Operational amplifiers (op-amps) are versatile electronic devices commonly used in a wide range of analog circuits. They have various modes of operation, each offering unique characteristics and applications. The primary modes of operation for an op-amp are:
Open-Loop Mode: In this mode, the op-amp operates without any feedback, meaning there is no connection between the output and the inverting (-) or non-inverting (+) input terminals. The output voltage in open-loop mode is solely determined by the difference in voltage between the two input terminals and the open-loop gain of the op-amp. Open-loop mode is rarely used in practical applications due to its high gain and lack of stability.
Inverting Mode: In this mode, the op-amp is connected in a closed-loop configuration with negative feedback. The input signal is applied to the inverting (-) input terminal, and the feedback network (usually a resistor) connects the output back to the inverting input. The output voltage will be an inverted and amplified version of the input voltage. The gain in this mode is determined by the ratio of feedback resistance to the input resistance.
Non-Inverting Mode: In this mode, the op-amp is again connected in a closed-loop configuration, but this time the input signal is applied to the non-inverting (+) input terminal, while the feedback network connects the output to the inverting input. The output voltage will be a non-inverted and amplified version of the input voltage. The gain in this mode is determined by the ratio of feedback resistance to the input resistance, plus one.
Differential Mode: In this mode, the op-amp is used to amplify the voltage difference between two input signals applied to the inverting and non-inverting inputs. The output will be proportional to the difference between the two input voltages.
Common-Mode Rejection Mode (CMRR): This mode refers to the op-amp's ability to reject any signal that is common to both the inverting and non-inverting inputs. Op-amps are designed to have high common-mode rejection ratios to suppress noise and interference.
Instrumentation Mode: This mode involves using multiple op-amps in combination to create an instrumentation amplifier. It is particularly useful in applications that require high accuracy and high input impedance, such as sensor interfaces.
Comparator Mode: In this mode, the op-amp is used as a voltage comparator to compare two input voltages and produce a digital output based on their relationship. When the voltage at the non-inverting input is higher than the inverting input, the output saturates to the positive supply voltage; otherwise, it saturates to the negative supply voltage.
It's essential to configure the op-amp in the appropriate mode for a specific application to achieve the desired functionality and performance. The choice of mode depends on the circuit requirements and the behavior you want to achieve.