti ve than the noninverting (+) input, the output will be negati ve and
when the inverting () input is more negati ve than the noninverting (+) input, the
output will be positi ve. Without a feedback path, the output wi ll either be at +V
sat
or –V
sat
. Figure 3.1 shows a comparator.
A comparator circuit can be used for:
Zerolevel detection
Nonzerolevel detection
Zerolevel detector
Figure 3.2a shows a zerolevel detector.
The inverting () input is grounded to produce a zero level and the input signal
voltage is applied to the noninverting (+) input. Because of the high openloop
voltage gain, a very small voltage difference between the two inputs dri ves the
amplifier into saturation, causing the output voltage to go to its li mits.
Figure 3.2b shows the result of a sinusoidal input voltage applied to the
noninverting (+) input of the zerolevel detector. When the sine wave is positi ve,
the output is at its maxi mum positi ve level. When the sine wave crosses zero, the
amplifier is driven to its opposite state and the output goes to its maxi mum
negati ve level. Thus the zerolevel detector can be used as a squaring circuit to
produce a square wave from a sine wave.
Nonzero level detector
An opamp comparator can be used to detect a positi ve voltage level as shown in
Figure 3.3a. It is inverting input sensor. The reference voltage at the noninverting
input is found by the formula
( )
3
ref
2 3
R
V = +V
R R +
When the voltage at the inverting input is below V
ref
, the output is at +V
sat
. When
the voltage at the inverting input increases above V
ref
, the output swings to –V
sat
.
When V
ref
is at the inverting input as shown in Figure 3.3b, it becomes a
noninverting input sensor. The output will swing to +V
sat
the instant the voltage at
the noninverting input is greater than V
ref
.
If point A is moved to –V power supply the circuits will detect a negati ve voltage.
Figure 3.4a shows the arrangement with a sinusoidal input voltage applied to
noninverting input of the nonzerolevel detector.
The resulting output is shown in Figure 3.4b.
BASIC LINEAR AMPLIFIER CIRCUITS:
Linear applications are those in which the output signal is directly proportional to
the input signal.
Negative feedback is one of the most useful concepts in electronics, particularly
in opamp linear applications. Negati ve feedback is the process whereby a
portion of the output voltage of an amplifier is returned to the input with a phase
angle that opposes (or subtracts from) the input signal.
The usefulness of an opamp in an openloop mode (i.e. without negati ve
feedback) is severely restricted and is generally limited to comparator and other
nonlinear applications. As the inherent openloop voltage gain of a typical op
amp is very high therefore, an extremely small input voltage drives the opamp
into its saturated output states and the opamp becomes nonlinear. With negati ve
feedback, the closedloop voltage gain can be reduced and controlled so that the
opamp can function as a linear amplifier. Negati ve feedback is illustrated in
Figure 3.5.
The inverting input effecti vely makes the feedback signal 180° out of phase with
the input signal. The “negati ve feedback network” closes the loop around the op
amp. The gain of opamp in such configurations is called the closed loop gain.
Inverting Amplifier
An opamp connected as an inverting amplifier with a controlled amount of
voltage gain is shown in Figure 3.6.
The input signal is applied through a series input resistor R
in
to the inverting
input. Also the output is fed back through R
f
to the same input. The noninverting
input is grounded.
The gain of the circuit is calculated by the formula A
v
= R
f
/R
in
(the minus sign
indicates only that the polarity of the output voltage is opposite to the polarity of
the input voltage) or can be found by A
v
= V
out
/V
in
.
The junction of R
f
and R
in
at the inverting input is about the same voltage as the
noninverting input and is referred to as virtual ground.
To reduce the offset bias currents, the noninverting input is not directly grounded
but a resistor R
n
is used. R
n
is equal to the value of R
in
and R
f
in parallel
(R
n
=R
in
R
f
/R
in
+R
f
).
When inverting amplifier is used for ac signals, capacitors are used at the input
and output terminals, to block any dc voltage from the circuit which might cause
distortion. The frequency response of an opamp circuit depends on its gain. The
lower the gain, the wider the frequency response.
Noninverting Amplifier
An opamp connected as a noninverting amplifier with a controlled amount of
voltage gain is shown in Figure 3.7.
The input signal is applied to the noninverting input. The output is applied back to
the inverting input through the feedback circuit (closed loop) formed by the input
resistor R
in
and the feedback resistor R
f
.
The gain of the circuit is calculated by the formula A
v
= R
f
/R
in
+1 or
A
v
= V
out
/V
in
.
When the noninverting amplifier is used for ac signals, capacitors are used at the
input and output terminals, to block any dc voltage form the circuit that might
cause distortion. Even though the input voltage changes, an ampli fier’s gain
remains the same. A noninverting amplifier is used for high input impedance,
where R
in
cannot be made larger, because of affecting the gain of the circuit and
creating more noise.
Voltage followers (or Source followers)
Voltage followers are special cases of the noninverting and inverting amplifiers. A
noninverting amplifier with R
f
=0 and R
in
=∞, becomes a noninverting voltage
follower as shown in Figure 3.8a. It has a gain of 1 because of the zero
resistance feedback loop. It is referred to as voltage follower since the output
“follows” the input and is in phase with the it. Because of gain of 1, this circuit is
also named as the uni ty gain amplifier. The impedance to this circuit can be
made very high.
An inverting amplifier with R
f
=R
in
becomes an inverting voltage follower as shown
in Figure 3.8b.
The gain of this circuit is 1 (A
v
= R
f
/R
in
) and the output voltage is 180° out of
phase with the input voltage. The input i mpedance to this circuit is lower, being
limi ted by the value of R
in
.
Voltage followers are used to match circuit impedances and act as buffer
amplifiers, isolating one circuit from another.
Summing Amplifier
If more than one input is used on an inverting amplifier, it becomes a summing
circuit or adder as shown in Figure 3.9.
The output voltage is the algebraic sum of the inputs, but inverted, and can be
found by the formula
f f f
out 1 2 n
1 2 n
R R R
V V V ..... V
R R R
 
= ÷ + + +

\ .
where R
n
and V
n
are the number of input resistors and input voltages. The output
voltage is weighted sum of the input signals (V
1
, V
2
,….V
n
). This circuit is
therefore called weighted summer. Each summing coefficient may be
independently adjusted by adjusting the corresponding “feedin” resistors (R
1
to
R
n
).
When all the resistors in the summing amplifier are of the same value, the circuit
becomes unity gain summing amplifier and the formula for V
out
simplifies to
( )
out 1 2 n
V V V ..... V = ÷ + + +
When all input resistors are of the same value with R
f
a larger value, the circuit
becomes summing amplifier with gain. V
out
is given by
( )
f
out 1 2 n
R
V V V ..... V
R
= ÷ + + +
where R is the value of each equalvalue input resistor.
When in the summing amplifier with gain, the ratio R
f
/R is set equal to the
reciprocal of the number of inputs (n), the circuit becomes “averaging amplifier”.
Hence the summing amplifier produces the mathematical average of the input
voltages when R
f
/R=1/n.
When different weights are assigned to each input of a summing amplifier, by
adjusting the values of the input resistors, the circuit becomes scaling adder. In
this circuit, some inputs influence the output voltage more than the others. The
weight of a particular input is set by the ratio of R
f
to the resistance R
x
for that
input (R
x
= R
1
, R
2
,….,R
n
). For example, if an input voltage is to have a weight if 1,
then. Or, if a weight of 0.5 is required, R
x
=2R
f
. The smaller the value of input
resistance R
x
, the greater the weight, and vice versa.
The input currents and current through R
f
add up to zero at the inverting input,
referred to as the current summing point. The summing amplifier can also be
used as an audio signal mi xer.
Difference Amplifier
Both inputs are used (or active) for a difference amplifier or subtractor, as shown
in Figure 3.10. The output voltage is found by the formula
( )
( )
2 1
2
out 1 2
1 3 4
1 R R
R
V V V
R 1 R R
+
= ÷ +
+
If all resistors are equal, the formula simplifies to V
out
=V
2
V
1
; however, the
polarity of the output voltage depends on the relationship of the inverting and
noninverting inputs polarities, simi lar to a comparator circuit.
A difference amplifier may have gain or use scaling input arrangement where one
input has more influence on the output.
DIFFERENTIATOR, INTEGRATOR AND SQUARE WAVE GENERATOR
CIRCUITS:
Opamp Differentiator
An opamp differentiator simulates mathematical differentiation, which is a
process of determining the instantaneous rate of change of a function. The basic
opamp differentiator, shown in Figure 3.11, is similar to the basic inverting
amplifier, except that the input element is a capacitor. This circuit produces
output that is proportional to the rate of change of the input voltage and is gi ven
by
in
out f
dV
V R C
d t
= ÷
The product R
f
C is called the time constant and it should be approxi mately equal
to the period of the input signal to be differentiated.
Opamp Integrator
An opamp integrator simulates mathematical integration, which is basically a
summing process that determines the total area under the curve of a function.
The basic opamp integrator, shown in Figure 3.12, is similar to the basic
inverting amplifier, except that the feedback element is a capacitor. This circuit is
said to be inverse of the differentiator circuit, which is consistent wi th the
mathematical operation of differentiation and integration.
The output voltage of the integrator, as a function of time, is given by
t
out in
0
1
V V dt
RC
= ÷
}
The product RC is the ti me constant and, as with the differentiator circuit, it is
made approxi mately equal to the period of the input signal to be integrated.
Opamp square wave generator
An opamp can be constructed to produce a squarewave generator as shown in
Figure 3.13. Resistors R
2
and R
3
form a voltage di vider from the output of the op
amp to ground and determine the ±V
ref
. Assume, initially, that V
out
is at +V
sat
.
Capacitor C
1
begins to charge through R
1
to +V
sat
. The instant the voltage on the
capacitor is greater than +V
ref
at the noninverting input, the output switches to
–V
sat
. The capacitor now charges toward –V
sat
and the instant it is greater than
–V
ref
, the output switches back to +V
sat
and the process begins again. The square
wave output at V
out
is ±V
sat
in ampli tude. The amplitude of V
C1
is ±V
ref
and can be
found by the formula
( )
3
ref sat
2 3
R
+V +V
R R
=
+
and ( )
3
ref sat
2 3
R
V V
R R
=
+
If R
3
is 86% of R
2
, the approxi mate output frequency can be found by the formula
out
1 1
1
f
2R C
=
BEFORE STARTING THE EXPERIMENTS
Inverter check: Before starting the experiments, check that your IC is
working properly. This can be easily done by connecting the opamp in an
inverting unity gain amplifier (as shown in figure below) and checking the
output signal on scope for any suitable input signal.
(It is better to do a quick inverter check than to waste time
experimenting with a damaged IC.)
Power supply range: Opamps are designed to be powered from
voltage supply which is typically in the range of ±5 to ±15 volts. To
avoid damaging the opamp use ±12 volts for voltage supply in the
experiment.
Power supply polarity: Never reverse power supply polarity to the op
amps. Applying a negative voltage to the “+V” pin and a positive to the
“V” pin, even momentarily will result in destructive current flow through
the opamp!
Power and signal sources: After wiring the circuit, connect or turn on
the power and signal sources to the breadboard last!
Planning the experiment: Plan your experiment beforehand. Know
what type of results you are expected to observe. Don’t mindlessly
take data unless you have a good idea of what should be observed.
You can analyze things before doing the lab or as you go along.
4. EXPERIMENTS
EXPERIMENT 1
To demonstrate the basic operation of an opamp as a comparator circuit.
Apparatus: dual ±12V power supply, digital voltmeter, 741 opamp,
10kO pontenti meters, 10kO resistors, bread board for constructing circuit
Procedure: Circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.1. V
1
and V
2
are set to
definite values and the corresponding values of V
out
are recorded, indicating
polarity.
EXPERIMENT 2
Observations
V
1
(V)
V
2
(V)
V
out
(V)
+1 0
1 0
0 +1
0 1
+2 +1
+1 +2
+1 1
1 +1
1 2
2 1
To demonstrate the operation of an opamp inverting amplifier with dc and ac
voltages and calculate gain of the circuit.
Apparatus: dual ±12V power supply, digital voltmeter, 741 opamp, oscilloscope,
AC signal generator, 10 kO potentiometer, breadboard for constructing circuit,
resistors (4.7kO, 6.8kO, 10kO, 22 kO, 47kO, 100kO), 1µF capacitors
Procedure: For dc amplifier, circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.2a. For
different values of R
in
, R
f
and V
in
(as shown in data table), V
out
is measured. Gain
is calculated by the formulae: A
v
=R
f
/R
in
and A
v
=V
out
/V
in
.
Observations and Calculations
R
in
(kO)
R
out
=R
f
(kO)
V
in
(V)
V
out
(V) A
v
=R
f
/R
in
A
v
=V
out
/V
in
10 47 +1
10 100 +1
10 22 +1
4.7 47 1
22 47 1
10 47 1
For ac amplifier, circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.2b. For
R
f
=100kO, the frequency generator is set at V
in
=1V
pp
and V
out
is measured for
different frequencies (f). Gain is calculated by: A
v
=V
out
/V
in
. Graph is plotted
between A
v
and f. Same procedure is repeated for R
f
=47kO.
Observations and Calculations
R
f
=100kO R
f
=47kO
f (kHz)
(for V
in
at
1 V
pp
)
V
out
(V
pp
) A
v
=V
out
/V
in
V
out
(V
pp
) A
v
=V
out
/V
in
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.5
1
1.5
2
5
10
15
20
50
100
150
200
500
1000
1500
2000
EXPERIMENT 3
To demonstrate the operation of an opamp noninverting amplifier with dc and
ac voltages and calculate gain of the circuit.
Apparatus: dual ±12V power supply, digital voltmeter, 741 opamp, oscilloscope,
AC signal generator, 10 kO potentiometer, breadboard for constructing circuit,
resistors (4.7kO, 6.8kO, 10kO, 22 kO, 47kO, 100kO), 1µF capacitors
Procedure: For dc amplifier, circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.3a. For
different values of R
in
, R
f
and V
in
(as shown in data table), V
out
is measured. Gain
is calculated by the formulae: A
v
=R
f
/R
in
+1 and A
v
=V
out
/V
in
.
Observations and Calculations
R
in
(kO)
R
f
(kO)
V
in
(V)
V
out
(V) A
v
=R
f
/R
in
+1 A
v
=V
out
/V
in
10 47 +1
10 100 +1
10 22 +1
4.7 47 1
22 47 1
10 47 1
For ac amplifier, circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.3b. For
R
f
=100kO, gain is calculated by the formula: A
v
=R
f
/R
in
+1. The frequency
generator is set at 1kHz and V
out
is measured for different input voltages V
in
(V
pp
).
V
out
is also calculated by the formula: V
out
=A
v
V
in
.
Observations and calculations
V
in
(V
pp
)
V
out
(V
pp
)
(measured)
V
out
=A
v
V
in
(V
pp
)
(calculated)
0.1
0.2
0.5
1.0
1.5
EXPERIMENT 4
To demonstrate the operation of opamp voltage followers, and to show the
difference between the inverting and noninverting types.
Apparatus: dual ±12V power supply, digital voltmeter, 741 opamp, oscilloscope,
AC signal generator, breadboard for constructing circuit, 1µF capacitors, resistors
(4.7kO, 10kO, 100kO)
Procedure: Circuit is constructed as shown in Figures 4.4a and 4.4b. The signal
generator is set for 1kHz at 2V
pp
for V
in
. V
out
is measured and the output
waveform is drawn for both the circuits.
EXPERIMENT 5
To demonstrate how an opamp can be used to sum algebraically various input
voltages.
Apparatus: dual ±12V power supply, digital voltmeter, 741 opamp, resistors
(4.7kO, 10kO, 22kO), 10 kO potentiometers, breadboard for constructing circuit
Procedure: Circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.5a, using all 10kO
resistors. V
1
and V
2
are set at different voltages and corresponding V
out
is
measured. V
out
is also calculated by the formula: V
out
= (V
1
+V
2
). Same procedure
is repeated after changing R
f
to 22kO but with V
out
calculated by:
V
out
= R
f
(V
1
/R
1
+V
2
/R
2
).
Observations and calculations
R
f
=10kO R
f
=22kO
Input voltage V
out
algebraic sum (inverted) Input voltage V
out
algebraic sum (inverted)
V
1
V
2
Calculated Measured V
1
V
2
Calculated Measured
(V) (V) (V) (V) (V) (V) (V) (V)
+1 +2 +1 +2
+1 2 +1 2
+2 +1 +2 +1
+2 +1 +2 +1
2 2 2 2
Circuit shown in Figure 4.5b is constructed by using the voltage di vider circuits
of the first part. V
1
and V
2
are set at different voltages and corresponding V
out
is
measured. V
out
is also calculated by the formula: V
out
= R
f
(V
1
/R
1
+V
2
/R
2
).
EXPERIMENT 6
To demonstrate how an opamp can be used to find the algebraic differences
between two input voltages.
Apparatus: dual ±12V power supply, digital voltmeter, 741 opamp,
10kO resistors , 10 kO potentiometers, breadboard for constructing circuit
Procedure: Circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.6. V
1
and V
2
are set at
different voltages and corresponding V
out
is measured. V
out
is also calculated by
the formula: V
out
= (V
2
V
1
).
Observations and calculations
Input voltage V
out
algebraic sum (inverted)
V
1
(V)
V
2
(V)
Calculated
(V)
Measured
(V)
+1 +2
+1 2
+2 +1
+2 1
2 2
EXPERIMENT 7
To demonstrate how an opamp can sense a specific voltage level and how to
calculate the reference voltage (V
ref
).
Apparatus: dual ±12V power supply, digital voltmeter, 741 opamp, resistors
(10kO, 22kO), 10 kO potentiometer, breadboard for constructing circuit
Procedure: Circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.7a. Wiper of R
1
is placed
at gound and V
ref
is calculated by the formula: V
ref
= (+V)(R
3
)/(R
2
+R
3
). Using the
voltmeter V
out
and V
ref
are measured. R
1
is adjusted until V
out
changes and the
new reading is recorded. Wire at point A is removed from the +V supply and
connected to the –V supply and the above steps are repeated to detect negati ve
supply. Same procedure is repeated to detect voltages for circuit shown in Figure
4.7b.
Observations and calculations
Input voltage V
out
algebraic difference (inverted)
V
1
(V)
V
2
(V)
Calculated
(V)
Measured
(V)
+2 +4
+4 +2
+4 2
2 +4
4 +2
Observations and calculations
To detect positive voltage
V
ref
= V
V
out
= V when V
in
is less than V
ref
V
out
= V when V
in
is greater than V
ref
To detect negative voltage
V
ref
= V
V
out
= V when V
in
is less than V
ref
V
out
= V when V
in
is greater than V
ref
EXPERIMENT 8
To show how an opamp can be used as a squarewave generator and how to
calculate its output frequency.
Apparatus: dual ±12V power supply, digital voltmeter, 741 opamp, oscilloscope,
breadboard for constructing circuit, capacitors(0.1µF, 0.02µF, 0.05µF), resistors
(22kO, 80 kO, 4.7kO, 10kO, 100kO)
Procedure: Circuit is constructed as shown in Figure 4.8. V
ref
is calculated using
the formulae: +V
ref
=(+V
sat
)(R
3
)/(R
2
+R
3
) and –V
ref
=(V
sat
)(R
3
)/(R
2
+R
3
). Using the
oscilloscope f
out
,+V
sat
, V
sat
, +V
ref
and –V
ref
are measured and waveforms at V
ref
,
V
out
and V
1
are drawn. Frequency of the generator is calculated by: f
out
=1/2R
1
C
1
.
These steps are repeated for different values of R
1
and C
1
.
Observations and calculations
To detect positive voltage
V
ref
= V
V
out
= V when V
in
is less than V
ref
V
out
= V when V
in
is greater than V
ref
To detect negative voltage
V
ref
= V
V
out
= V when V
in
is less than V
ref
V
out
= V when V
in
is greater than V
ref
Observations and calculations
R
1
(kO)
C
1
(µF)
f
out
(Hz)
Calculated
f
out
(Hz)
Measured
10 0.05
22 0.05
4.7 0.05
10 0.02
10 0.1
REFERENCES:
Electronic devices by Thomas L. Floyd
Electronic devices and circuit theory by Robert L. Boylestad and Louis
Nashelsky
Introduction to electric circuits by Richard C. Dorf and James A. Svoboda
Microelectronic circuits by Adel S. Sedra and Kenneth C. Smi th
Operational Amplifiers (Electronic Technology Series) by Heathkit
educational systems
(Lab Manual OpAmp Experiments by: Arooj Mukarram)