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IEEE Trans Biomed Circuits Syst. 2013 Oct;7(5):610-20. doi: 10.1109/TBCAS.2013.2280066. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

A compact, low input capacitance neural recording amplifier.


Conventional capacitively coupled neural recording amplifiers often present a large input load capacitance to the neural signal source and hence take up large circuit area. They suffer due to the unavoidable trade-off between the input capacitance and chip area versus the amplifier gain. In this work, this trade-off is relaxed by replacing the single feedback capacitor with a clamped T-capacitor network. With this simple modification, the proposed amplifier can achieve the same mid-band gain with less input capacitance, resulting in a higher input impedance and a smaller silicon area. Prototype neural recording amplifiers based on this proposal were fabricated in 0.35 μm CMOS, and their performance is reported. The amplifiers occupy smaller area and have lower input loading capacitance compared to conventional neural amplifiers. One of the proposed amplifiers occupies merely 0.056 mm(2). It achieves 38.1-dB mid-band gain with 1.6 pF input capacitance, and hence has an effective feedback capacitance of 20 fF. Consuming 6 μW, it has an input referred noise of 13.3 μVrms over 8.5 kHz bandwidth and NEF of 7.87. In-vivo recordings from animal experiments are also demonstrated.

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