ET 262 Operational Amplifiers


ET262 Operational Amplifiers C 3, P 2, CR 4

This course includes further study of linear transistor circuits. Examination of frequency response and negative feedback are of prime importance. Operational amplifiers are discussed in great depth, including applications in summing, precision rectifying, voltage regulation, filtering, and other popular circuit applications. Usage of digital computers for analysis and design is discussed.

Prerequisites: ET161 Linear Electronics.


Text: Operational Amplifiers & Linear Integrated Circuits/3E:  PDF   ODT   HTML   PRINT 

Lab Manual: Laboratory Manual for Operational Amplifiers & Linear Integrated Circuits/3E:  PDF   ODT   HTML   PRINT 

Video: See the Op Amps playlist on my YouTube channel: ElectronicsWithProfessorFiore 

Tools: Scientific calculator, electronic hand tools and breadboard


The student will demonstrate knowledge of analog electrical devices, particularly operational amplifiers and their applications.

The student will be able to utilize items such as decibels, Bode plots, and negative feedback for circuit analysis.

The student will use a mathematical and problem solving approach for design and analysis, based on fundamental DC and AC circuit principles and math concepts. This will include the use of computer simulations.

The student will demonstrate facility at constructing and trouble shooting op amp circuits in the laboratory with proper use of test equipment.

The student will demonstrate appropriate communication skills, particularly technical reports through the laboratory.

The student will demonstrate the ability to work as part of a technical team, particularly in the laboratory.

Course Assessment Standards


Success in this course requires a good working knowledge of the theorems presented in ET 151 Circuits 1, and the amplifier concepts covered in ET 161 Linear Electronics. Math level is mostly algebra, although some equation proofs do require differential and/or integral calculus. Smart devices will not be allowed during tests. For lab, you'll need the standard array of goodies as used in previous courses (breadboard, DMM, small handtools, hook-up leads, etc.) Unless otherwise specified, all lab exercises require a technical report due no later than one week after the exercise. Late penalty is one letter grade for the first half week, two letter grades for the second half week. Reports are not accepted beyond two weeks and receive a grade of 0. Remember, plagiarism is grounds for failure.

Week-by-week progress and assignments


We begin with an introduction to decibels and Bode plots, something we're going to be using for the rest of the semester.

  • Reading: Chapter 1. Here is a pdf of 3 cycle semi log paper.
  • Problems: 1, 3, 7, 9, 11, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, 39, 43, 45, 47, 53.
  • Video: Introduction, Decibels Parts 1 & 2, Bode Plots from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: As always, we start the semester with proper lab safety procedures. Our first exercise will be Decibels and Bode Plots.

This week we introduce the differential amplifier and delve into the inner workings of a typical op amp. Differential amplifiers comprise the first stage of most op amps.

  • Reading: Chapter 2.
  • Problems: 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 13.
  • Video: Differential Amplifiers Parts 1 & 2, Op Amp Internals from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: The Differential Amplifier.

The concept of negative feedback is introduced. This is a very important topic. There are four basic forms or connections, and we will focus our attention on the two most popular types (series-parallel and parallel-parallel).

  • Reading: Chapter 3.
  • Problems: 1, 3, 7, 13, 15, 19.
  • Video: Comparator Simulations, Negative Feedback, Noninverting Voltage Amplifer from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: The Op Amp Comparator.

This week we examine some basic op amp circuits including summing amplifiers, single-supply biasing, and current-boosting. Once we finish this section, we'll have our first test.

  • Reading: Chapter 4.
  • Problems:  1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 18, 23, 27, 33, 35, 43. Try the first couple of problems on the Op Amp  Practice 1 Self Test.
  • Video: Inverting Voltage Amplifierm Inverting Summing Amplifier, Op Amp Diff Amp  from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: The Non-inverting Voltage Amplifier.

Up to now, the op amp has been treated as a fairly ideal device. We now spend some time looking at the practical limitations of op amp circuits including frequency response, slew rate, offsets, drift, and noise.

  • Reading: First half of chapter 5.
  • Problems: 1, 3, 5, 7, 13, 23, 27, 29. Finish the Op Amp  Practice 1 Self Test.
  • Video: Gain Bandwidth Product, Slew Rate, f2 and Slew Rate Simulations from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: The Inverting Voltage Amplifier.

We continue with the practical limits of op circuits.


We begin the study of active filters. We will look at several popular forms and applications. This will be more of an overview since a thorough examination of the topic could easily take an entire semester.


We complete our look at active filters and begin a discussion of analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion.

  • Reading: Finish chapter 11 and begin chapter 12.
  • Problems: Chapter 11: 33, 37. Chapter 12: 1, 3, 5, 7,  9, 11.
  • Video: State Variable Filter, Intro to PCM from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: DC Offset.

A/D and D/A conversion and applications are finished this week. We'll have our second test.

  • Reading: Finish chapter 12.
  • Problems: 17, 19, 21.
  • Video: Digital to Analog Conversion, Analog to Digital Conversion from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: VCVS Filters.

We examine non-linear applications such as precision rectifiers.

  • Reading: Start chapter 7.
  • Problems: 1, 3, 5.
  • Video: Precision Rectifiers from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: The State-Variable Filter or The Multiple Feedback Filter.

We continue with non-linear applications including function approximators. Function approximators (AKA function generators or synthesizers) can be used to correct for transducer non-linearity or to force a waveform into a new shape (such as turning a triangle wave into a sine wave).

  • Reading: Finish chapter 7.
  • Problems: 13, 19, 33, 35, 43. Try the first problem on the Op Amp Practice 3 Self Test.
  • Video: Function Synthesis, Function Synthesis Redux from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: Precision Rectifiers.

Voltage regulation is an extremely useful function, so there should be no surprise at the wide range of regulators on the market. We begin with some simple linear regulators and work up to switching regulators.

  • Reading: Chapter 8.
  • Problems: 1, 3, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19. 
  • Video: Linear Regulators, Switching Regulators from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: The Linear Regulator.

After finishing off regulation, we pick up with oscillators and frequency generators.

  • Reading: Chapter 9.
  • Problems: 1, 5, 7, 9, 15, 31, 37, 39. Try the second problem on the Op Amp Practice 3 Self Test.
  • Video: Oscillators Intro, Wien Bridge Oscillator, Triangle Square Generator from the Op Amps playlist.
  • Lab: The Triangle-Square Generator.


This week we look at a collection of special purpose op amps including those designed for high power, high current, and high voltage applications, as well as high speed video op amps, OTAs, and Norton amplifiers. Time permitting, We'll have our last in-class test.

  • Reading: Chapter 6
  • Problems: 1, 5, 9, 11, 13, 19, 23.
  • Lab: The Operational Transconductance Amplifier or Parallel-Series and Series-Series Negative Feedback.

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