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BJTandFET

FrequencyResponse

GeneralFrequencyConsiderations
The frequency response of an amplifier refers to the frequency range in which
the amplifier will operate with negligible effects from capacitors and device
internal capacitance. This range of frequencies can be called the mid-range.

Atfrequenciesaboveandbelowthemidrange,capacitanceandany
inductancewillaffectthegainoftheamplifier.

Atlowfrequenciesthecouplingandbypasscapacitorslowerthegain.

Athighfrequenciesstraycapacitancesassociatedwiththeactivedevice
lowerthegain.

Also,cascadingamplifierslimitsthegainathighandlowfrequencies.

BodePlot
ABodeplotindicatesthe
frequencyresponseofan
amplifier.
Thehorizontalscale
indicatesthefrequency
(inHz)andthevertical
scaleindicatesthegain(in
dB).

CutoffFrequencies
Themidrangefrequency
rangeofanamplifieris
calledthebandwidthof
theamplifier.
Thebandwidthisdefined
bythelowerandupper
cutofffrequencies.
Cutoffanyfrequencyat
whichthegainhas
droppedby3dB.

BJTAmplifierLow-Frequency Response

Atlowfrequencies,coupling
capacitor(CS,CC)andbypass
capacitor(CE)reactances
affectthecircuitimpedances.

CouplingCapacitor(CS)
ThecutofffrequencyduetoCScanbecalculatedby
f Ls

1
2(R s R i )C s

where
R i R 1 || R 2 || re

CouplingCapacitor(CC)
The cutoff frequency due to CC can be calculated with
f LC

1
2( R o R L )C c

where
R o R C || ro

BypassCapacitor(CE)
The cutoff frequency due to CE can be calculated with
1
f LE
2 R e C E
where

R
R e R E || ( s re )

and
R s R s || R 1 || R 2

BJTAmplifierLowFrequencyResponse
The Bode plot indicates
that each capacitor may
have a different cutoff
frequency.
It is the device that has
the highest lower cutoff
frequency (fL) that
dominates the overall
frequency response of the
amplifier.

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RollOffofGainintheBodePlot
The Bode plot not only
indicates the cutoff
frequencies of the various
capacitors it also indicates
the amount of attenuation
(loss in gain) at these
frequencies.
The amount of attenuation
is sometimes referred to as
roll-off.
The roll-off is described as
dB loss-per-octave or dB
loss-per-decade.

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Roll-off Rate (-dB/Decade)


dB/decadereferstothe
attenuationforevery10fold
changeinfrequency.
Forattenuationsatthelow
frequencyend,itrefersto
thelossingainfromthe
lowercutofffrequencytoa
frequencythatisonetenth
thecutoffvalue.
In this example:
fLS = 9kHz gain is 0dB
fLS/10 = .9kHz gain is 20dB
Thus the roll-off is 20dB/decade
The gain decreases by 20dB/decade
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RollOffRate(dB/Octave)
-dB/octave refers to the
attenuation for every 2-fold
change in frequency.
For attenuations at the lowfrequency end, it refers to
the loss in gain from the
lower cutoff frequency to a
frequency one-half the cutoff
value.
In this example:
fLS = 9kHz gain is 0dB
fLS / 2 = 4.5kHz gain is 6dB
Therefore the roll-off is 6dB/octave.
This is a little difficult to see on this graph because
the horizontal scale is a logarithmic scale.
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FETAmplifierLowFrequencyResponse
Atlowfrequencies,
couplingcapacitor(CG,
CC)andbypasscapacitor
(CS)reactancesaffectthe
circuitimpedances.

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CouplingCapacitor(CG)
The cutoff frequency due to
CG can be calculated with

f LG

1
2 (R sig R i )C G

where

Ri RG

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CouplingCapacitor(CC)
The cutoff frequency due to
CC can be calculated with
f LC

1
2 (R o R L )C C

where
R o R D || rd

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BypassCapacitor(CS)
The cutoff frequency due to
CS can be calculated with

f LS

1
2 R eq C S

where
R eq R S ||

1
r
gm d

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FETAmplifierLowFrequencyResponse
The Bode plot indicates that
each capacitor may have a
different cutoff frequency.
The capacitor that has the
highest lower cutoff
frequency (fL) is closest to the
actual cutoff frequency of the
amplifier.

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Example:

MillerCapacitance
Anypnjunctioncandevelopcapacitance.InaBJTamplifier,
thiscapacitancebecomesnoticeableacross:
Thebasecollectorjunctionathighfrequenciesin
commonemitterBJTamplifierconfigurations
Thegatedrainjunctionathighfrequenciesincommon
sourceFETamplifierconfigurations.
These capacitances are represented as separate input and output
capacitances, called the Miller Capacitances.

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MillerInputCapacitance(CMi)
C Mi (1 A v )C f
Note that the amount of
Miller capacitance is
dependent on interelectrode capacitance
from input to output (Cf)
and the gain (Av).

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MillerOutputCapacitance(CMo)

Ifthegain(Av)is
considerablygreater
than1,then

CMo Cf

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BJTAmplifierHighFrequencyResponse
Capacitances that affect the
high-frequency response are
Junction capacitances
Cbe, Cbc, Cce
Wiring capacitances
Cwi, Cwo
Coupling capacitors
CS, C C
Bypass capacitor
CE
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Input Network (fHi) HighFrequencyCutoff

f Hi

1
2 R Thi C i

where

R Thi R s || R 1 || R 2 || R i
and

Ci C Wi Cbe CMi
C Wi Cbe (1 A v )C bc

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Output Network (fHo) HighFrequencyCutoff

f Ho

1
2 R Tho C o

where
R Tho R C || R L || ro

and
C o C Wo C ce C Mo

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hfe(or)Variation
The hfe parameter (or ) of a
transistor varies with
frequency

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1
2 mid r e (C be C bc )

BJTAmplifierFrequencyResponse

Note the highest lower cutoff frequency (fL) and the lowest upper cutoff
frequency (fH) are closest to the actual response of the amplifier.
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FETAmplifierHighFrequencyResponse
Capacitances that affect the
high-frequency response are
Junction capacitances
Cgs, Cgd, Cds
Wiring capacitances
Cwi, Cwo
Coupling capacitors
CG, CC
Bypass capacitor
CS

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InputNetwork(fHi)HighFrequencyCutoff
f Hi

1
2 R Thi C i

C i C Wi C gs C Mi

C Mi (1 A v )C gd
R Thi R sig || R G

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OutputNetwork(fHo)HighFrequencyCutoff
f Ho

1
2R Tho C o

C o C Wo C ds C Mo

1
C gd
C Mo 1
Av

R Tho R D || R L || rd

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MultistageFrequencyEffects

Eachstagewillhaveitsownfrequencyresponse,
buttheoutputofonestagewillbeaffectedby
capacitancesinthesubsequentstage.Thisis
especiallysowhendeterminingthehighfrequency
response.Forexample,theoutputcapacitance(C o)
willbeaffectedbytheinputMillerCapacitance
(CMi)ofthenextstage.

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MultistageAmplifierFrequencyResponse

Once the cutoff frequencies have been determined for each stage (taking into
account the shared capacitances), they can be plotted.
Note the highest lower cutoff frequency (fL) and the lowest upper cutoff
frequency (fH) are closest to the actual response of the amplifier.

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SquareWaveTesting
In order to determine the frequency
response of an amplifier by
experimentation, you must apply a wide
range of frequencies to the amplifier.
One way to accomplish this is to apply a
square wave. A square wave consists of
multiple frequencies (by Fourier
analysis: it consists of odd harmonics).

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SquareWaveResponseWaveforms

Iftheoutputofthe
amplifierisnotaperfect
squarewavethenthe
amplifieriscuttingoff
certainfrequency
componentsofthesquare
wave.

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