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Lab 5

Operational Amplifier Applications I


Purpose
This lab studies some of the basic uses of op amps. Because the basic use of the op amp is as an
amplifier, the three most common amplifier configurations will be studied. These include the inverting,
non-inverting, and differential amplifier circuits. The lab will also investigate powering an op-amp from a
single supply.

Material and Equipment


Oscilloscope Power Supply
Function Generator Multimeter
741 Op Amp Assorted Resistors

Prelab
For each problem below, show all the calculations. Don’t just run the simulations.
1) Design an inverting amplifier with a gain of -20. Use R1 = 5.1k ohms. Simulate the above circuit in
Pspice for an input of 0.5V amplitude, 1KHz sine wave and obtain plots of input and output on the
same plot. Repeat for a 4V amplitude input. Report the value of R2 that you used in your design.
2) Design a non-inverting amplifier with a gain of 8. Use R1 = 5.1k ohms. Simulate the above circuit in
Pspice for an input of 1V Amplitude, 1KHz sine wave and obtain plots of input and output on the same
plot. Repeat for a 3V amplitude. Report the value of R2 you used in your design.
3) Simulate the circuit given in Figure 5-4 in Pspice and obtain plots of input and output for an input of
1V amplitude, 1KHz sine wave. Follow the exact procedure in the lab manual for part 4) single supply
amplifier design. Simulate the potentiometer by using two resistors (to obtain the voltage division
function) whose sum is always 1M. Adjusting the potentiometer has the same effect as changing the
values of the individual resistances and yet keeping their sum constant at 1M. For a 20% extra credit,
show by means of calculations, the exact values of the two resistances simulating the potentiometer.
4) Read up on how to measure the resistance of an active circuit.

Background
The primary use of the operational amplifier is as a small signal amplifier. By using feedback,
operational amplifiers can be designed to have a wide range of gains. From the previous lab, it was shown
that the op-amp draws very little current into its inputs. This means that the input impedance looking into
the inverting and non-inverting inputs is very large. It was also seen that the open-loop gain was very
large. Assuming the open-loop gain is infinity, we can show that the voltages at the inverting and non-
inverting terminals should be approximately the same at all times. Because of this, we say that the two
terminals "track" each other. Based on these assumptions, a simple procedure for op-amp analysis can be
formed.
Once an op-amp is integrated into a circuit, it can be easily analyzed through the following steps:
• Write the node equation at the inverting terminal.
• Write the node equation at the non-inverting terminal.
• Set the voltage at the inverting terminal equal to the voltage at the non-inverting terminal.
• Solve for the gain.

Inverting Amplifier
One of the most common operational amplifier designs is the inverting amplifier (See Figure 5-1). This
amplifier can be analyzed be using the above procedure. (Remember, no current flows into the op-amp
terminals.
1) (v- - Vin)/R1 + (v- - Vo)/R2 = 0
2) v+ /(R1||R2) = 0 so v+ = 0
3) Since v+ = 0 then Vo/Vin = -R2/R1
So the gain of this amplifier is Vo/Vin = -R2/R1. This means that the gain is completely determined by the
external resistors as we expected. The negative gain implies that there is a 180 degree phase shift between
the input and the output. It is for this reason, that the amplifier is called an inverting amplifier. This
amplifier has an input resistance of approximately R1.

R2

R1

Vin
-
R1||R
Vo
+

Figure 5-1: The inverting amplifier configuration.


Non-inverting Amplifier
Another common op-amp configuration is the non-inverting amplifier (Figure 5-2). This amplifier
has a very high input impedance and does not invert the signal like the previous design. The non-inverting
amplifier can be analyzed using the same procedure as before and has a gain given by:
Vo/Vin = 1+ (R2/R1)
R2

R1

-
R1||R2
Vo
Vin +

Figure 5-2: The non-inverting amplifier configuration.

Unity gain source follower


A special case of the non-inverting amplifier is the source follower. In this case, we let the ratio
of R2/R1 go to zero. This is done in practice by replacing R2 with a short circuit and by replacing R1 with
an open circuit. This means that the gain of the amplifier is Vo/Vin = 1+ 0 = 1. This configuration has the
properties of having very high input resistance, very low output resistance, and unity gain. It is used as a
"buffer" to isolate a source from it's load. It is a very useful amplifier for instrumentation circuits.

-
Vo
Vin +

Figure 5-3: The source follower buffer circuit.

Procedure
1) Inverting Amp
a) Using the values calculated in your prelab, construct an inverting amplifier with a gain of -20.
Power the op-amp with + 15V and -15V. (See Figure 5-1)
b) Apply a 0.5V amplitude, 1kHz sinusoidal input signal to the amplifier. Display Vin and Vo at
the same time. (They need to be displayed simultaneously so that you can see the phase shift
between them.). Capture these two waveforms. The phase shift measurement must be turned on
and the peak-peak measurements must be turnd on.
c) Report the values of Phase Shift and Gain.
c) Increase the input voltage until distortion occurs at the output. Record the input voltage and
capure the distorted output waveform. Report the input at which this occurs.
d) Set the input to 2V amplitude and place the scope in X-Y mode. Make sure that Vin is on
channel 1 and Vo is on channel 2. This is the characteristic curve for the amplifier. Take the
printout of the curve and measure the slope of the line. (Be sure you are using DC coupling.).
You must capture the waveform with the cursors at the right place.
e) Now just interchange the connections to the inverting and non-inverting terminals of the op amp
and observe what happens. Capture the output waveforms. What has happened? Capture the
waveforms at both the +/- terminals (2,3 of the op-amp) on the same frame. Notice anything
amiss?
f) Perform the experiment to calculate the input impedance of this amplifier. The TA will
demonstrate the procedure on the white board.

2) Non-Inverting Amp
a) Construct the non-inverting amplifier designed in the prelab. (See Figure 5-2)
b) Apply a 1V amplitude, 1kHz sinusoidal input signal to the amplifier. Display Vin and Vo at the
same time. (They need to be displayed simultaneously so that you can see the phase shift
between them.) Capture the image. The phase measurement and peak-peak measurements must
be turned on.
c) Report the phase shift as well as gain.
c) Increase the input voltage until distortion occurs at the output. Record the input voltage and
capture the distorted output waveform. Report the voltage at which this distortion occurs.
d) Set the input to 4V Amplitude and place the scope in X-Y mode. Make sure that Vin is on
channel 1 and Vo is on channel 2. Capture the curve and measure the slope of the line. The
waveform must be captured with the cursors in the right place.
e) Now interchange the connections to terminals 2 and 3. Report what happens. Also capture the
waveforms at the +/- input terminals(2 & 3) of the op-amp on the same frame. Do you notice
something amiss?

3) Source Follower
a) Construct the source follower amplifier in Figure 5-3.
b) Apply a 2Vpp, 1kHz sinusoidal input signal to the amplifier. Display Vin and Vo at the same
time. (They need to be displayed simultaneously so that you can see the phase shift between
them.). Turn on the phase shift and peak-peak measurement. Capture.
c) Then increase the frequency till you see some appreciable phase shift (maybe 5%), or till the
output waveform distorts.
d) Report this frequency and take the printouts.

4) Single Supply Amplifier Design


There are times where it is not practical to require a double power supply to run an amplifier. In
these cases, one can run the amplifier from a single power supply by adding a DC offset to the non-
inverting input (in the case of an inverting amp). This allows AC signals to be amplified without clipping.
a) Construct the circuit in Figure 5-4. Power the amplifier between +15V and 0 V (ground).
b) Ground the input and adjust the output to be 7.5V. The way to do this is to adjust the
potentiometer till the output is a DC of 7.5V.
c) This adds a 7.5V offset to the output so that it any varying output will be centered at 7.5V.
d) Apply a 1Vpp, 1kHz sinusoidal input signal. Capture the I/O waveforms. Use DC coupling on
the oscilloscope.
e) Increase the input signal till the output clips. Capture the input and output. Measure the
maximum input and output signals.
100K

50K

Vin
-
Vo
+15V +

1M

Figure 5-4: The single supply inverting amplifier.

Questions and Requirements for Lab Report


The questions below are designed to deepen your understanding of op-amp limitations. Some of the
questions are for extra credit and are not at all easy. You are strongly encouraged to discuss these
questions with the TA or the instructor. The TA will refuse to discuss just before the submission but will
be open to discussions immediately after.
1) Do the gains calculated for the amplifiers designed in this experiment agree with the measured values?
Which is the biggest reason for any minor devistions. Is it the op-amp non-idealities or the resistor
tolerance? If it is op-amp non-ideality, specify which one.
2) Compare the input resistances of the inverting and non-inverting amplifiers. You should know the
input resistance of the non-inverting amplifier from theory.
3) What is the ideal phase shift of an inverting amplifier? What phase shift did you get? Is the phase
shift closer to the ideal at higher or lower frequencies? Which component is most responsible for
this non-ideality?
4) Compare the maximum output swings for the dual and single power supply amplifiers. Which is
greater? Why?
5) What type of distortion do you see when you overdrive an op-amp amplifier? Why?
6) In figure 5-1 and 5-2 we grounded the non-inverting terminals through a resistor. Does the value
of the resistor really matter? Is the resistor at all required? Why not ground it directly?
7) In Parts 1) and 2) of the procedure, when you interchanged the connections of terminals 2 and 3,
what did you observe? Is the virtual ground maintained between terminals 2 and 3? What has
happened to the output? Offer an explanation in your own words, as to why the op amp is
behaving the way it is.
8) In the source follower circuit, what kind of distortion did you see at higher frequencies? What op-
amp parameter is responsible for this distortion? The slew rate or the Gain-bandwidth product?
Suppose there is no distortion, but there is a phase shift, which parameter is now responsible?