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The LM741 is a general-purpose operational amplifier It offers many features which make its application nearly foolproof: overload protection on the input and output, no latch-up when the common- mode range is exceeded, as well as freedom from oscillations.
It is intended for a wide range of analog applications. The high gain and wide range of operating voltage provide superior performance in integrator, summing amplifier, and general feedback applications. The LM741 can operate with a single or dual power supply voltage.
The LM741 can be operated in an open-loop configuration. The magnitude of the open-loop gain is typically large thus for a small difference between the noninverting and inverting input terminals, the amplifier output will be driven near the supply voltage. Without negative feedback, the LM741 can act as a comparator. If the inverting input is held at 0 V, and the input voltage applied to the noninverting input is positive, the output will be positive. If the input voltage applied to the noninverting input is negative, the output will be negative.
In a closed-loop configuration, negative feedback is used by applying a portion of the output voltage to the inverting input. Unlike the open-loop configuration, closed loop feedback reduces the gain of the circuit. The overall gain and response of the circuit is determined by the feedback network rather than the operational amplifier characteristics. The response of the operational amplifier circuit is characterized by the transfer function.