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**Frequency Characteristics of AC Circuits**

Chapter 17 Frequency Characteristics of AC Circuits Introduction A High-Pass RC Network A Low-Pass RC Network A Low-Pass RL Network A High-Pass RL Network A Comparison of RC and RL Networks Bode Diagrams Combining the Effects of Several Stages RLC Circuits and Resonance Filters Stray Capacitance and Inductance

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17.1 Introduction Earlier we looked at the bandwidth and frequency response of amplifiers Having now looked at the AC behaviour of components we can consider these in more detail The reactance of both inductors and capacitance is frequency dependent and we know that

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**We will start by considering very simple circuits **

Consider the potential divider shown here from our earlier consideration of the circuit rearranging, the gain of the circuit is this is also called the transfer function of the circuit

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**A High-Pass RC Network Consider the following circuit**

17.2 A High-Pass RC Network Consider the following circuit which is shown re-drawn in a more usual form

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**Clearly the transfer function is**

At high frequencies is large, voltage gain 1 At low frequencies is small, voltage gain 0

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**Since the denominator has real and imaginary parts, the magnitude of the voltage gain is**

When 1/CR = 1 This is a halving of power, or a fall in gain of 3 dB

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**The half power point is the cut-off frequency of the circuit**

the angular frequency C at which this occurs is given by where is the time constant of the CR network. Also

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**Substituting =2f and CR = 1/ 2fC in the earlier equation gives**

This is the general form of the gain of the circuit It is clear that both the magnitude of the gain and the phase angle vary with frequency

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**Consider the behaviour of the circuit at different frequencies: **

When f >> fc fc/f << 1, the voltage gain 1 When f = fc When f << fc

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**The behaviour in these three regions can be illustrated using phasor diagrams**

At low frequencies the gain is linearly related to frequency. It falls at -6dB/octave (-20dB/decade)

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**Frequency response of the high-pass network**

the gain response has two asymptotes that meet at the cut-off frequency figures of this form are called Bode diagrams

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**A Low-Pass RC Network Transposing the C and R gives**

17.3 A Low-Pass RC Network Transposing the C and R gives At high frequencies is large, voltage gain 0 At low frequencies is small, voltage gain 1

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**A Low-Pass RC Network A similar analysis to before gives**

17.3 A Low-Pass RC Network A similar analysis to before gives Therefore when, when CR = 1 Which is the cut-off frequency

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**Therefore the angular frequency C at which this occurs is given by**

where is the time constant of the CR network, and as before

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**Substituting =2f and CR = 1/ 2fC in the earlier equation gives**

This is similar, but not the same, as the transfer function for the high-pass network

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**Consider the behaviour of this circuit at different frequencies: **

When f << fc f/fc << 1, the voltage gain 1 When f = fc When f >> fc

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**The behaviour in these three regions can again be illustrated using phasor diagrams**

At high frequencies the gain is linearly related to frequency. It falls at 6dB/octave (20dB/decade)

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**Frequency response of the low-pass network**

the gain response has two asymptotes that meet at the cut-off frequency you might like to compare this with the Bode Diagram for a high-pass network

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17.4 A Low-Pass RL Network Low-pass networks can also be produced using RL circuits these behave similarly to the corresponding CR circuit the voltage gain is the cut-off frequency is

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17.5 A High-Pass RL Network High-pass networks can also be produced using RL circuits these behave similarly to the corresponding CR circuit the voltage gain is the cut-off frequency is

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**A Comparison of RC and RL Networks**

17.6 A Comparison of RC and RL Networks Circuits using RC and RL techniques have similar characteristics for a more detailed comparison, see Figure in the course text

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17.7 Bode Diagrams Straight-line approximations

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**Creating more detailed Bode diagrams**

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**Combining the Effects of Several Stages**

17.8 Combining the Effects of Several Stages The effects of several stages ‘add’ in bode diagrams

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**Multiple high- and low-pass elements may also be combined**

this is illustrated in Figure in the course text

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**RLC Circuits and Resonance**

17.9 RLC Circuits and Resonance Series RLC circuits the impedance is given by if the magnitude of the reactance of the inductor and capacitor are equal, the imaginary part is zero, and the impedance is simply R this occurs when

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**This situation is referred to as resonance**

the frequency at which is occurs is the resonant frequency in the series resonant circuit, the impedance is at a minimum at resonance the current is at a maximum at resonance

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**The resonant effect can be quantified by the quality factor, Q**

this is the ratio of the energy dissipated to the energy stored in each cycle it can be shown that and

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**The series RLC circuit is an acceptor circuit**

the narrowness of bandwidth is determined by the Q combining this equation with the earlier one gives

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Parallel RLC circuits as before

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**The parallel arrangement is a rejector circuit**

in the parallel resonant circuit, the impedance is at a maximum at resonance the current is at a minimum at resonance in this circuit

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17.10 Filters RC Filters The RC networks considered earlier are first-order or single-pole filters these have a maximum roll-off of 6 dB/octave they also produce a maximum of 90 phase shift Combining multiple stages can produce filters with a greater ultimate roll-off rates (12 dB, 18 dB, etc.) but such filters have a very soft ‘knee’

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An ideal filter would have constant gain and zero phase shift for frequencies within its pass band, and zero gain for frequencies outside this range (its stop band) Real filters do not have these idealised characteristics

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LC Filters Simple LC filters can be produced using series or parallel tuned circuits these produce narrow-band filters with a centre frequency fo

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Active filters combining an op-amp with suitable resistors and capacitors can produce a range of filter characteristics these are termed active filters

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**see Section 17.10.3 of the course text for more information on these**

Common forms include: Butterworth optimised for a flat response Chebyshev optimised for a sharp ‘knee’ Bessel optimised for its phase response see Section of the course text for more information on these

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**Stray Capacitance and Inductance**

17.11 Stray Capacitance and Inductance All circuits have stray capacitance and stray inductance these unintended elements can dramatically affect circuit operation for example: (a) Cs adds an unintended low-pass filter (b) Ls adds an unintended low-pass filter (c) Cs produces an unintended resonant circuit and can produce instability

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Key Points The reactance of capacitors and inductors is dependent on frequency Single RC or RL networks can produce an arrangement with a single upper or lower cut-off frequency. In each case the angular cut-off frequency o is given by the reciprocal of the time constant For an RC circuit = CR, for an RL circuit = L/R Resonance occurs when the reactance of the capacitive element cancels that of the inductive element Simple RC or RL networks represent single-pole filters Active filters produce high performance without inductors Stray capacitance and inductance are found in all circuits

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