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Voltage Follower

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Voltage Follower Properties

Voltage followers are used to boost the current available from a circuit without increasing the voltage at the same time.

The circuit can be used as a buffer or driver. This isolates the output circuit so the input is not affected in any way by the output device.

If you have a circuit that is capable of providing plenty of voltage but little current, adding a voltage follower will increase the current that can be supplied. The voltage follower does not amplify the voltage but the output current can be much higher than that of the original circuit.

Op Amp Voltage Follower.gif

For the Falstad Circuit Simulation, CTRL+Click Voltage Follower
In options, check European Resistors and uncheck Conventional Current.

Alternatively view Voltage_Follower.txt.
Save or copy the text on the web page. Import the saved or copied text into the Falstad simulator.

Here is the new HTML5 Simulator Site.

The input current = zero. The output current is quite large. There is lots of current gain.

For the mathematically inclined, a voltage follower is a non inverting amplifier where ...

Voltage Follower Example

Here a Zener diode is providing a reference voltage such as 9 volts. The current available from this reference voltage circuit is minimal. The voltage follower outputs the same reference voltage but with enough current to supply the motor. If the motor load increases, the voltage follower maintains the same output voltage but allows more current to flow in the motor. Stabilised power supplies work like this.

Op Amp Voltage Follower Example.gif

The Zener diode needs to have about 5 or 10 mA breakdown current flowing through it. This ensures that the Zener voltage will be correctly established.




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