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Chapter 7

Amplifier Frequency Response
_____________________________________________

7.0 Introduction

The voltage gain of amplifier is a function of input signal, which is dependent
on its magnitude and frequency. In the previous chapter on the analysis of small
signal amplifiers of bipolar junction transistor BJT, junction field effect
transistor JFET, and metal oxide field effect transistor MOSFET, the effect of
capacitive reactance of coupling, bypassing capacitors, and internal capacitance
of the transistor to the gain of amplifier is assumed to be zero at mid-range
frequency. Thus, it does not cause any effect to the gain of the amplifier circuit
and phase shift. However, owing to the presence of bypass and coupling
capacitors in the amplifier circuitry, the effect to the gain of amplifier can be
significant at low frequency. Similarly, the effect to the gain can be significant
at high frequency too due to presence of internal capacitance of the BJT, JFET
or MOSFET devices. Figure 7.1 shows the response of amplifier gain with the
frequency of input signal. The response range can be divided into low-
frequency range, mid-frequency range, and high-frequency range. f
L
is the low
critical frequency where the effect of low frequency begins to be significant.
Likewise f
H
is the high critical frequency where the effect of high frequency
begins to be significant.

Figure 7.1: Amplifier gain versus frequency
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 176 -
7.1 Effect of Capacitance

As mentioned earlier, the effect of capacitance to the gain of amplifier is
significant at both low and high frequencies. The effects of bypass and
decoupling/coupling capacitance are significant at low frequency, whilst the
effects of internal capacitance are significant at high frequency. The study of the
effect shall be dealt with accordingly.

7.1.1 Bypass and Coupling Capacitors

The small signal amplifier circuits of common-emitter BJT and common-source
JFET transistors are shown in Fig. 7.2.


(a) Bipolar (b) JFET
Figure 7.2: The typical capacitively coupled BJT and JFET type amplifiers

The voltage gain A
V
at low frequency is lower because the reactance
contribution of capacitor is larger. In contrast, the opposite is true for high
frequency. Reactance of capacitor C
1
is in series with resistor R
1
||R
2
or R
G
and
R
s
or R
ss
, which reduces the signal at base or gate. Reactance of capacitor C
3
is
parallel to resistor R
E
and R
S
, which effectively increases the voltage at emitter
and source, which in turn reduces the voltage gain A
V
and causes phase shift. As
frequency decreases, the effect is higher. Thus, capacitor C
3
and C
2
also act as
high-pass filter elements for the amplifier circuit.

At high frequency, internal capacitances of the device become dominant
that they reduce the gain of amplifier and cause phase shift as frequency
increases. Thus, these capacitances also act as low-pass filter element.

The bypass and coupling capacitors have values in the micro-farad range.
Thus, at high frequency, these capacitors appear to be short.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 177 -
7.1.2 Internal Capacitance of Device

To understand the effect of high frequency to the gain of an amplifier, one needs
to know the internal capacitive components of the BJT and JFET/MOSFET
transistors. The internal capacitance of the BJT and JFET/MOSFET transistor
are basically formed from the junction depletion region and gate insulation layer
of the device. The internal capacitance can be classified into two groups namely
the input and output capacitance. C
be
and C
gs
are input capacitance formed
between the base and emitter, and gate and source junction, whilst C
bc
and C
gd

are the output capacitance formed from the base and collector, and gate and
drain junction. Fig. 7.3 illustrates the internal capacitive components of BJT and
JFET/MOSFET transistor.

The internal capacitance has magnitude in pico to nano farad range. Thus,
they appear as open circuit at low frequency.

(a) Bipolar (b) JFET/MOSFET
Figure 7.3: Internal capacitive components of (a) BJT and (b) JFET/MOSFET transistor

Figure 7.4 illustrates the loading effect and gain effect of internal capacitance to
a specified amplifier. The effect of C
be
capacitance has reduced the input V
in

because its reactance
C
be
forms the voltage-divider circuit.

The output capacitance C
bc
forms a negative feedback path that reduces the
input signal because it is about 180
0
out of phase.

Figure 7.4: ac equivalent circuit showing the effect of capacitance C
be
and C
bc

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 178 -
In dealing with high frequency response where internal capacitance is
important, Miller's theorem can be used to simply the analysis due to the effect
of C
bc
capacitance of BJT or C
gd
capacitance of JFET/MOSFET transistor. The
capacitance C
bc
of BJT or capacitance C
gd
of JFET/MOSFET transistor can be
resolved as Miller input C
in(Miller)
and Miller output C
out(Miller)
capacitances,
whereby C
in(Miller)
= C
o
(1 + A
V
) is for the input side and C
out(Miller)
= C
o
|
|

\
| +
V
V
A
1 A
is
for the output side. C
o
is the output internal capacitance, which is either C
bc
or
C
gd
and A
v
is the mid-range frequency gain of the amplifier. Figure 7.5 shows
all the effective capacitances of an amplifier circuit after using Miller's theorem.



(a) Biploar junction transistor



(b) Junction field effect transsitor
Figure 7.5: ac equivalent circuit showing effective capacitances (a) for BJT and (b) for JFET

From the circuits shown in Fig. 7.5, capacitance C
bc
or C
gd
have greater impact
on input capacitance than its actual value since it has a (1 + A
v
) factor. As for
the output side, the effective output capacitance is approximately equal to C
be
or
C
gd
since the factor (1+A
V
)/A
V
is closed to one for high voltage gain A
v
.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 179 -
Note that Miller theorem is applicable to the circuit that contains
component connected between the input and output of the circuit and there is
reversal of phase between the input and output signals.

7.2 Bode Plot

The voltage gain A
V
of the amplifier is usually expressed as the transfer
function T(s) of complex frequency s-domain. In the s-domain analysis, the
transfer function is defined as
) p s )....( p s )( p s (
) z s )....( z s )( z s (
K
) s ( V
) s ( V
) s ( T
n 2 1
m 2 1 out


= =
in
, where s is
equal to j. K is a constant, z
1
, z
2
, z
3
, ...., z
m
are transfer function "zeros" and p
1
,
p
2
, p
3
, ...., p
n
are transfer function "poles". In the form, the resistance is R,
whilst impedance of capacitance C is replaced by 1/sC and the impedance of
inductor is replaced by sL.

The Bode plot is the plot of magnitude of voltage gain A
V
versus frequency
plot expressing voltage gain A
V
in decibel and frequency in logarithmic base 10.
Thus, the magnitude of transfer function is T|(j)|
dB
= 20 log
10
|T(j)|.

Short circuit and zero value method or Open circuit and zero value method
or complex s-domain analysis can be used to analyze each RC network and to
determine its critical frequency. s-domain is a better approach because all the
zeros and poles can determined. If the zero is dominant, then the -3 dB critical
frequency determined by Short circuit and zero value method becomes
incorrect. If there is zero in s-domain analysis, this shall mean the amplifier
circuit contains capacitive path directly coupling input and output. Open circuit
and zero value method is be used for the case where there are more than one
internal capacitor connected to the ground.

7.3 Gain-Bandwidth of a Bipolar Junction Transistor

As one already knows that the high frequency response of amplifier is affected
by internal capacitance C

, is also called base-to-emitter capacitance C


be
, C

is
also called base-to-collector capacitance C
bc
, and base-to-emitter capacitance
C
ce
. A merit term named as unity-gain frequency or transition frequency is used
to determine the frequency capability of the transistor. At unity gain frequency,
the product of gain and frequency is termed as gain-bandwidth. The ac
equivalent circuit of a common-emitter short circuit bipolar junction transistor
shown in Fig. 7.6 is used to determine this parameter. This is done by shorting
the output and connecting a current source to the input.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 180 -

Figure 7.6: ac equivalent circuit of a common-emitter short circuit transistor

The voltage at base-to-emitter V
be
is V
be
=
|
|

\
|

C
1
||
C
1
|| r
i
j j
i =
i
) C C ( r 1
r
i
j

+ +
. Similarly, the current at output is i
o
= -g
m
V
be
. Thus, the
current gain (j) = i
o
/i
i
is

(j) =
) C C (
g
1
) C C ( r 1
r g
m
L
L m
i
o

=
+ +
=
j
j i
i
(7.1)

where
L
= g
m
r

is the mid-range frequency current gain. By setting the


denominator of equation (7.1) equal to zero, the -3dB critical frequency f

is

f

=
) C C ( 2
g
L
m

+
(7.2)

By setting |(j)| =



L
L
m
g
C C 1
2
+ +

(
( )
= 1, which is the unity-gain and
assuming 1/
L
is approximately zero, the transition frequency f
T
or unity-gain
frequency is equal to

f
T
=
g
C C
m
2

( ) +
(7.3)

From equation (7.2) and (7.3), relationship of -3dB critical frequency and the
unity-gain frequency is f

=
f
T
L

.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 181 -
Using the similar approach, the transition frequency f
T
or unity-gain
frequency of FET is equal to f
T
=
) C C ( 2
g
gs gd
m
+
.

7.4 Low-Frequency Analysis of A Common-Emitter
Bipolar Junction Transistor Amplifier

A typical amplifier with coupling and bypass capacitors is shown in Fig. 7.7 and
its low frequency T-model and -model ac equivalent circuits are shown in Fig.
7.8 and Fig. 7.9 respectively. Without considering the effect of bypassing and
coupling capacitance, and internal capacitance, the mid-range frequency voltage
gain A
V
of this amplifier is A
V
=
+

+

r
R R
R R
R
R R
e
L C
L C
in
in S
, where R
in
is R
in
=
R
1
||R
2
||r

, which has been shown in equation (3.44) of Chapter 3. Since


1 +

= ,

+ = r ) 1 ( r
e
, and

=
r
g
m
, A
V
=
+

+

r
R R
R R
R
R R
e
L C
L C
in
in S
is also equal to
S 2 1
2 1
C L
C L
m
R r || R || R
r || R || R
R R
R R
g
+

.


Figure 7.7: A typical amplifier with coupling and bypassing capacitors

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 182 -
If the bypass and coupling capacitive effects are taken into consideration, the
low frequency T-model and -model ac equivalent circuits of the amplifier shall
be as shown in Fig. 7.8 and Fig. 7.9 respectively.


Figure 7.8: Low-frequency T-model ac equivalent circuits of the common-emitter amplifier
circuit shown in Fig. 7.7


Figure 7.9: Low-frequency -model ac equivalent circuits of the common-emitter amplifier
circuit shown in Fig. 7.7

There are altogether three RC networks in the circuits. One is at input side and
two are at output side.

7.4.1 Input RC Network

After applying Short circuit method, where capacitor C
3
is shorted, the low
frequency RC network circuit of the input due to capacitor C
1
is shown in Fig.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 183 -
7.10. Note that input resistor r

is also equal to r
e
( + 1), where r
e
is the ac
emitter resistance.


Figure 7.10: Low frequency RC network of input due to capacitor C
1


The voltage seen at the base V
B
is equal to


in
2
C
) base ( in 2 1
in
1
) base ( in 2 1
B
V
1 R
R || R || R
V
R C
1
1 R
R || R || R
V
|
|
|
|
|
|

\
|
|
|

\
|
+
=
|
|
|
|
|

\
|
|
|

\
|

+
=
f
f
j
(7.4)

where R = (R
1
|| R
2
|| R
in(base)
+ R
S
),
1
C
RC 2
1

= f and R
in(base)
= ( + 1)r
e
= r

.

When the frequency f is equal to f
C
, at the point where resistance R is also
equal to reactance
1
C
equation (7.4) becomes


|
|

\
|
= =
2 R
R || R || R
V
V
A
) base ( in 2 1
in
B
V
=
|
|

\
|
+ ) R R || R || R (
R || R || R
707 . 0
S ) base ( in 2 1
) base ( in 2 1

(7.5)

This shall mean that the voltage gain is attenuated to 70.7% of the input signal
V
in
or in terms of decibel, it is -3dB. The -3dB attenuation is also known as half
power point for the amplifier since dB = 20log
10
(A
V
) and dBm = [ ]
P
A log 10 =
[ ] ) mW 0 . 1 / P log 10
out
. Note that dBm is referenced to 1.0mW.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 184 -
At the condition where the real impedance is equal to imaginary impedance
i.e. R =
C
1
=
1
C
1

, the frequency is called critical frequency f


c
or corner or
break frequency. The input critical frequency f
c(input)
is determined by setting
|
|

\
|

+
R C
1
1
1
j
= 0, which is

f
c(input)
1
RC 2
1

= (7.6)

In the s-domain analysis, RC is also defined as time constant
s
.

Based on equation (7.4), if the voltage gain A
V
is one tenth of the input
signal V
in
, then the signal at output V
out
is attenuated by -20dB. This also
implies that the frequency f is equal to 0.1f
C
. This attenuation factor is known as
-20dB/decade or -6dB/octave. If the voltage-gain A
V
is one hundredth of the
input signal V
in
, then the output signal is attenuated by - 40dB. This also implies
when the frequency f is equal to 0.01f
C
. Figure 7.11 shows the Bode plot of the
low frequency response. Sometime -6dB/octave is used for every double
increase of frequency or decrease of critical frequency.



Figure 7.11: Bode plot of low frequency response

In addition to the voltage gain being reduced, the RC network also causes an
increase of phase shift through the amplifier as the frequency decreases. For
high-pass filter, the output voltage leads the input by phase , which is
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 185 -

|
|

\
|
=
|
|

\
|

=

f
f
c 1
1
1
) input (
tan
R C
1
tan (7.7)

Figure 7.12 illustrates the phase relationship of input and output signals.


Figure 7.12: Phase angle relationship between input and output signals

As frequency decreases, the phase increases, which is shown in Fig. 7.13 and
equation (7.7). At -3dB point, the phase is - 45
o
.

At -20dB point, the phase is - 84.3
o
. Thus, at - 5.7
o
phase , the frequency
f is equal to 10f
C
.



Figure 7.13: Bode plot of frequency and phase
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 186 -
7.4.2 Output RC Network

As mentioned earlier, there are two RC networks at output, one at emitter and
one at collector. The low frequency RC network looking at the emitter is shown
in Fig. 7.14.



Figure 7.14: The low frequency RC network due to capacitor C
3


The deduced RC network looking at emitter is shown in Fig. 7.15.



(a) (b)
Figure 7.15: The deduced RC network at emitter

R
TH
is the equivalent resistance of resistor R
1
||R
2
||R
S
. Converting resistance R
TH

from base to emitter resistance using Impedance Reflection Rule, its value
becomes R
TH
/(+1). This resistance value is now in series with the ac emitter
resistance r
e
. Thus, the actual emitter resistance shall be equal to [R
TH
/(+1) +
r
e
]||R
E
. From the earlier definition, the critical frequency for emitter RC network
shall be
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 187 -
f
c(bypass)
=
1
2 1
3
(( / ( )|| ) r R R C
e TH E
+ +
(7.8)

and the phase is defined as


(bypass)
=
( )
|
|

\
|
+ +


E TH e 3
1
R || )] 1 /( R r [( C
1
tan (7.9)

The equivalent RC network at collector's decoupling capacitor and its
Thvenins equivalent circuit are shown in Fig. 7.16. The collector resistance
R
C
is shown as separated by the load resistance R
L
by the bypassing capacitance
C
2
.



(a) Nortons circuit (b) Thevnins circuit
Figure 7.16: The deduced RC network at collector due to capacitor C
2


The voltage gain at output is V
out
/V
be
=
)] R R ( C /[ 1 1
1
R R
R R g
C L 2 C L
C L m
+ +

j
. Thus
the critical frequency for collector coupled capacitor C
2
is

f
c(output)
=
1
2
2
( ) R R C
L C
+
(7.10)

and the phase is defined as


(output)
=
( )
|
|

\
|
+


C L 2
1
R R C
1
tan =
|
|

\
|


f
f
) out ( c
1
tan (7.11)

In summary, the low-frequency response function of the common-emitter BJT
amplifier is equal to
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 188 -
|A
V
(j)|
LF
=
S in
in
C L
C L
m
R R
R
R R
R R
g
+

+

|
|

\
|
+

2
) input ( C
1
1
f
f

2
) bypass ( C
1
1
|
|

\
|
+
f
f

2
) outputt ( C
1
1
|
|

\
|
+

f
f
(7.12)

Note that if the capacitors are treated as short then the gain of the amplifier
becomes A
V
=
S in
in
C L
C L
m
R R
R
R R
R R
g
+

+
, which is the mid-range frequency gain.

7.5 High-Frequency Analysis of A Common-Emitter BJT
Amplifier

The high-frequency T-model and hybrid -model ac equivalent circuit of the
BJT amplifier after applying Miller's theorem is shown in Fig. 7.17 and Fig.
7.18 respectively. Note that capacitance C
ce
is intentionally ignored due to its
small magnitude as compared to Miller capacitance at output C
out(Miller)
. Millers
theorem can be applied because C

or C
bc
is connected between input and output
and there is phase inversion between input and output signals.



Figure 7.17: T-model high-frequency ac equivalent circuit for a common-emitter BJT
amplifier after applying Millers theorem

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 189 -

Figure 7.18: -model high-frequency ac equivalent circuit for a common-emitter BJT
amplifier after applying Miller theorem

The input RC network is consist of R
1
||R
2
||R
S
||r

and (C
in(Miller)
+ C
be
). The
critical frequency is

f
H(input)
=
) C C )( r || R || R || R ( 2
1
be ) miller ( in S 2 1
+

(7.13)

The output RC network is consist of R
C
||R
L
and C
out(Miller)
Thus, the critical
frequency is

f
H(output)
=
) C C )( R || R ( 2
1
ce ) Miller ( out L C
+
(7.14)

As frequency increases, A
V
decreases. Thus, the high-frequency RC network is
also acted as low-pass filter element.

In summary, the transfer function of high-frequency response for the
common-emitter BJT amplifier is equal to

|A
v
(j)
HF
=
S in
in
C L
C L
m
R R
R
R R
R R
g
+

+

|
|

\
|
+

2
H(input)
1
1
f
f

2
H(output
1
1
|
|

\
|
+
)
f
f
(7.15)

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 190 -
Note that if the capacitors are treated as open then the gain of the amplifier
becomes A
V
=
S in
in
C L
C L
m
R R
R
R R
R R
g
+

+
, which is the mid-range frequency gain.

Example 7.1
The amplifier circuit shown in Fig. 7.7 has V
CC
= 12V, = 100, R
1
= 60k, R
2

= 20k, R
S
= 600, R
C
= 2k, R
E
= 1k, R
L
= 10k, C
1
= 0.1F, C
2
= 0.1F,
C
3
= 4.7F, C
be
= 20pF, and C
bc
= 3pF. Calculate the gain, all the critical
frequencies of this amplifier, draw its Bode plot, and find out its bandwidth.

Solution
The base input impedance R
IN(base)
= ( + 1)R
E
= 101(1k) = 101k. This value
is very large than R
2
= 20k. Thus, we can ignore this value in the calculation.
Voltage at base V
B
=
R
R R
V
k
k k
V V
CC
2
1 2
20
20 60
12 3
+
=
+
=


. Thus, voltage at
emitter V
E
= V
B
- V
BE
= 3.0V - 0.7V = 2.3V. Emitter current I
E
shall then equal
to V
E
/R
E
= 2.3V/1k = 2.3mA.

Knowing the value of I
E
, ac emitter resistance is r
e
= V
T
/I
E
= 25mV/2.3mA =
10.8.

The ac base input impedance R
in(base)
= ( + 1)r
e
= 101x10.8 = 1.09k. Thus,
the ac input impedance R
in
= R
in(base)
|| R
2
||R
1
= 1,007.

The ac voltage gain of the amplifier is A
V
=
+

+

r
R R
R R
R
R R
e
L C
L C
in
in S
= -95.74
From equation (7.6), the low-frequency critical frequency at input f
c(input)
=
1
2
1
2 1607 01
990 0
1
( ) ( )( . )
.
R R C F
Hz
in S
+
= =

.

From equation (7.8), the low-frequency critical frequency for bypass RC
network at emitter is f
c(bypass)
=
1
2 1
3
(( / ( ))|| ) r R R C
e TH E
+ +
. R
TH
= R
1
||R
2
||R
S
=
576.9, r
e
+ R
TH
/(+1) = 10.8 + 576.9/101 = 16.51 and (re +
R
TH
/(+1))||R
E
= 16.24, then f
c(bypass)
= Hz k 09 . 2
F 7 . 4 ) 2 . 16 ( 2
1
=

.

From equation (7.10), the low-frequency critical frequency for RC network at
collector is f
c(output)
=
1
2
2
( ) R R C
L C
+
=
1
2 2 10 01
132 6
( ) .
.
k k F
Hz
+
= .
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 191 -
The high-frequency C
out(Miller)
= C
bc
(A
V
+ 1)/A
V
= 3pF(95.74+1)/95.74 = 3.03pF
and C
in(Miller)
= (A
V
+ 1)C
bc
= 96.74 x 3pF = 287.22pF.

From equation (7.12), the high-frequency input critical frequency f
H(input)
=
1
2
1 2
( || || || )( )
( ) ( )
R R R R C C
S in base in miller be
+
=
1
2 394 7 307 22
1312
( . )( . )
.
pF
MHz = From
equation (7.13), the high-frequency output critical frequency f
H(output)
=
1
2( || )( )
( )
R R C
C L out miller
=
1
2 1666 7 303
315
( . )( . )
.
pF
MHz = .

The Bode plot of this amplifier is shown in Fig. 7.16. Between critical
frequency 2.09kHz and 990Hz, the gain drop is
ln( .
/
2 09
20
kHz / 990Hz)
ln(10)
dB decade
|
\

| = 6.49dB or
ln( .
/
2 09
6
kHz / 990Hz)
ln(2)
dB octave
|
\

| =
6.46dB. The gain drop between frequency 990.0Hz and 132.6Hz is 34.9dB in
40 dB/decade and the gain drop between frequency 31.6MHz and 1.31MHz is
27.6dB in 20dB/decade.



The bandwidth BW is 1.31MHz 2,090Hz = 1.308MHz. From the Bode plot, it
means that the maximum voltage gain of the amplifier is -3dB for frequency
range from 1,100Hz to 1.31MHz. Beyond this range, the voltage gain is
attenuated at 20dB/decade either increase or decrease of ac frequency.
Sometime the attenuation is expressed in 6dB/octave which shall mean the
attenuation for every double increase or decrease of critical frequency.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 192 -
7.6 Low-Frequency Analysis of A Common-Source
MOSFET Amplifier

A typical common-source DE MOSFET amplifier circuit is shown in Fig. 7.19.
It has two RC networks. One is at input side and one is at output side. The mid-
range frequency voltage gain is defined as A
V
=
+
g
R R
R R
m
D L
D L
.



Figure 7.19: A typical common-source DE MOSFET amplifier

The input RC network due to coupling capacitor C
1
of the amplifier is shown in
Fig. 7.20.

Figure 7.20: Input RC network of the common-source amplifier shown in Fig. 7.19
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 193 -
From JFET theory, gate input impedance is R
IN(gate)
=
V
I
GS
GSS
. Thus, the low-
frequency critical frequency of input RC network is

f
C(MOS-gate)
=
1 ) gate ( IN G
C ) R || R ( 2
1

(7.16)

The output RC network circuit due to capacitor C
2
is shown in Fig. 7.21.

Figure 7.21: Output RC network of amplifier shown in Fig. 7.19

The low-frequency critical frequency f
C(FET-output)
of input RC network is

f
C(FET-output)
=
1
2
2
( ) R R C
D L
+
(7.17)

7.7 High-Frequency Analysis of A Common-Source JFET
Amplifier

The high-frequency ac equivalent circuit of a typical JFET amplifier is shown in
Fig. 7.22.

Figure 7.22: High-frequency equivalent circuit for a JFET amplifier
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 194 -
Although there is a source resistance R
S
, nevertheless the voltage gain is
approximately equal to A
V
= -g
m
R
D
since R
S
is small as compared to R
G
and
R
IN(gate)
.

The C
gd
and C
gs
capacitance of the FET is usually cannot be obtained
directly. They are related with the given input capacitance C
iss
, output
capacitance C
oss
, and reverse transfer capacitance C
rss
from the formulae.

C
gd
= C
rss
(7.18)

C
gs
= C
iss
- C
rss
(7.19)

C
ds
= C
oss
- C
rss
(7.20)

Applying Miller Theorem to the amplifier circuit to obtain C
in(Miller)
= C
gd
(A
V
+
1) and C
out(Miller)
= C
gd
(A
V
+ 1)/A
V
.

The high-frequency input RC network of the amplifier is shown in Fig.
7.23, whereby R
in
= R
G
||R
in(gate)
.

Figure 7.23: High-frequency input RC network of JFET amplifier

The high-frequency critical frequency f
H(gate)
for this RC network is

f
H(gate)
=
1
2( || ) ( )
( )
R R C C
S in gs in Miller
+
(7.21)

If R
S
<< R
in
, then R
in
can be ignored. Thus, the critical frequency is f
H(gate)
=
1
2R C C
S gs in Miller
+ ( )
( )
.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 195 -
The high-frequency output RC network of amplifier is shown in Fig. 7.24.

Figure 7.24: High-frequency output RC network of JFET amplifier

The high-frequency critical frequency f
H(FET-out)
of this RC network is

f
H(FET-output)
=
1
2( || ) ( )
( )
R R C C
D L out miller ds
+
(7.22)

With the known low and high critical frequencies for the amplifier, the Bode
plot of this amplifier can be plotted.

7.8 Frequency Analysis of A Common-Base Bipolar
Junction Transistor Amplifier

The high frequency response of a common-base bipolar junction transistor
amplifier is analyzed by considering a common-base bipolar junction transistor
amplifier shown in Fig. 7.25 and its equivalent circuit shown in Fig. 7.26.

Figure 7.25: A common-base bipolar junction transistor amplifier
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 196 -

Figure 7.26: High-frequency ac equivalent circuit of a common-base bipolar junction
transistor amplifier

From the equivalent circuit, the Miller effect due to C

is zero, thus, it does not


affect the bandwidth of the amplifier. At the output loop, output voltage V
out
(s)
is -g
m
V
be
R
L
||R
C
||(C

+C
L
) i.e.

V
out
(s) =
(

+
+
+ +

) C C (
R R
R R
s 1 ) R R (
V R R g
L
C L
C L
C L
be C L m
(7.23)

Since the value of C
L
is large, at high frequency, it appears open. Therefore,
capacitance (C

+ C
L
) C

and the output voltage shall be V


out
(s)
=
) R || R ( C s 1
V R || R g
C L
be C L m

.

At the input node E, I
e
+ g
m
V
be
+
) C /( 1
V
be

s
+ V
be
/r

= 0 and voltage at emitter


V
e
is also equal to V
be
. Thus,

+ + = = C g r / 1
V
I
) ( Z
1
m
e
e
in
s
s
, which is also equal
to

+
+
C
r
g r 1
m
s or

+
+
C
r
1
s . Therefore, the input impedance Z
in
(s) is equal to

+
C ||
1
r
.

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 197 -
Voltage V
be
(s) is equal to ) s ( V
C || ) 1 /( r || R R
C || ) 1 /( r || R
in
E S
E


+ +
+
. It can be shown that
the ratio of V
be
(s)/V
in
(s) is equal to
[ ] ) 1 /( r || R || R sC 1
1
) 1 /( r || R R
) 1 /( r || R
) s ( V
) s ( V
E S E S
E
in
be
+ +

+ +
+
=

after adding the frequency


response factor. The high frequency voltage gain A
V
(s) shall be

A
v
(s)|
HF
=
+

) R || R ( C s 1
R || R g
C L
C L m

+ +
+

) 1 /( r || R R
) 1 /( r || R
E S
E

[ ] ) 1 /( r || R || R C s 1
1
E S
+ +

(7.24)

Equation (7.24) clearly shows that there are two poles for the amplifier at high
frequency with critical frequencies
) R || R ( C 2
1
C L

and
1
2 1

C R R r
E S
[ || || / ( )] +
.

The low-frequency analysis of the amplifier requires a low-frequency ac
model as shown in Fig. 7.27.


Figure 7.27: Low-frequency ac equivalent circuit of a common-base bipolar junction
transistor amplifier

Short Circuit Method is used to obtain the low-frequency critical frequency.
The resistance R is
1
r
|| R R
E S
+
+

and capacitance C = C
1
. Thus, the critical
frequency due to capacitor C
1
is f
L1(CB)
is

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 198 -

|
|

\
|
+
+
=

1
r
|| R R C 2
1
E S 1
) CB ( 1 L
f (7.25)

The critical frequency due to capacitor C
B
is f
L2(CB)
is


RC 2
1
) CB ( 2 L

= f (7.26)

where C = C
B
and R =( ) [ ]

+ + r ) R || R )( 1 ( || R || R
E S 2 1
.

The critical frequency due to capacitor C
2
is f
L3(CB)
is


RC 2
1
) CB ( 3 L

= f (7.26)

where C = C
2
and R =( )
L C
R R + .

In summary the low-frequency response of the voltage gain |A
v
(j)|
LF(CB)
of
the amplifier is
|A
v
(j)|
LF(CB)
=
+

C L
C L
m
R R
R R
g
) 1 /( r || R R
) 1 /( r || R
E S
E
+ +
+

|
|

\
|
+

2
) CB ( 1 L
1
1
f
f

2
) CB ( 2 L
1
1
|
|

\
|
+
f
f

2
) CB ( 3 L
1
1
|
|

\
|
+

f
f


(7.27)

7.9 Frequency Analysis of A Common-Collector Bipolar
Junction Transistor Amplifier

Consider a common-collector bipolar junction transistor amplifier shown in Fig.
7.28 and its low frequency ac equivalent circuit is shown in Fig. 7.29. Its mid-
range frequency voltage gain is
+
+

+

L E
L E
2 1 s
2 1
R || R
1
r
R || R
R || R R
R || R

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 199 -

Figure 7.28: A common-collector bipolar junction transistor amplifier


Figure 7.29: Low frequency ac equivalent circuit of a common-collector bipolar junction
transistor amplifier

The low frequency response of the amplifier shall be
LF
V
) ( A s
=
+
+

+

L E
L E
2 1 s
2 1
R || R
1
r
R || R
R || R R
R || R
] R || R || )) r ) 1 )( R || R (( R [ C
1
1
1
2 1 L E S 1
+ + +
+
s
.
] R R || )) 1 /( ) r || R || R || R [( C
1
1
1
L E 2 1 S 2
+ +
+

s
, where critical frequencies are
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 200 -
respectively equal to f
c1
=
] R || R || )) r ) 1 )( R || R (( R [ C 2
1
2 1 L E S 1
+ + +
and f
c2
=

] R R || )} 1 /( ) r ) R || R || R [{( C 2
1
L E 2 1 S 2
+ + +

.

The high frequency ac circuit of the amplifier is shown in Fig. 7.30. There
is no Miller effect since the input and output has same phase.

Figure 7.30: High frequency ac equivalent circuit of a common-collector bipolar junction
transistor amplifier

The output impedance r
o
and collector current g
m
V
be
can be grouped with R
E

and R
L
, whilst C

can be grouped at input side. Thus, the rearranged high


frequency ac circuit of the amplifier is shown in Fig. 7.31.

Figure 7.31: Rearranged high frequency ac equivalent circuit of a common-collector bipolar
junction transistor amplifier
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 201 -

At the output node, the output voltage is V
out
= ) r || R || R ( ) I V g (
o L E b be m
+ .
Voltage V
be
(s) is equal to ) C || r ( I
b
= I
b
/y

, where y

= 1/r

+ sC

.

The voltage at base is V
b
= V
be
+ V
out
. This shall mean that the impedance
at the base is Z
b
=
b
out be
b
b
I
V V
I
V +
= . Knowing V
out
and V
be
, the impedance Z
b
is
1
1
y
g r R R r R R
m o E L o E L

[ ( || || )] ( || || ) + + , in which after replacing y

, it becomes

Z
b
(s) =
) R || R || r ( g 1
sC
)] R || R || r ( g 1 [ r
1
) R || R || r (
L E o m L E o m
L E o
+
+
+

(7.27)

The equivalent impedance Z
b
is shown in Fig. 7.32. From equation (7.27), it
shows that the effect due to capacitance C

is reduced for common-collector


configuration.

Common-collector has one zero and two poles. The zero can be obtained
from V
out
= V
be
(y

+ g
m
)(R
E
||r
o
||R
L
) when (y

+ g
m
) = 0. This implies that 1/r

+
sC

+ /r

= 0 and it yields the critical frequency f


c
=
1
2
1

C
r
+
|
\

|
. Since
r

1+
is
very small, therefore, the critical frequency is very high.


Figure 7.32: Equivalent circuit of input impedance a common-collector bipolar junction
transistor amplifier

From Fig. 7.32, the base resistance parallel to capacitance is very large as
compared to resistance R
E
||r
o
||R
L
. This helps to reduce the analysis by one pole.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 202 -
The remaining pole has time constant
H
= R
S
||R
1
||R
2
||R

[(R
E
||r
o
||R
L
) +
g
m
] C
C
R r R g
E o L m

+
+

(
|| ||
. Therefore, the critical frequency f
H
is
1
2
H
. The high
frequency response of voltage gain of the amplifier shall be


HF
V
) s ( A =
+
+

+

L E
L E
2 1 s
2 1
R || R
1
r
R || R
R || R R
R || R
2 H 1 H
1
1
1
1

+
s s
(7.28)

where
|
|

\
|
+
=

1
r
C
1
1 H
and
H
2 H
1

= .

7.10 Frequency Analysis of Multi-Stage Amplifier

When two or more stage amplifier is cascaded or cascaded to form multi-stage
amplifier for obtaining high gain and bandwidth, the overall frequency response
is determined by the frequency response of each stage depending on
relationships of the frequencies.

The low frequency response of the overall gain A
VL (overall)
for the multi-n-
stage amplifier shall be

+
=
Ln
VLn
3 L
3 VL
2 L
2 VL
1 L
1 VL
) overall ( VL
1
A
.....
1
A
1
A
1
A
) s ( A
j j j j
(7.29)

If the gain of all the n-stage are identical i.e. A
VL1
= A
VL2
= A
VL3
=... = A
VLn
=
A
VL
, and the critical angular frequency
L1
=
L2
= ...=
Ln
=
L
then
A
VL(overall)
(s) =
( )
n
n
j |

\
|

+
L
VL
1
A
. Its magnitude shall be A
VL(overall)
|
dB
= 20n
log
A
VL
L
1+ j

. The -3 dB angular frequency of this multi-stage amplifier shall be


2 1
L
= |

\
|

+
n
j and
dB 3
L

= , which is

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 203 -

1 2
/ 1
L
dB 3 L

=

n
(7.30)
The high frequency response of overall gain A
VH (overall)
for the multi-n-stage
amplifier shall be

A s
A A A A
VH overall
VH
H
VH
H
VH
H
VHn
Hn
( )
( ) ..... =
+

+

+
1
1
2
2
3
3
1 1 1 1 j j j j

(7.31)

If the gain of all the n-stage are identical i.e. A
VH1
= A
VH2
= A
VH3
=... = A
VHn
=
A
HV
, and the critical angular frequency
H1
=
H2
= ...=
Hn
=
H
then
A
VH(overall)
(s) =
( )
n
n
j
|
|

\
|

+
H
VH
1
A
. Its magnitude shall be A
VH(overall)
|
dB
= 20n
log
H
VH
1
A

+ j
. The -3 dB angular frequency of this multi-stage amplifier shall be
2 1
H
=
|
|

\
|

+
n
j and
dB 3
H

= , which is
1 2
/ 1
H dB 3 H
=

n
(7.32)

Exercises

7.1. The output rating of an amplifier is given as 50dBm. Calculate the output
power and power gain A
P
.

7.2. Explain how the RC network of the bypass and coupling capacitors of an
amplifier work like high pass filter?

7.3. Explain how the internal capacitances of BJT, JFET, and MOSFET work
like low pass filter?

7.4. What will be the reactance values of internal capacitance of BJT, JFET,
and MOSFET at low frequency?

7.5. What will be the reactance values of bypass and coupling capacitance of
BJT, JFET, and MOSFET at high frequency?

7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 204 -
7.6. Explain the meaning and significance of -3dB point for an amplifier.

7.7. Given a RC network below has R
1
= 68.0k, R
2
= 18.0k, = 160, C
1
=
0.1F, dc emitter current I
E
= 1.5mA, thermal voltage V
T
= 25mV, and
the critical frequency equals to 580Hz.


i. Name the filtering capability of this network.
ii. Calculate the value of unknown resistor R
S
.
iii. Calculate the leaded phase of this network if the ac frequency is
200 Hz.
iv. If frequency and amplitude of V
in
are 100Hz and 40mV respectively,
what is the amplitude of the ac signal at point B?

7.8. The equivalent amplifier circuit shown below has R
S
= 1.0k, R
L
=
4.0k, r

= 2k, g
m
= 50mA/V and C
1
= 1.0F. Using s-domain analysis
to derive its gain function and show that its -3dB frequency is 53.1Hz,
maximum gain asymptote is 133, and -3dB gain is 94.1.

7.9. Using the amplifier circuit shown in the figure below with known V
CC
=
15V, R
s
= 100, R
1
= 6.8k, R
2
= 3.3k, R
E
= 3.3k, R
C
= 2.2k, R
L
=
1.8k, C
1
= C
2
= 0.1F, C
3
= 1.0F, C
be
= 150pF, C
bc
= 80pF, and =
120.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 205 -

i. Find the mid-range frequency gain of this amplifier
ii. Draw an ac equivalent circuit for this amplifier that covers all
frequency range.
iii. Determine all the critical frequencies of this amplifier.
iv. Draw a Bode plot of this amplifier.
v. Estimate the gain of this amplifier if the ac frequency of input V
in
are
5kHz, 200kHz, and 1MHz?

7.10. A two-stage amplifier is made by cascading two amplifier circuits shown
in question 7.9.

i. Calculate the - 3dB critical frequency.
ii. Calculate the - 3dB voltage gain.

7.11. Derive the equations for critical frequencies and find the critical
frequencies and the maximim asymptote gain of the common-collector
BJT amplifier shown in the figure. Given that C

= 1.0pF, C

= 15pF, g
m

= 57.0mS, = 80, and r

= 1.4k.
7 Amplifier Frequency Response

- 206 -

Bibliography

1. Donald A. Neamen, "Electronic Circuit Analysis and Design", second
edition, McGraw Hill Higher Education, 2001.
2. Jacob Millman and Arvin Grabel, "Microelectronics", second edition,
McGraw-Hill International Editions, 1987.
3. Muhammad H. Rashid, "Microelectronic Circuits: Analysis and Design",
PWS Publishing Company, 1999.
4. Robert T. Paynter, "Electronic Devices and Circuits", fifth edition,
McGraw-Hill, 1997.
5. Adel S. Sedra and Kenneth C. Smith, "Microelectronic Circuits", fourth
edition, Oxford University Press, 1998.