TEACH-IN 2011
A BROAD-BASED INTRODUCTION
TO ELECTRONICS
Part 5: Operational amplifiers
By Mike and Richard Tooley
Our Teach-In series is designed to provide you with a broad-based introduction to electronics. We have
attempted to provide coverage of three of the most important electronics units that are currently studied in
many schools and colleges in the UK. These include Edexcel BTEC Level 2 awards, as well as electronics
units of the new Diploma in Engineering (also at Level 2). The series will also provide the more experienced
reader with an opportunity to brush up on specific topics with which he or she may be less familiar.
Each part of our Teach-In series is organised under five main headings; Learn, Check, Build, Investigate and
Amaze. Learn will teach you the theory, Check will help you to check your understanding, and Build will give
you an opportunity to build and test simple electronic circuits. Investigate will provide you with a challenge
which will allow you to further extend your learning, and finally, Amaze will show you the wow factor!
ntegrated circuits (ICs) comprise large numbers of transistors and other components built
on a single small slice of silicon.
This allows complex circuits, such
as a complete radio receiver, to be
built in a package thats smaller
than the nail on your little finger.
Any additional components, such
as inductors and capacitors (difficult to manufacture in integrated
circuit form) and other components
that need to be externally accessible are then connected as external
discrete components.
In this instalment of Teach-In
2011, we will be investigating one of
the most common types of integrated
circuit, the operational amplifier (op
amp). In Build, you will be using
48
Learn
Integrated circuits
Used in a huge variety of different
applications, operational amplifiers
are probably the most common and
versatile form of analogue integrated
circuit. Fig. 5.1 shows the ubiquitous
741 operational amplifier, while Fig.
5.2 shows whats inside the 8-pin
dual-in-line package.
26/01/2011 15:21:08
Teach-In 2011
You can think of an operational
amplifier as a universal gain block to
which a few external components are
added in order to define the particular
function of a circuit. For example, by
adding just two external resistors, you
can produce an amplifier having a
precisely defined gain. From this you
might begin to suspect that operational
amplifiers are really easy to use. The
good news is that they are!
Op amp
The symbol for an operational amplifier is shown in Fig. 5.3. There are a
few things you need to note about this.
The device has two inputs and one
output and no common connection.
Notice also that one of the inputs is
marked and the other is marked +.
These polarity markings have nothing to
do with the supply connections they
indicate the overall phase shift between
each input and the output. The + sign
indicates zero phase shift while the
sign indicates 180 phase shift.
Since 180 phase shift produces
an inverted (ie, turned upside down)
waveform, the input is often referred
to as the inverting input. Similarly, the
49
26/01/2011 15:21:30
Outputresistance
resistanceof an operational amp
The output
Output
Output resistance
resistance
voltage to short-circuit output current. Thus
output
resistance
operationa
of
operational
is
The
output
resistance
of an
an
operational
amplifier
is defined
defined
Gain is simplyThe
theoutput
ratio ofresistance
what we The
get
out
to what
weamplifier
putofin.anSo,
for
exam
voltage
to
short-circuit
output
current.
V
out(oc)
short-circuit
output
current.
Thus:
voltage
to
short-circuit
output
current.
Thus:
as the
ratio
output
voltage
to
input
voltage.
As
a
formula
this
is
Gaindefined
is simply
thevoltage
ratioof
ofto
what
we
get
out
to
what
we
put
in.
So,
for
example
Rout =
Gain
is
simply
the
ratio
of
what
we
get
out
to
what
we
put
in.
So,
for
exam
I out(sc)voltage.
asthe
theratio
ratioof
ofwhat
output
AsSo,
a formula
this is:volt
Gain defined
is simply
wevoltage
get
outtotoinput
what
we put in.
for example,
Output
resistance
Vout(oc)
defined
as
the
ratio
of
output
voltage
to
input
voltage.
As
a
formula
V
Teach-In 2011
V
V
out(oc)
defined asAthe
ratio
to inputRvoltage.
As a formula this is: this is:
out of output voltage
out =
== out(oc)
RRout
v =
out
I out(sc)
V
Output
IIout(sc)
where
Routresistance
isresistance
the output
resistance
(in ohms
The
output
of an
operational
ampli
out(sc)
Av = outVVin
out
Vout AvV=in
short-circuit
output
current
(in a
Iout(sc) is
voltage
to the
short-circuit
output
current.
Thus:
Av =
The
output
resistance
of
an
operational
V
is
the
output
resistance
(inop
where
R
out Vin
voltage
gain
and resistance
Vresistance
areohms),
the output
and
Vin where inAv represents
output
(in
VVout(oc)
is
the
where
where R
Rout
is the
the
output
(in
ohms),
is input
the
o
out and
output voltages are usually measured
out is
out(oc)
voltage
to
short-circuit
output
current.
isVinthe
short-circuit
output
curren
Iout(sc)
where Av represents
voltage
and VV
and
are
the output
and
input
voltT
out(oc)
relative to this rail.
IIout(sc)
is
short-circuit
output
current
(in
amps).
is the
thegain
short-circuit
output
current
(in
amps).
out
out(sc)
= V 1and V are the output and input v
RExample
out and
where
Av represents
voltage
gain
Similarly,
current
gain
isand
defined
asIthe
ratiothe
ofinoutput
to voltages
input cur
where
A
represents
voltage
gain
V
and
Vout
output current
and input
v
out
in are
out(sc)
Gain
V
out(oc)
Similarly, current gain is defined as theRratio
of output current to input curren
out =
Before we take a look at some of
Example
An
amplifier
operating
produces
output
Similarly,
current
gain
is
defined
as
the
ratio
of1current
outputto
current
toan
input
cur
I out(sc)
I
Example
1
Example
1
Similarly,Acurrent
ratioRof
output
input current.
As
out gain is defined as the
where
is
the
output
resistance
(in
ohms),
the characteristics of operational
out
=
i
Determine
the
value
of
voltage
gain
of
the
a
I
Iout(sc) isAn
theamplifier
short-circuit
outputproduces
current (in
am
amplifiers, it is important to define
Ai = out I I in
operating
an
ou
An
produces
of
V
An amplifier
amplifier operating
operating
produces
an
output
voltage
of 22(in
Vw
w
theoutput
outputvoltage
resistance
o
where
Rout isan
I out
I
some of the terms and parameters
Determine
the
value
of
voltage
gain
of
Ai = out Ai =in I
Solution
Determine
the
value
of
voltage
gain
of
the
amplifier.
Determine
the
value
of
voltage
gain
of
the
amplifier.
I
is
the
short-circuit
output
current
out(sc)
that we apply to amplifiers generally.
Vout and Vin are the output and input
I in whereinAv represents voltage gain and
One of the most important of these is
Example
1 Vin are the output and input volt
Vout and
where Av represents voltage gain and
Now:
Fig.5.5.
Equivalent
circuit
of and
an Solution
amplifier
Solution
Solution
the amount of amplification or gain
represents
voltage
gain
V
Vin are
inputpov
where
A
vthe voltage
power gain
theVout
amplifier
isand
defined
as the
the output
ratio ofand
output
represents
gainof
and
and Vout
where AvFinally,
in are the output and input voltages
Finally,
the
power
gain
of
the
is
the
short-circuit
output
current
that a device provides. To keep things
Example
1 as theproduces
An amplifier
operating
an output
vo
formula
this is:gain of the amplifier
Finally,
the power
ratio of output
power
Visoutdefined
(in amps).Now:
is defined
as
the
ratio
of
Now:
as simple as possible we will use an amplifier Finally,
Now:
the
power
gain
of
the
amplifier
is
defined
as
the
ratio
of
output
po
A
=
Determine
the
of voltage
gain
of thetoam
formula
this is:
Finally,
the power
gain
of theAs
amplifier
isv defined
asvalue
the ratio
of output
power
in
power
to input
power.
a
equivalent circuit to represent an output
V
An
amplifier
operating
produces
an out
in
formula
this
is:
Example
1
Pout
formula
this
is:
Vout the value of voltage gain of
amplifier, as shown in Fig.5.5. This formula, this
Ap is:
=
VVout
Determine
An amplifier
an output
out
Av = produces
Solution
Pout Pin
A
=
A
=
v
v
is much easier to work with than the
V
Ap =
voltage
of
2V
when
supplied
with an
in
Thus:
VVinin
Pout Ap P=in Pout
circuit that we met earlier in Fig.5.2.
input ofSolution
4mV. Determine the value of
Ap =
Now: gain of the amplifier.
In Fig.5.5 the amplifier is repregain and
Pout and Pin are3 the output and input
Pin wherePinAp represents voltagevoltage
Thus:
2
2 10
Thus:
Thus:
sented by a black box, with two input wherewhere
Ap represents
voltage gain
and gain
Ap represents
voltage
and
=Now:
= are the output
= 500 and input volt
Av P
Solution
out and P
in
3
Vout4Pout
and two output terminals. Note that Pout and Pwhere
10
4
A
represents
voltage
gain
and
and
P
are
the
output
and input v
are
the
output
and
input
p
in
Now
power
is
the
product
of
voltage
and
current,
thus:
3 input voltages
where Apinrepresents voltage gain andNow:
PAout
and
v =and
33 Pin are the
2 output
2 10
in practice, one of the input terminals voltages
V
2
2
10
2
2
10
respectively.
inAcurrent,
Now power is the Aproduct
of voltage
and
=
=
= 500
V4out 10thus:
3
==
==v 500
Avv ==
500
is often directly linked to one of the
3of
3 voltage
4
Now power
is
the
product
of
voltA
=
Now
power
is
the
product
and
current,
thus:
4
10
4
4
10
4
v
Poutis=the
I out product
Vout and
Pin = I in and
Vincurrent,
Now power
of voltage
Vthus:
output terminals and then referred age
in
and
current,
thus:
Thus:
P
=
I
V
and
P
=
I
V
out
out
out
in
in
in
to as common. The input resistance
Thus:
Example
2
I out
and
Pin = I in Vingives:
out =
Pout = I outP
outV=
and VPthese
Irelationships
Combining
(Rin in Fig.5.5) is the resistance that we
out and
in
in Vin
Thus:
2
2 103
Combining these relationships gives:
would see looking into the two input
=
=
= 500resistance of 2 M
A
Example
2 an input
An
amplifier
has
Combining
these relationships
gives:22
v
3
Example
Example
Combining
these
relationships
gives:
terminals, while the output resistance
I outV
4
10
4
Combining
these
relationships
gives:
out
when a voltage
Ap =
= Ai Av
2 of 502 mV
103is applied?
(Rout in Fig.5.5) is the resistance that
I outVout
=
=
= 500
A
I inV=in A A
v
An
3 has an input resistance o
Ap =
Example
2amplifier
has
an
input
resistance
of
2
M.
What
An
amplifier
has
an
input
resistance
of
2
M.
What current
current
i An
vamplifier
4
10
4
we would see looking back into the
I
V
I=inVinout out = Ai Av
I outVAout
when
a
voltage
of
50
mV
is
applied?
Solution
An
amplifier
has
an
input
resistance
p
when aa voltage
voltage of
of 50
50 mV
mV is
is applied?
applied?
two output terminals. The voltage
Ap =
= IAi V Av when
in inus that the power of
2M.
What
current is
will
into of the curre
This
gain
of an
amplifier
theflow
product
This Itells
that
the power gain
inV
in us tells
produced by the amplifier is shown
Example
2
the
input
of
the
amplifier
when
a
voltSolution is the product of the current g
product
of thegain ofNow:
This tellsisusthe
that
the
power
an amplifier
as a constant voltage generator (the of an amplifier
Solution
Solution
age of 50mV is applied?
current gain
and
voltage
gain.
This
tells
us
that
the
power
gain
of
an
amplifier
is the of
product
of thegain
curren
circle with the sinewave inside).
This tells us that the power gain of anAn
amplifier
is the
the current
an
Example
2product
amplifier
has
an
input
resistance
of
2
M
Solution
Now:
Input resistance
V
Gain is simply the ratio of what Input resistance
in
Now:
Now:
Rin =a voltage of 50 mV is applied?
when
Now:
we get out to what we put in. So, for
resistance
TheInput
input resistance
of an amplifier
AnI inamplifier has an input resistance of
Input
resistance
example, Gain
voltage
is defined
is
defined
as
the
ratio
of
input
Vvoltage
The
resistance
of
an
amplifier
is defined
as the
ratio
voltage
is gain
simply
the ratioasof what
weresistance
get
outinput
to what
we voltage
put
in.
So,
for
example,
gain
ismVofisinput
in
Input
VVinin
when
of 50
applied?
R =a voltage
Solution
to voltage
input
current:
==put
the ratio of
output
voltage
to input
defined
the ratio
of output
to
input
As
a in.
formula
this
is:in Ivoltage
The
input
an
amplifier
is
defined
as
the
ratio
of
input
voltage
to
in
in of
Gain
is as
simply
the
ratio
of what
we
get
out resistance
tovoltage.
whatRRwe
So,
for
example,
gain
is
in
thus
IIof
in
in an amplifier is defined as the ratio of input voltage
voltage. Asdefined
a formula,
this
is:
The
input
resistance
Vin voltage.
as the ratio of output
voltage
input
As a formula
thisSolution
is:as the ratio of input voltage to input
The
inputRto
resistance
of an amplifier
isNow:
defined
Thus:
in =
Vout
Vin I in
thus
Av =
Rin =
Vin 50 103
thus
thus
Vin
Vinout
I
=
= 25 109 A = 25 nA
V
I
V
Now:=
in V
=
6
in input resistance (in
in R
where
isin the
Av =
Rin = Rin
R
in
2
10
in
I inR voltage
Rin =
3
the input
(in volts)
Vin voltage gain and ohms), VI inin is
where
(in ohms), Vin is
voltage9(in volt
where Av represents
in is the input
50the
10input
VVininresistance
50
5010
10 33 I inI = Vin99=
is
the
input
current
(in
amps).
and
I
= 25 10
A = 25
in
in
V
Vout and Vwhere
and input
6
==resistance
== and
=
25
10
A
=
25
nA
IIininthe
=
25
10
A
=
25
nA
Avoutput
represents
voltage gain where
andcurrent
Vout
Vinamps).
are
output
voltages
respectively.
Rinand
is(in
the
input
(ininput
ohms),
V
is
the
input
voltage
(in volts)
a
in are the
in
66
Rinin
2 10
=
R
Output
resistance
in
R
2
10
in
R
2
10
in
where
R
is
the
input
resistance
(in
ohms),
V
is
the
input
voltage
(in
volts
voltages respectively.
in
in
(inand
amps).
where Av represents voltageOutput
gaincurrent
and
Vout
Vin resistance
are the output
and input
respectively.
I in input
where
Rresistance
the
input
(in ohms),
Vnote!
is the
voltage (in volts) and Iin
Please
in is
in voltages
thus current.
Similarly,
current gain
is defined
current
(in
amps).
The
output
resistance
of
an
ampliSimilarly,
current
gain is defined
as
the
ratio
of
output
current
to
input
As
a
formula
is:
current The
(in amps).
Equivalent circuits provide usthis
output
resistance
of an operational
amplifier is definedwith
as the ratio of o
as the ratio of output current to input fier is defined
as
the
ratio
of
openunderstanding
the behaviour
Similarly, current gain is defined as the ratio of output current toa way
inputofthus
current.
As a formula
this is:44
circuit output
voltage
to short-circuit
voltage
to short-circuit
outputofcurrent.
current. As a formula,
this is:
Vin Thus:
50
103 and circuits
electronic
devices
I out
=
= 25 109 A = 25 nA
I in =
output current. Thus:
Ai =
6
operate.
in
R
2
10
II
Vin 50 3103
Vout(oc)
Ai = inout
=
=3
= 25 109 A = 25 n
I
Operational
amplifier
Rout =
in
6
I in
in
R
2
10
I out(sc)
3
characteristics
where Av represents
voltage gain and Vout and
Vin are the output and
input voltages
respectively.
3
where Ai represents
current gain and where R
is
the
output
resistance
Having
now
defined
the
parameters
out
voltage(ingain
and
Vout and
Vin open-circuit
are the output that
andwe
input
voltages
respectively.
v represents
Iout and Iinwhere
are theAoutput
and input
is
the
ohms),
V
use
to
describe
amplifiers,
it is
out(oc)
where
R
output
resistance
(inpower
ohms),
is the open-circuit
outp
out is the
out(oc)power.
Finally, the power gain of the
amplifier
is (in
defined
theIout(sc)
ratio
of worth
output
to Vinput
As a
output
voltage
volts)as
and
current respectively.
considering
the characteristics
I
is
the
short-circuit
output
current
(in
amps).
out(sc)
formula
is:
Finally, this
the power
gain of the amplifier
is defined as the ratio of output power to input power. As a
formula this is:
50
Everyday Practical Electronics, March 2011
Pout
Ap =
Example 1
P
P
Ap = inout
Pin
Teach-In Part 5.indd 50
15:26:44
An amplifier operating produces an output voltage of 2 V 26/01/2011
when supplied
wi
Teach-In 2011
that we would associate with an ideal
Please note!
The product of gain and bandwidth
stant. Thus an increase in gain can
only be achieved at the expense of
bandwidth, and vice versa .
Please note!
When negative feedback is applied
Parameter
Ideal
Typical
Voltage gain
Very high
100,000
Input resistance
Very high
100M
Output resistance
Very low
20
Bandwidth
Very wide
2MHz
Bandwidth
DC to 1MHz
10
DC to 100kHz
100
DC to 10kHz
1000
DC to 1kHz
10000
DC to 100 Hz
100000
DC to 10 Hz
R' =
Frequency response
by the expression:
RF RIN
RF + RIN
AV =
Vout
R
=1 + F
Vin
RIN
V
R
AV == out == F
Vin
RIN
AV =
Vout
V
R
= out = F
Vin V2 V1 RIN
51
15/02/2011 20:35:38
Teach-In 2011
Where V 1 and V 2 are the voltages at
the input resistance ( R IN ) connected
to inverting and non-inverting inputs
respectively.
Example 3
Limit capacitor
1
0.159
=
2 C1R1 C1R1
Voltage gain = 20
Input resistance (at mid-band) =
10k ?
Lower cut-off frequency = 100Hz
Upper cut-off frequency = 10kHz
Devise a circuit to satisfy the above
Solution
To make things a little easier, we can
break the problem down into manage
able parts. We shall base our circuit
f1=
R 2 is in
Thus:
R1
10 k
k
1 == 10
Provided the upper frequency re sponse it not limited by the gain
bandwidth product, the upper cut-off
frequency will be determined by the
feedback capacitance, C2, and feed back resistance, R 2, such that:
R 1 is in
f1=
AV = R2/R1
Thus:
1
0.159
1 = 10
thusR2 = Av R1 = 20
10 k
k = 200 k
=
2 C 2R 2 C 2R 21 = 20 10 k1==200
k
10 k
52
15/02/2011 20:35:50
Teach-In 2011
To determine the value of C1 we will
use the formula for the low frequency
cut-off:
80
0.159
f1=
C1R1
From which:
C1 =
0.159
0.159
0.159
=
=
= 0.159 10 F =159 nF
3
f 1R1 100 10 10 1 10
0.159
0.159
0.159 10
106FF =159
159nF
nF
=
=0.159
3
6
100 10 10 1 10
Finally, to determine the value of
C2 we will use the formula for high
frequency cut-off:
f2=
0.159
C 2R2
From which:
C2 =
0.159
0.159
0.159
=
=
= 0.159 10 F =159 pF
3
3
2 10 1 109
f 2 R 2 10 10 100
0.159
0.159
9
80 pFpF
= = 0.159
=
F10=F
=pF
0.159
F 159
159
0.5 10
=
10
0.159
159
0 100 10 3 21 109
in Fig. 5.10.
Fig.5.11. A voltage follower
Other applications
As well as their application as a
general purpose amplifying device,
of other uses. We shall conclude this
months Learn by taking a brief look
at two of these, voltage followers and
comparators .
A voltage follower using an operation
circuit is essentially a non-inverting
Fig.5.13. A comparator
53
15/02/2011 20:36:02
Teach-In 2011
Typical input and output wave
forms for a comparator are shown
in Fig.5.14. Notice how the output
is either +15V or 15V depending
on the relative polarity of the two
inputs.
Check
prototyping boards.
This might be due to needing dual
rail power supplies, or the fact that
5.4.
5.5.
.
5.7. An inverting operational ampli
gain of 15, an input resistance of
5k ? , and a frequency response ex
tending from 20Hz to 10kHz. Devise
a circuit and specify all component
values required.
Please note!
W hen capturing
a schematic based
on operational am plifiers it is im portant to double
check the orien tation of the two
signal input pins.
By default, Circuit
W izard will draw
an operational am plifier with the
non-inverting in put (labelled +)
at the top and the
non-inverting in put (labelled )
at the bottom. This
may or may not be
the same as the
www.tooley.co.uk/
teach-in
54
15/02/2011 20:36:14
Teach-In 2011
the formula:
R
Voltage gain = F
RIN
Comparator
In our second circuit well inves
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15/02/2011 20:37:02
Teach-In 2011
The Circuit Wizard way
voltage. Current flows from the operational amplifier through the bi-colour
LED (D1) to ground (0V), lighting it red
to demonstrate a positive output. Conversely, when the non-inverting input
is less than that of the inverting input,
the amplifier amplifies the negative
input by a large amount, resulting in
an output at the negative supply and
hence lighting the green LED.
Notice that despite what you may
have thought, it is practically impossible to get an exact 0V output. This
would, theoretically, be possible if
we can ensure that both inputs were
exactly the same. However, in practice,
it is not possible to be this accurate,
and the large gain and tiny variation
results in a full swing either to fully
positive or negative.
Investigate
An oscillator circuit is simply a
circuit that provides an output signal
without needing any input (apart from
a power supply of course!). Fig.5.21
shows the circuit of a simple oscillator
circuit based on a single operational
amplifier. Enter the circuit in Circuit
Wizard, investigate the output that
it produces and then see if you can
explain how the circuit works.
Hint: You might need to recall earlier work that you did on C-R charging
and discharging circuits and combine
this with what you now know about
operational amplifier comparators.
You will find that Circuit Wizard
will do a great job of simulating the
oscillator circuit. However, because
theres a lot going on in a short amount
of time, it cant do it in real time. If you
try at full speed youll most likely get
very confusing results. To slow things
down you can reduce the speed of
simulation by clicking on Time: on
the grey bar at the bottom of the Circuit
Wizard window; 10ms should work
nicely with most computers.
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25/01/2011 15:43:11
Teach-In 2011
Amaze
Circuit Wizard
A Standard or Professional version
of Circuit Wizard can be purchased
from the editorial office of EPE see
CD-ROMs for Electronics page and
the UK shop on our website (www.
epemag.com).
Further information can be found
on the New Wave Concepts website;
www.new-wave-concepts.com. The
developer also offers an evaluation copy
of the software that will operate for 30
days, although it does have some limitations applied, such as only being able
to simulate the included sample circuits
and no ability to save your creations.
Next month!
In next months Teach-In we will be
investigating logic circuits.
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