Sallen-Key Low Pass Filter Design Equations

The Sallen-Key filter is a very popular active filter which can be used to create 2nd order filter stages that can be cascaded together to form larger order filters. The op-amp provides buffering between filter stages, so that each stage can be designed independently of the others. These circuits are suitable for filters which have complex conjugate poles.

When implementing a particular transfer function, a designer will typically find all of the poles, and group them into real poles and complex conjugate pairs. Each of the complex conjugate pole pares are then implemented with a Sallen-Key filter, and the circuits are cascaded together to form the complete filter.

We've created a low pass Butterworth Sallen-Key filter calculator, which automatically computes the resistor and capacitor values for a filter with a given number of poles.

Sallen Key Low Pass Filter Schematic

We want to derive a transfer function for the Sallen-Key op-amp circuit in the following form:

The sum of the currents at node V1.

Substituting for V1

We have more free parameters than we really need so we can set R1=R2=R.

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