How to Build an Integrator Op Amp Circuit
In this circuit, we will show how to build an integrator op amp circuit using an LM741 operational amplifier chip.
A integrator circuit is a circuit that performs the mathematical operation of integration.
Integration is a calculus function that is the opposite of differentiation.
So if you perform a differentiation operation and then you perform an integration operation, you get the original function, because integration is the opposite or undoing of differentiation.
So if we feed a voltage signal into the inverting terminal of the op amp, which is the input terminal of the integrator (the noninverting terminal is grounded), it will integrate that voltage signal. Out of the output of the op amp will be the integrated voltage signal.
So, for example, if we feed a square wave signal into the input of the op amp, from the output will be a sawtooth or triangle waveform. This is because
when a square wave is integrated, the output is a triangle waveform signal.
- LM741 op amp chip
- 10KΩ resistor
- 1MΩ resistor
- 1nF ceramic capacitor
The LM741 is an operational amplifier IC that we use to build this integrator op amp circuit.
The LM741 is an 8-pin chip.
In order to know how to build this circuit, you must know the pinout of an LM741, in order to connect the pins properly.
Below is the pinout of the LM741 op amp chip.
Pin 1: Offset Null- This is the pin where we add voltage to if we want to eliminate the offset voltage.
This is if we want to completely balance the input
voltages. More on this at offset terminals
Pin 2: Inverting Input- This is where the positive part of the input signal that we want to amplify goes if we want our amplified signal inverted. If we don't want it inverted, we place the positve part of the signal into the Non-inverting terminal and place the negative or ground part of our signal here.
Pin 3: Non-inverting Input- This is where the positive part of the input signal that we want amplified goes if we want our signal non-inverted.
Pin 4: V-- The LM741 Op amp is a dual power supply op amp, meaning it must be supplied positive DC voltage and negative DC voltage. Pin 4 is where the op amp gets supplied with negative DC voltage.
Pin 5: Offset Null- This is the pin where we add voltage to if we want to eliminate the offset voltage. This is if we want to completely balance the input voltages. More on this at offset terminals
Pin 6: Output- This is the terminal where the output, the amplified signal, comes out of. Whatever output the amplifier will drive gets connected to this terminal.
Pin 7: V+- This is the terminal which receives the positive DC voltage.
Pin 8: NC- This pin stands for Not Connected. It is not used for anything and should be left open.
Integrator Op Amp Circuit
The integrator op amp circuit we will build with an LM741 op amp chip is shown below.
Below is the breadboard circuit of the circuit shown above.
So, when there is a resistor at the input to the inverting terminal and a resistor and capacitor are in parallel with one side connected to the inverting terminal and the other side to the output, we have an integrator circuit.
So the first thing to consider about this circuit is power requirements.
Since we're dealing with AC signals, such as square, triangle, and sine waves, the LM741 must be supplied with a dual power supply. What this means is a positive voltage must be fed into the op amp along with a negative voltage. The reason this is done is so that positive and negative DC rails can be established for the op amp. Now the AC signal, whether a square wave or a triangle wave or a sine wave, can swing from those 2 rails. Say, for instance, we feed +5V and -5V into our circuit, the AC signal can now then swing from up to +5V to -5V. If we feed +10V and -10V into the op amp, the AC signal has even more room now to swing; it can swing from +10V to -10V. If you see clipping on the output signal, this means the rails aren't high enough or the input signal is too high. You either have to increase the rails or decrease the amplitude of the input signal to eliminate the clipping.
In this circuit, we use about +5V and -5V for the DC rails for the op amp. This is sufficient for basic purposes.
+5V is fed into V+, pin 7.
-5V is fed into V-, pin 4.
This establishes power for the op amp circuit.
Pins 1, 5, and 8 are not used in this circuit, so these pins are simply left unconnected.
The next thing to consider is the value of the RC network across the inverting terminal and the output of the op amp.
In this circuit, we're using a 1MΩ resistor and a 1nF capacitor. Doing the math, this circuit deals with frequencies that are very low, in the hundreds of hertz. So this circuit will differentiate signals near the 100s of hertz range. It doesn't work for all frequencies. Only frequencies that are compatible with the values chosen for the resistor and capacitor, the RC netowrk. The circuit won't work for frequencies well outside this range. So the input signal for this circuit has to be about under 1KHz, or else you will not get proper output.
So be aware that the frequency of the input signal must be compatible with the resistor and capacitor being used.
For this integrator circuit, if a square wave is input into the circuit, the output will be a triangle wave.
If a triangle wave is input into this integrator circuit, the output will be a sine wave.
So if you connect an oscilloscope to the output of this circuit, with a square wave as the input, you should get a triangle wave at the output. With a triangle wave as the input, you should get a sine wave as the output.
And this is how an integrator op amp circuit can be built with an LM741.
To see how this circuit operates in real life, see the video below.
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