# Chapter 10 Amplifier Frequency Response

Objectives

Discuss frequency response of an amplifier Express the gain of an amplifier in decibels (dB) Analyze the frequency response of a BJT amplifier Analyze the frequency response of an FET amplifier Analyze the frequency response of a multistage amplifier

Introduction

Most amplifiers have a finite range of frequencies in which they will operate. We will discuss what determines the frequency response of an amplifier circuit and how it is measured.

Basic Concepts

In previous analysis of amplifier circuits we disregarded the reactance of the capacitors. You should already be familiar with the characteristics of a capacitor. We will discuss how the capacitor limits the passage of certain frequencies. This is called the frequency response of an amplifier.

Basic Concepts

Coupling capacitors C1 and C3 limit the passage of very low frequencies. Emitter bypass C2 capacitor will have high reactance to low frequencies as well, limiting the gain. Also the capacitance causes a phase shift of the signal.

Figure 10–2 Nonzero reactance of the bypass capacitor in parallel with RE creates an emitter impedance, (Ze), which reduces the voltage gain.

Remember reactance is low at high frequencies.
.Basic Concepts
Internal capacitance of BJTs and FETs comes into play at high frequencies limiting the gain.

Floyd
Electronic Devices. Inc.
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. Upper Saddle River.Figure 10–4 AC equivalent circuit for a BJT amplifier showing effects of the internal capacitances Cbe and Cbc.

Figure 10–5 General case of Miller input and output capacitances. 7e
Copyright ©2005 by Pearson Education. Upper Saddle River. C represents Cbc or Cgd.
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.Basic Concepts
Miller’s theorem allows us to view the internal capacitances as external capacitors for better understanding of the effect they have on the frequency response.

The formulas below are used for calculation of decibels for power gain and voltage gain. It is a logarithmic measurement of the ratio of one power to another or one voltage to another.
Ap(db) = 10 log Ap Av(db) = 20 log Av
.The Decibel
The decibel is a common unit of measurement of voltage gain and frequency response.

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Electronic Devices.Figure 10–7
Normalized voltage gain versus frequency curve. Upper Saddle River. New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved. Inc.

. Note that every 6 dB represents a doubling or halving of gain.Voltage gain vs Frequency curve
This typical voltage gain vs frequency curve illustrates the relationship of gain measurement in decibels.

An output voltage drop of 3 dB represents about a 70. which represents one-half of its midrange value. Power is often measured in units of dBm. also known as the cutoff frequency. is the frequency at which the output power drops by 3 dB.
. This is decibels with reference to 1 mW of power.7% drop from the midrange value. This means that 0 dBm = 1 mW.The critical frequency
The critical frequency.

Low-Frequency Amplifier Response
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The input at the base. and the emitter.
.Low-Frequency Amplifier Response
In looking at the low frequency ac equivalent circuit of a capacitor coupled amplifier. the output at the collector. we can see there are three RC circuits that will limit low frequency response.

This frequency can be determined by the formula below. The frequency at which the gain is down by 3 dB is called the lower critical frequency (fc).
fc = 1/2RinC1
.Low-Frequency Amplifier Response The input RC circuit
The input circuit’s effects on the signal at a given frequency can be more easily understood by looking at this simplified input circuit.

A ten times change in frequency is called a decade. Sometimes roll-off is expressed in dB/octave. which is a doubling or halving of the frequency. The attenuation measured in dB at each decade is is the dB/decade.Low-Frequency Amplifier Response
The decrease in voltage gain with frequency is called the roll-off.
. This typical dB Av vs frequency illustrates the relationship.

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Phase angle versus frequency for the
Thomas L.Figure 10–12 input RC circuit. 7e
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Electronic Devices.
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. This occurs in all of the capacitive parts of the circuits at low frequencies.Low-Frequency Amplifier Response
Phase shifting occurs at the lower frequencies as the capacitive reactance increases.

. .Figure 10–13 The input RC circuit causes the base voltage to lead the input voltage below midrange by an amount equal to the circuit phase angle. Inc. 7e
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Low-Frequency Amplifier Response The output RC circuit
The output RC circuit affects the response similarly to the input RC circuit. The formula below is used to determine the cutoff frequency of the output circuit.
fc = 1/2(RC + RL)C3
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. Inc.Figure 10–14 Development of the equivalent lowfrequency output RC circuit. Floyd
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Detailed discussion of the use of Thevenin’s theorem and formulas are within the text.Low-Frequency Amplifier Response The bypass RC circuit
The bypass RC circuit is no different in its effect on the gain at low frequencies. Thevenin analysis can be applied to the bypass circuit along with the formula below.
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Thomas L.Figure 10–16 Development of the equivalent bypass RC circuit. 7e
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EX. 10-6
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Calculations are similar as well.Low-Frequency Amplifier Response FET Amplifiers
The input and output capacitors limit the low frequency response of the FET just as they do with the BJT.
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Figure 10–19 Input RC circuit for the FET amplifier in Figure 10–18. Upper Saddle River.
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7e
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. Inc. Floyd
Electronic Devices. New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.Figure 10–21 Development of the equivalent low-frequency output RC circuit.
Thomas L.

10-8
.EX.

. Floyd
Electronic Devices. 7e
Copyright ©2005 by Pearson Education. Upper Saddle River.The Bode Plot Figure 10–23 An RC circuit and its low-frequency response.
(Blue is ideal. red is actual.)
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.Total Low-Frequency Amplifier Response
The combined effect of each capacitor is shown in this Bode plot of the frequency response.

. New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved. Upper Saddle River. red is actual. 7e
Copyright ©2005 by Pearson Education.Figure 10–25 Composite Bode plot of an amplifier response where all RC circuits have the same fc.)
Thomas L. Floyd
Electronic Devices. Inc. (Blue is ideal.

EX. 10-9
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Inc.
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Copyright ©2005 by Pearson Education.Figure 10–27 Ideal Bode plot for the total low-frequency response of the amplifier in Figure 10–26. New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.
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Electronic Devices. Upper Saddle River.

High-Frequency Amplifier Response
High-frequency response is limited by internal capacitances of the transistors. Detailed analysis using Miller’s theorem is discussed further within the text. Note these are undesirable. These act like shunts around the transistor.
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Upper Saddle River.Figure 10–29
High-frequency equivalent circuit after applying Miller’s theorem. New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved. 7e
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. Inc.
Thomas L.

Upper Saddle River. Inc.Figure 10–30
Development of the equivalent high-frequency input RC circuit. Floyd
Electronic Devices.
Thomas L.
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EX. 10-10
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7e
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Thomas L. Floyd
Electronic Devices. Upper Saddle River.Figure 10–32 High-frequency equivalent input RC circuit for the amplifier in Figure 10–31.
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Figure 10–33
Development of the equivalent high-frequency output RC circuit.
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7e
Copyright ©2005 by Pearson Education. Upper Saddle River. New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.
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Thomas L.Figure 10–35 Example of a JFET amplifier and its high-frequency equivalent circuit. Inc.

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Thomas L. Floyd
Electronic Devices.Figure 10–36
High-frequency equivalent circuit after applying Miller’s theorem. Inc. New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

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.Figure 10–37
Input RC circuit. Inc. 7e
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New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.Figure 10–39
Output RC circuit.
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.Total High-Frequency Amplifier Response
The Bode plot of the high frequency response shown shows the combined effects of each internal capacitance.

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.Figure 10–41
A BJT amplifier and its generalized ideal response curve (Bode plot). Floyd
Electronic Devices. New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved. Upper Saddle River. Inc.

.Total Frequency Response
This plot shows the total combined effects of both the coupling capacitors and the internal capacitances.

Inc.Figure 10–43 Simplified response curve where fcl is negligible (assumed to be zero) compared to fcu. Floyd
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When the critical frequencies of each stage are the same.
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When the critical frequency of each stage is different. each stage’s frequency response must be considered.Total Frequency Response
In determining the total frequency response of a multistage amplifier. it increases the low frequency cutoff and decreases the high frequency cutoff. the lowest and highest cutoff frequencies determine the bandwidth.

first observing the rise time for the upper cutoff frequency and the fall time for lower cutoff frequency. The step-response measurement can be used by applying a step voltage.
.Frequency Response Measurement
Frequency response measurement can be made with a function generator and an oscilloscope by checking the output voltage across the frequency spectrum.

The bandwidth of an amplifier is the difference between the upper and lower critical frequencies.7% of the mid-range value.Summary
Capacitances both internal and external limit frequency response. High and low cutoff are determined by the dominant critical frequencies. Critical frequency or cutoff is when the output voltage is at 70.
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