*Op Amp Input Offset Voltage*
CIRCUIT
OP_VOFF.CIR
Download the
SPICE file
Build any op amp circuit, apply 0V to its input, and what do you expect at
the output? Although you'd be tempted to say 0 V, there's actually an error
voltage present at its output. What causes this error? You can trace the
error back to a number of unbalances in the op amp's internal transistors and
resistors. To account for this in a circuit design, the net
error is modeled as an offset voltage, Voff, in series with op amp's input terminals. How
will it affect your circuit? That depends on the op amp itself and your
circuit design.
INPUT OFFSET VOLTAGE
The input offset voltage can range from microvolts to millivolts and can
be either polarity.
Generally, bipolar op amps have lower offset voltages than JFET or
CMOS types.
But wait, there's more trouble. The input offset voltage will change
∆V (voltage drift) with a change in
temperature ∆T. This error is a linear
function of temperature and is defined by
*Voff_TC = *∆*Voff
/ *∆*T
(V/deg C)*
For an with a voltage of 25 uV / deg C, what is the drift over, say
∆T = 10 deg C?
*Voff = Voff_TC · *
∆*T*
= (25 uV / deg C)
· 10 deg C
= 0.25 mV
This could add some serious error into your temperature senor circuit! But, knowing your overall error
budget, you can select an op amp with a low enough offset drift to meet the
target circuit performance.
AMPLIFIER WITH OFFSET VOLTAGE
The offset voltage is modeled in series with one of the op amp input
terminals. Which one? Although the net effect is the same at either input,
it's much easier to analyze Voff in series with the positive (V+) input. Why? The
resulting circuit with Voff at V+ looks just like the **non-inverting
amplifier** configuration. The analysis for this circuit is a simple one.
Ignoring Voff for a moment, is the circuit (shown above) an inverting or
non-inverting amplifier? The answer is *yes, both*! With the input
signal source set to 0 V ( shorted ), the inverting and non-inverting
amplifiers look the same. The analysis for offset voltage is independent of
the amplifier configuration. You can predict the error at the output Vo by
the equation for the non-inverting amplifier
*Vo_error = Voff ( R2 / R1 + 1 )*
What danger is this equation warning you about? If you have a large
signal gain in your circuit, the amplifier will increase the error Voff along with the signal.
CIRCUIT INSIGHT
Run a simulation of OP_VOFF.CIR. Voltage source VOFF
models the offset voltage, initially set to +1 mV. With R1 = 10k and R2 =
100 k, what is the error at the output V(4)? The output error gets bumped to a
whopping 11 mV as predicted by the equation above. Choose a different
gain and/or offset voltage. Run a simulation. Is the output error what you
expected?
OFFSET ADJUSTMENT
Need to adjust the the effect of the input offset voltage to zero? Add a
potentiometer and a resistor.(See Op Amp Input Offset
Adjustment)
INPUT BIAS CURRENT
Input offset voltage is not the only error of the op amp's input. The
input stage is made of transistors, requiring a finite amount of
bias current for operation. The circuit above assumes the bias is
negligible. However, real op amps have bias currents to be reckoned with. The
good news is there are clever techniques you can use to minimize and cancel
out these errors too.
(See Op Amp Input Bias Currents
)
SPICE FILE
Download the file
or copy this netlist into a text file with the *.cir
extention.
OP_VOFF.CIR - OPAMP OFFSET VOLTAGE
*
* AMPLIFIER CIRCUIT
*
R1 0 2 10K
R2 2 4 100K
XOP1 3 2 4 OPAMP1 ;V+ V- VOUT
*
* OPAMP INPUT OFFSET VOLTAGE
VOFF 3 0 DC 1MV
*
*
* OPAMP MACRO MODEL, SINGLE-POLE
* connections: non-inverting input
* | inverting input
* | | output
* | | |
.SUBCKT OPAMP1 1 2 6
* INPUT IMPEDANCE
RIN 1 2 10MEG
* GAIN BW PRODUCT = 10MHZ
* DC GAIN (100K) AND POLE 1 (100HZ)
EGAIN 3 0 1 2 100K
RP1 3 4 1K
CP1 4 0 1.5915UF
* OUTPUT BUFFER AND RESISTANCE
EBUFFER 5 0 4 0 1
ROUT 5 6 10
.ENDS
*
* ANALYSIS
.TRAN 0.1MS 10MS
* VIEW RESULTS
.PRINT TRAN V(4)
.PROBE
.END
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