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Course Notes for EE 0257 Introduction to Lasers and Optical Electronics

A few words about amplifier circuits:

Chapter 1: Introduction of Amplifiers • Amplifier circuits are the core of any analog circuits
• Input signal from transducers (convert signal in electric form) are
This lecture covers Chapter 1.4-1.6 • Signal amplification is a must before A/D conversion, filtering,
1. Signal amplification noise cancellation, encryption, FFT, modulation/demodulation,
2. Characteristics used to analyze and gauge amplifier circuits: broadcasting, etc, etc.
gain, linearity, saturation, nonlinear transfer, biasing, frequency • Now, let’s discuss in some details on what are those index to
response characterize performance of a given amplifier (Amp) circuits.
3. Circuit model for amplifiers
Characteristics of an Amp-circuit
Notes: 0. Amplifier circuits symbol
4. This is the only lecture to cover chapter 1
5. You need read section 1.1-1.3
6. Section 1.7 will not be cover nor required

(a) Circuit symbol for amplifier. (b) An amplifier with a common terminal
(ground) between the input and output ports.

1. Voltage gain, power gain, and current gain

• Voltage gain: Av ≡
• Current gain: Ai ≡ o
P v i
• Power gain: Ap ≡ L = O O = Av Ai
PI v I iI
Chapter 1: Introduction to amplifier 1
Course Notes for EE 0257 Introduction to Lasers and Optical Electronics

Expressing gain in Decibels:

• Voltage gain in dB= 20 log Av (dB)
• Current gain in dB= 20 log Ai (dB)
• Voltage gain in dB= 10 log AP (dB)

2. Power supplies
An amp needs to draw DC-power to amplify signal (signal get more
power!). A more realistic amp-circuit symbol is shown below

To avoid distortion of the output signal, the input signal must be kept
with the linear range
L− L
≤ vI ≤ +
Av Av

• In the above figure, an amp needs a +DC to signal + signal, so

as the need of –DC supply. This is not convenient in micro-
electronic circuits sometime, that is why many amps need to be
biased. The Fig. b is commonly used as a simplified symbol.
• Pdc = V1I1 + V2 I 2 , Pdc + PI = PL + Pdissipated
• Since the power drawn from the signal is usually small, the
amplifier power efficiency can be defined 4. Nonlinearity and Biasing
P • Practically, the transfer function (Voutput vs. Vinput) is not linear at
η = L × 100% all, only part of the transfer function is linear.
• Therefore, we need operate the amp at the middle of the linear
3. Saturation region shown above, this point is referred as DC bias point (Q
Ideally, we hope our amp can remain linear to amplify signal with any point), or operating point, or quiescent point.
strength with the same gain. Practically, an amp operated from two DC • This can be done by adding your signal on the top of DC bias
supply can pour out a output voltage more than the voltage of DC voltage. Of course both DC bias+ signal cannot exceed linear
supplies. So there is a saturation issue illustrated in the follow figure. range.
Chapter 1: Introduction to amplifier 2
Course Notes for EE 0257 Introduction to Lasers and Optical Electronics
Frequency response:
vI = Vo + vo (t )
vo (t ) = Av vi (t ) If an amp operates in linear region, then an amp-circuit is a linear
dv circuit. In we feed a sine signal to a linear circuit, the output will be
Av = O Q the sine signal with the same frequency, however the amplitude and
phase will be different.
Example: A transistor amplifier has the transfer characteristic
vO = 10 − 10−11 e 40v I
Find L-, L+, dc bias voltage VI that results in Vo=5V, and gain.

To characterize the frequency response, we need the ratio of output

amplitude to the input amplitude, and the phase change.
V (ω )
T (ω ) = o
Vi (ω )
∠T (ω ) = φ (ω )
• Bandwidth: the band of frequencies over which the gain of the
amplifier is almost constant, to within a certain number of dB
(usually 3 dB or 50%).

Analysis of frequency response: low-pass (LP) and high-pass (HP)

5. Some notations
• Total instantaneous quantities (DC + AC signal): iA(t), vC(t)
• DC quantity: IA, VC
• Power-suplly: VDD, IDD
• Signal quantity (pure AC): ia(t), vc(t)
• Amplitude of sine signal: Ia, Vc

Chapter 1: Introduction to amplifier 3

Course Notes for EE 0257 Introduction to Lasers and Optical Electronics
Circuit models:
As always, any amp circuits must be integrated into a system to
perform. For any functional electronic circuits, it consists tens to
thousands unit. To analyze the performance and characteristic of the
system, we must simulate or model individual amp-circuit.

1. Voltage amplifier models

• Low-pass filter Bode plots

• High-pass filter Bode plots

Chapter 1: Introduction to amplifier 4

Course Notes for EE 0257 Introduction to Lasers and Optical Electronics
2. Other amplifier types
For an ideal amp, one needs a few things: Although voltage-amp is the most popular one, in various applications,
• Large input resistance we might wish our amp can amplify different quantity such as robust
• Respectable voltage gain current amplification (high output resistance). Therefore, in different
• Low output resistance (buffering) situations, we wish to apply different circuit models using either
• Desired power gain. voltage source or current sources.
These cannot be accomplished by single-stage amp circuit, rather, we
need cascade or multi-stage amplifier.

Example: evaluate the vltage, current, and power gain of the following
cascade amp.

Chapter 1: Introduction to amplifier 5