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A Framework For Teaching Nonlinear Op Amp Circuits To Junior Undergraduate Electrical Engineering Students

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.27.1 - 15.27.15



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Paper Authors

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Bharathwaj Muthuswamy Milwaukee School of Engineering

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Joerg Mossbrucker Milwaukee School of Engineering

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Framework for Teaching Nonlinear Operational Amplifier Circuits to Junior Undergraduate Electrical Engineering Students

Abstract In this work, we propose a framework for teaching nonlinear operational amplifier (op- amp) circuits. This course would be for junior electrical engineering students who have a working knowledge of linear circuit theory and are starting the study of op-amp circuits. The framework involves mathematically understanding a nonlinear op-amp circuit, simulating the circuit and implementing the circuit in the laboratory. The students compare and study the results from all three approaches. The goal of this framework is to teach a few basic but very powerful concepts which can be used to analyze practical nonlinear op-amp circuits. This paper describes the framework followed by an application to the design, simulation and implementation of a negative impedance converter.

1 Introduction

The main objective of this paper is to present an approach (i.e..framework) for understanding nonlinear op-amp circuits. Although other frameworks have been proposed in the past1 , the defining feature of our framework is that it emphasizes all three fundamental aspects of engi- neering - design, simulation and implementation - with respect to nonlinear op-amp circuits. The purpose of teaching nonlinear op-amp circuits is to help the students gain a better under- standing of op-amp functionality. We will be using this framework as a part of the nonlinear op-amp course for junior undergraduate electrical engineering students in Spring 2010. The proposed approach (main concepts are highlighted in italics) is: 1. Explain the basic op-amp model by mathematically highlighting the differences between positive and negative feedback. 2. Mathematically derive an i − v graph for a simple one-port op-amp circuit (the Negative Impedance Converter or NIC) by using the basic op-amp model from the previous step. 3. Simulate the NIC to justify mathematical calculations. 4. Implement the NIC and compare the results from steps 2, 3 and 4. 5. Illustrate applications of the NIC to oscillator design by introducing the concept of dy- namic route2 . The organization of this paper follows the framework proposed above. Mathematical de- tails are left, as usual, to the appendices.

Muthuswamy, B., & Mossbrucker, J. (2010, June), A Framework For Teaching Nonlinear Op Amp Circuits To Junior Undergraduate Electrical Engineering Students Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15753

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