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Current-Voltage Measurement Systems

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Current-voltage measurements ​are critical for the characterization of any semiconductor device. These measurements are always considered as a first step prior to complex electrical transport studies of semiconductor materials. Measurements and analysis of I-V curves are helpful in understanding conduction mechanisms in semiconductor devices and at the metal-semiconductor interfaces. In general, two, three, or four-terminal measurements are considered. Different device bias conditions can be required, such as DC or pulse measurements. Source-measure units are manufactured by Keithley Instruments/Tektronix, Keysight Technologies, and National Instruments are key instruments in I-V characterization.

Transient Signal Technologies offers I-V measurement systems with a Keithley 236 source-measure unit. This allows I-V measurements using two or four-point probe characterization in DC and pulse measurement modes. Both bias modes are available: bias voltage and measure current or bias current and measure voltage. Different sweep waveforms in either measurement mode are available: fixed level, linear stair, linear stair pulse, etc.

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The I-V measurement system is supplied with a Dell desktop computer and a 22" wide LCD monitor. Data acquisition is done via a GPIB interface and an IEEE-488 PCI card from National Instruments installed in the computer. Transient Signal Technologies offers an executable file with LabView software for the system, allowing different measurement modes in two- or four-probe configurations. The Keithley 236 source-measure unit can be configured as required by the experiment type. All measured data can be saved in the user-friendly formats and further processed by advanced scientific programs like Origin, IgorPro, Matlab, etc.

The I-V measurement system is equipped with a Hewlett-Packard Test Fixture, Model 16058A. This test fixture allows easy access to semiconductor device terminals or samples by use of socket boards, necessary interconnects to test input/output terminals of Keithley 236 source-measure unit. For stable and accurate measurements at very low current levels, the 16058A is equipped with an electrostatic light-shielding cover. Low noise, low-level electrical signal measurements are possible by use triaxial and coaxial connectors and electrical triaxial wires connected to the source-measure unit. Keithley 236 source-measure unit can be connected to an end-user probe station equipped with triaxial/coaxial micro-probe manipulators.

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