3V Supply Splitter

Many modern circuits tend to work from a single supply voltage of 3V. But often they need a virtual earth at half the supply voltage for efficient operation. The splitter shown in the diagram bisects the supply voltage with a high-resistance potential divider, R1-R2, and buffers the resulting 1.5 V line with an op amp. Since the op amp used is not a fast type, the output is decoupled by capacitive divider C2-C3. This ensures that the impedance of the virtual earth point remains low over a wide frequency band. Because the potential at the junction C2-C3-R3 is fed back to the inverting input of IC1, the circuit becomes a standard voltage follower.

Resistor R3 ensures that the regulation remains stable. The circuit can regulate ±2mA without any difficulties. Because of the low current drawn by IC1, and the high resistance of R1 and R2, the overall current drain is low. In the absence of a load, it was 13µA in the prototype, of which 1.5µA flows through R1-R2. Finally, since IC1 can operate from a voltage as low as 1.6V, the splitter will remain fully operational when the battery nears the end of its charge or life.