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Compact op amp promises remarkable data accuracy

29 Oct 2015

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Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) has unleashed an electrometer-grade operational amplifier that the company said allows chemical analysis instruments to reach the highest level of precision and data repeatability over a wider temperature range in a compact solution. In addition, it also claims to reduce that overall BOM and design footprint.

The ADA4530-1 op amp achieves this with an input bias current. Such low bias current makes the ADA4530-1 ideal for interfacing to sensors that are sensitive to output loading such as photo diodes and other high output impedance sensors often used in precision monitoring/analysis equipment such as spectrophotometers, chromatographs and mass spectrometers, as well as potentiostatic and amperostatic coulometry measurement devices. The amp also can be used as a front-end amplifier for picoammeter and coulombmeter instrumentation systems, as a transimpedance amplifier for photodiodes, ion chambers and working electrode measurements, or as a high-impedance buffer for chemical and capacitive sensors.


The ADA4530-1 op amp's input bias current is 250fA at 125°C, which is 20 times lower than competitive amplifiers, and drops to 20fA at 85°C, which is 50 times lower than competing devices, noted the company. Additionally, the ADA4530-1 claims to be the only op amp able to specify the same input bias current of 20fA from room temperature to 85°C and is the only amp in its class to be fully production tested for bias current at room temperature and 125°C. The closest competing op amps are rarely specified at 125°C and none are production tested at room temperature for the bias current, which prevents system designers from taking full advantage of the sensitivity of their sensors, because they need to leave some guard band for a wider variation of the bias current. It also supports ±2.5V to ±8V or 5V to 16V voltage range.

The ADA4530-1 also incorporates an on-chip guard buffer that tracks the input common-mode voltage and provides an output that is useful for driving PCB guard rings or the guard shield of interconnecting shielding used to reduce the effects of stray capacitance on the sensitive connections between the sensor and the amplifier. This simplifies sensor interface design by removing the need for the customer to design a separate circuit to provide the required output drive, thus reducing design time, cost, and PCB space.

The ADA4530-1 is available in 8-lead SOIC package for $11.40 each in 1,000 quantities.


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