### ETC AB-002

```APPLICATION BULLETIN
®
Mailing Address: PO Box 11400 • Tucson, AZ 85734 • Street Address: 6730 S. Tucson Blvd. • Tucson, AZ 85706
Tel: (520) 746-1111 • Twx: 910-952-111 • Telex: 066-6491 • FAX (520) 889-1510 • Immediate Product Info: (800) 548-6132
MAKE A PRECISION CURRENT SOURCE OR CURRENT SINK
By R. Mark Stitt (602) 746-7445
been: “How do I make the world’s most accurate current
source and current sink?” Figures 1 and 2 respectively show
the circuits for making precision current sources and sinks.
R2
10kΩ
REF102
+10V 6
Out
–
4
R1
OPA111
+
Gnd
4
4
–
OPA111
+
R1
IOUT = –10V/R1
IOUT = –10V/R1
FIGURE 2. Precision Current Sink.
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Compliance of the circuit depends on input and output range
of the op amp used and the 11.4V minimum supply range of
the REF102. The application guide goes into more detail.
The performance of circuits using current source references
depends only on the ratio accuracy of the scaling resistors.
It is much easier to get good resistor ratio accuracy than to
get good absolute accuracy, especially when using resistor
networks.
Can be connected
to ground or –VS.
FIGURE 1. Precision Current Source.
The current sink is shown in Figure 2. The op amp drives
both the voltage reference ground connection and the current-scaling resistor, R1, so that the voltage reference output
is equal to the load voltage. This forces –10.0V across R1 so
that the current sink output is –10V/R1. The R2, C1 network
provides local feedback around the op amp to assure loop
stability. It also provides noise filtering. With the values
shown, the reference noise is filtered by a single pole with
f–3dB = 1/(2 • π • R2 • C1) = 16kHz.
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Can be connected
to ground or +VS.
Keep in mind that the accuracy of a voltage-reference-based
current source depends on the absolute accuracy of the
current scaling resistor (R1). The absolute TCR and stability
of the resistor directly affect the current source temperature
drift and stability. If you use a 50ppm/°C resistor (common
for 1% metal film resistors), the precision current source will
have approximately 50ppm/°C drift with temperature—worse
than the 25ppm/°C drift of a REF200.
V+
Gnd
C1
1000pF
3
REF102
6 +10V
Out
Burr-Brown offers a wide variety of support components
which are excellent choices for generation or conversion of
current. Application Guide (AN-165) has proven valuable in
selecting these components.
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8
9
10
Application Bulletin Number 2
+VS
2
2
+VS
2
V+
The precision current source and sink are based on the new
REF102 10.0V voltage reference. With 2.5ppm/°C VOUT
drift, and better than 5ppm/1000hrs long-term stability (see
table on page 2), this buried-zener-based voltage reference
offers the best performance available from a single-chip
voltage reference today. The REF200 uses a band-gap type
reference to allow low-voltage two-terminal operation. This
makes it a good general-purpose part, but its drift and
stability and initial accuracy cannot compare to that of the
REF102.
The current source is shown in Figure 1. The voltagefollower connected op amp forces the voltage reference
ground connection to be equal to the load voltage. The
reference output then forces an accurate 10.0V across R1 so
that the current output is 10V/R1.
1
11
12
13
14
15
16
1990 Burr-Brown Corporation
1
AB-002C
Printed in U.S.A. February, 1994
REF102CM +10.0V REFERENCE STABILITY vs TIME
TA = 25°C, VS = +15V.
UNIT
VOUT CHANGE
FROM 1 HR
TO 168 HRS
[ppm]
VOUT CHANGE
FROM 1 HR
TO 1008 HRS
[ppm]
VOUT CHANGE
FROM 1 HR
TO 2016 HRS
[ppm]
VOUT CHANGE
FROM 1 HR
TO 3072 HRS
[ppm]
VOUT CHANGE
FROM 1 HR
TO 5136 HRS
[ppm]
VOUT CHANGE
FROM 1 HR
TO 14205 HRS
[ppm]
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
6.8
5.1
9.4
9.6
12.9
10.5
10.3
17.0
6.2
7.1
13.0
7.5
13.0
4.2
7.3
5.5
1.0
6.5
6.9
7.8
6.4
5.7
14.5
5.1
1.7
9.6
4.7
9.5
3.0
4.3
7.1
1.2
3.2
7.7
9.6
5.3
6.2
12.9
3.8
1.3
9.6
3.9
10.4
0.5
2.6
4.7
–2.1
1.0
5.6
6.7
3.0
3.7
9.2
1.7
0.1
10.0
4.2
8.2
–0.3
1.8
8.2
0.1
1.8
7.6
9.5
5.4
5.8
9.9
2.7
1.0
13.0
5.0
9.9
4.2
4.1
11.7
1.3
2.0
10.3
12.8
9.4
8.2
13.7
4.1
2.4
16.5
7.4
13.7
2.8
3.9
The information provided herein is believed to be reliable; however, BURR-BROWN assumes no responsibility for inaccuracies or omissions. BURR-BROWN assumes
no responsibility for the use of this information, and all use of such information shall be entirely at the user’s own risk. Prices and specifications are subject to change
without notice. No patent rights or licenses to any of the circuits described herein are implied or granted to any third party. BURR-BROWN does not authorize or warrant
any BURR-BROWN product for use in life support devices and/or systems.
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