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Chapter: Linear Integrated Ciruits : Characteristics of op-amp

IC 741 Bipolar operational amplifier

The IC 741 produced since 1966 by several manufactures is a widely used general purpose operational amplifier.

IC 741 Bipolar operational amplifier:


The IC 741 produced since 1966 by several manufactures is a widely used general purpose operational amplifier. Figure shows that equivalent circuit of the 741 op-amp, divided into various individual stages. The op-amp circuit consists of three stages.


1.        the input differential amplifier


2.        The gain stage


3.        the output stage.


A bias circuit is used to establish the bias current for whole of the circuit in the IC. The op-amp is supplied with positive and negative supply voltages of value ± 15V, and the supply voltages as low as ±5V can also be used.



Bias Circuit:


The reference bias current IREF for the 741 circuit is established by the bias circuit consisting of two diodes-connected transistors Q11 and Q12 and resistor R5. The widlar current source formed by Q11 , Q10 and R4 provide bias current for the differential amplifier stage at the collector of Q10.

ransistors Q8 and Q9 form another current mirror providing bias current for the differential amplifier. The reference bias current IREF also provides mirrored and proportional current at the collector of the double –collector lateral PNP transistor Q13. The transistor Q13 and Q= thus form a two-output current mirror with Q13A providing bias current for output stage and Q13B providing bias current for Q17. The transistor Q18 and Q19 provide dc bias for the output stage. Formed by Q14 and Q20 and they establish two VBE drops of potential difference between the bases of Q14 and Q18 .


Input stage:


The input differential amplifier stage consists of transistors Q= through Q7 with biasing provided by Q= through Q12. The transistor Q1 and Q2 form emitter – followers contributing to high differential input resistance, and whose output currents are inputs to the common base amplifier using Q3 and Q4 which offers a large voltage gain.


The transistors Q5, Q6 and Q7 along with resistors R1, R2 and R3 from the active load for input stage. The single-ended output is available at the collector of Q6.the two null terminals in the input stage facilitate the null adjustment. The lateral PNP transistors Q3 and Q4 provide additional protection against voltage breakdown conditions. The emitter-base junction Q3 and Q4 have higher emitter-base breakdown voltages of about 50V. Therefore, placing PNP transistors in series with NPN transistors provide protection against accidental shorting of supply to the input terminals.


Gain Stage:


The Second or the gain stage consists of transistors Q16 and Q17, with Q16 acting as an emitter – follower for achieving high input resistance. The transistor Q17 operates in common emitter configuration with its collector voltage applied as input to the output stage. Level shifting is done for this signal at this stage.


Internal compensation through Miller compensation technique is achieved using the feedback capacitor C1 connected between the output and input terminals of the gain stage.


Output stage:


The output stage is a class AB circuit consisting of complementary emitter follower transistor pair Q14 and Q20 . Hence, they provide an effective loss output resistance and current gain.


The output of the gain stage is connected at the base of Q22 , which is connected as an emitter – follower providing a very high input resistance, and it offers no appreciable loading effect on the

gain stage. It is biased by transistor Q13A which also drives Q18 and Q19, that are used for establishing a quiescent bias current in the output transistors Q14 and Q20.


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