Source Measurement Unit provides 7A DC pulse current

November 10, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With features like high-power sourcing (up to 105V, 7A DC/7A pulse, up to 100W), basic measurement accuracy of 0.012% at 6½ digit resolution, Keithley's new Model 2460 Source Measure Unit (SMU) is particularly suited for high-power, high-precisison I-V characterisation of materials and power semiconductors. A capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface facilitates operating the desktop instrument.

Besides characterising of materials and electronic components, the Model 2460's features give it the adaptability needed for use in a wide range of applications: Its four-quadrant voltage and current source/load coupled with precision voltage and current measurement capabilities make it suitable for research and development of high power semiconductor devices made of wide bandgap materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN). These features also make it well suited for characterizing elements of power conversion and management systems, such as solar cells/panels, new materials, and power management devices for telecommunications, consumer electronics, automotive, and medical products.

For electrochemistry applications, the Model 2460's high current output supports galvanic cycling of rechargeable batteries; its four-quadrant source and sink design makes it suitable for cyclic voltammetry with electrochemical cells. Its built-in control and display features also make the Model 2460 useful for characterizing electrochemical deposition, corrosion, and electroplating.

For characterizing optoelectronic devices like LEDs, OLEDs, HBLEDs, solid-state lighting, and laser diodes, the instrument's 7A DC capability provides the high current needed for forward and reverse bias I-V characterization; the 7A pulse current capability minimizes device self-heating during leakage current testing.

The Model 2460 consolidates the functionality of a power supply, true current source, 6½-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller in one tightly integrated, half-rack instrument. In response to changes in the test and measurement market, including shrinking product design/development cycles, fewer personnel devoted exclusively to test engineering, and the growing number of instrument users who are relatively new to test, the Model 2460’s design incorporates ease-of-use features that ensure a faster “time-to-answer” than competitive solutions.

A full graphical plotting window converts raw data and displays it immediately as useful information, such as semiconductor I-V curves and voltammograms. The touchscreen supports “pinch and zoom” operation to allow examining data in the graph in detail.

Four so-called quickset modes simplify setting the Model 2460 up to make a measurement without the need