Touchscreen source measure unit instrument targets a broader range of applications

Keithley Instruments has introduced the Model 2460 SourceMeter Source Measure Unit (SMU) Instrument, the company’s latest benchtop SMU instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface (GUI). The Model 2460 offers users higher power sourcing (up to 105V, 7A DC/7A pulse, 100W max.) with 0.012% basic measurement accuracy and 6½-digit resolution, making it suitable for high power, high precision I-V characterization of modern materials and high power devices.

Based on the company’s Touch, Test, Invent design philosophy, the Model 2460’s GUI makes testing intuitive and minimizes the learning curve to help engineers and scientists learn faster, work smarter, and invent easier.

The unit’s flexible, four-quadrant voltage and current source/load coupled with precision voltage and current measurement capabilities make it suitable for research and development of modern 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 Model 2460’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 also brings together the functionality of a power supply, true current source, 6½-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller in one tightly integrated, half-rack instrument, so it can integrate the capabilities of I-V systems, curve tracers, and semiconductor analyzers at a fraction of their cost. 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.

  • The Model 2460 also offers a variety of features that speed up and simplify lab/benchtop work:
  • Full-colour, five-inch touchscreen user interface: A simple GUI and icon-based menu structure allows reaching any measurement set-up panel with just a touch, allowing even novice users to operate the instrument with confidence.
  • Extended current measurement ranges: The Model 2460’s 7A DC and pulse current capability eliminates the need to configure an additional high current power supply into a test system.
  • Graphical plotting: 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.
  • Built-in context-sensitive help function: Help information is provided right where it’s needed through the touchscreen, minimizing the need to review a manual.
  • Quickset modes: With a single touch, four Quickset modes simplify setting the Model 2460 up to make a measurement without the need to configure the instrument indirectly for this operation.
  • KickStart start-up software: This “no-programming” instrument control software simplifies taking and graphing data in minutes. For more complex analyses, data can be easily stored to disk, and then exported to Microsoft Excel® or another software environment. Up to four Model 2460s can be configured for multi-pin testing.

The Model 2460 is also engineered to simplify integration into automated test systems:

Embedded Test Script Processor (TSP) Technology: An onboard Test Script Processor embeds complete test programs into non-volatile memory within the instrument itself to provide higher test throughput by eliminating the GPIB/USB/LAN traffic problems common to systems dependent on an external PC controller. TSP technology even supports testing multiple devices in parallel, with each instrument in the system able to run its own complete test sequence, creating a fully multi-threaded test environment.

TSP-Link Channel Expansion Bus: Test system builders can easily connect multiple Model 2460s and other TSP instruments such as Keithley’s Model 2450 SourceMeter SMU Instrument, Series 2600B System SourceMeter SMU instruments, and Series 3700A Switch/Multimeter systems in a master-slave configuration that operates as one integrated system. The TSP-Link expansion bus supports up to 32 units per GPIB, USB, or IP address, making it easy to scale a system to fit an application’s particular requirements.

TriggerFlow triggering system: This system provides tight user control over instrument execution. Users can build triggering models from very simple to complex with up to 255 block levels. The Model 2460 also includes basic triggering functions, including immediate, timer, and manual triggering.

PC connectivity and automation: A rear panel mass termination connector, remote control interfaces (GPIB, USB 2.0, and LXI/Ethernet), D-sub 9-pin digital I/O port (for internal/external trigger signals and handler control), instrument interlock control, and TSP-Link jacks make it simple to configure multiple instrument test solutions and eliminate the need to invest in additional adapter accessories.


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