Quantcast Operational amplifiers Operational amplifiers are usually high-gain amplifiers with the amount of gain determined by feedback. ">

Share on Google+Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on DiggShare on Stumble Upon
Custom Search
 
  

OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIERS

An OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER (OP AMP) is an amplifier which is designed to be used with other circuit components to perform either computing functions (addition, subtraction) or some type of transfer operation, such as filtering. Operational amplifiers are usually high-gain amplifiers with the amount of gain determined by feedback.

Operational amplifiers have been in use for some time. They were originally developed for analog (non-digital) computers and used to perform mathematical functions. Operational amplifiers were not used in other devices very much because they were expensive and more complicated than other circuits.

Today many devices use operational amplifiers. Operational amplifiers are used as d.c. amplifiers, a.c. amplifiers, comparators, oscillators (which are covered in NEETS, module 9), filter circuits, and many other applications. The reason for this widespread use of the operational amplifier is that it is a very versatile and efficient device. As an integrated circuit (chip) the operational amplifier has become an inexpensive and readily available "building block" for many devices. In fact, an operational amplifier in integrated circuit form is no more expensive than a good transistor.

CHARACTERISTICS OF AN OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER

The schematic symbols for an operational amplifier are shown in figure 3-10. View (A) shows the power supply requirements while view (B) shows only the input and output terminals. An operational amplifier is a special type of high-gain, d.c. amplifier. To be classified as an operational amplifier, the circuit must have certain characteristics. The three most important characteristics of an operational amplifier are:

  • Very high gain
  • Very high input impedance
  • Very low output impedance

Figure 3-10A. - Schematic symbols of an operational amplifier.

Figure 3-10B. - Schematic symbols of an operational amplifier.

Since no single amplifier stage can provide all these characteristics well enough to be considered an operational amplifier, various amplifier stages are connected together. The total circuit made up of these individual stages is called an operational amplifier. This circuit (the operational amplifier) can be made up of individual components (transistors, resistors, capacitors, etc.), but the most common form of the operational amplifier is an integrated circuit. The integrated circuit (chip) will contain the various stages of the operational amplifier and can be treated and used as if it were a single stage.

BLOCK DIAGRAM OF AN OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER

Figure 3-11 is a block diagram of an operational amplifier. Notice that there are three stages within the operational amplifier.

Figure 3-11. - Block diagram of an operational amplifier.

The input stage is a differential amplifier. The differential amplifier used as an input stage provides differential inputs and a Frequency response down to d.c. Special techniques are used to provide the high input impedance necessary for the operational amplifier.

The second stage is a high-gain voltage amplifier. This stage may be made from several transistors to provide high gain. A typical operational amplifier could have a voltage gain of 200,000. Most of this gain comes from the voltage amplifier stage.

The final stage of the OP AMP is an output amplifier. The output amplifier provides low output impedance. The actual circuit used could be an emitter follower. The output stage should allow the operational amplifier to deliver several milliamperes to a load.

Notice that the operational amplifier has a positive power supply (+V CC) and a negative power supply (-VEE). This arrangement enables the operational amplifier to produce either a positive or a negative output.

The two input terminals are labeled "inverting input" (-) and "noninverting input" (+). The operational amplifier can be used with three different input conditions (modes). With differential inputs (first mode), both input terminals are used and two input signals which are 180 degrees out of phase with each other are used. This produces an output signal that is in phase with the signal on the noninverting input. If the noninverting input is grounded and a signal is applied to the inverting input (second mode), the output signal will be 180 degrees out of phase with the input signal (and one-half the amplitude of the first mode output). If the inverting input is grounded and a signal is applied to the noninverting input (third mode), the output signal will be in phase with the input signal (and one-half the amplitude of the first mode output).

Q.15 What are the three requirements for an operational amplifier? answer.gif (214 bytes)
Q.16 What is the most commonly used form of the operational amplifier? answer.gif (214 bytes)
Q.17 Draw the schematic symbol for an operational amplifier.answer.gif (214 bytes)
Q.18 Label the parts of the operational amplifier shown in figure 3-12. answer.gif (214 bytes)




Privacy Statement - Copyright Information. - Contact Us

Integrated Publishing, Inc.