Testing to 100A by Combining Keithley Model 2651A High Power SourceMeter Instruments (Application Brief)

Testing to 100A by Combining Keithley Model 2651A High Power SourceMeter Instruments (Application Brief)
application brief
Testing to 100A by Combining Keithley
Model 2651A High Power SourceMeter® Instruments
Introduction
Source-measure units (SMUs), such as the Keithley Model
2651A High Power System SourceMeter instrument, are the
most flexible and most precise equipment for sourcing and
measuring current and voltage. Because of this, they are
widely used to test semiconductor devices such as MOSFETs,
IGBTs, diodes, high brightness LEDs, and more.
electronics, it can help you improve productivity in applications
across the R&D, reliability, and production spectrums,
including high brightness LEDs, power semiconductors,
DC-DC converters, batteries, and other high power materials,
components, modules, and subassemblies.
When two Model 2651As are connected in parallel with
Keithley's TSP-Link® technology, the current range is expanded
from 50A to 100A. When two units are connected in series,
the voltage range is expanded from 40V to 80V. The builtin intelligence simplifies testing by enabling the units to be
addressed as a single instrument, thus creat­ing an industry-best
dynamic range (100A to 1pA). This capability enables you to
test a much wider range of power semiconductors and other
devices. (See example in Figure 1.)
With today’s focus on green technology, the amount of
research and development being done to create semiconductor
devices for power management has increased significantly.
These devices, with their high current/high power operating
levels, as well as their low On resistances, require a unique
combination of power and precision to be tested properly.
A single Keithley Model 2651A is capable of sourcing up to 50A
pulsed and measuring down to 1pA or 1μV. For applications
requiring even higher currents, the Model 2651As are capable
of being combined to extend their operating range to
100A pulsed.
Theory
Kirchhoff’s Current Law says that the sum of the currents
entering a node is equal to the sum of the currents leaving the
node. In Figure 2 two current sources representing SMUs and
a device under test (DUT) are connected in parallel.
The high power Model 2651A is the newest addition to the
Series 2600A family of System SourceMeter instruments.
Specifically designed to characterize and test high power
0.020
0.020
0.018
Id = 20A
Id = 40A
Id = 60A
Id = 80A
Id = 100A
Rds (ohms)
0.014
0.012
Vgs = 10V
Vgs = 6V
0.018
Rds (ohms)
0.016
0.010
0.008
0.016
0.014
0.006
0.004
0.012
0.002
0.000
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
Vgs (V)
5.0
5.5
6.0
0.010
6.5
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Ids (Amps)
Figure 1: Example results after performing a pulsed Rds(on) current sweep (500μs pulse width and 0.01 NPLC) to test up to 100A
on a power MOSFET device using two Model 2651A SourceMeter instruments connected in parallel.
1
application brief
Node A
+50A
IDUT
+30A
+20A
I2
I1
DUT
SMU #1
SMU #2
+10A
+5A
0A
–5A
–10A
DC
Pulse
–20A
–30A
Node B
–50A
–40V
Figure 2: The sum of the currents entering the node equals
the sum of the currents leaving the node.
In Figure 2, we can see that two currents, I1 and I2, are
entering Node A and a single current, IDUT, is leaving Node A.
Based on Kirchhoff’s Current Law we know that:
IDUT = I1 + I2
This means that the current delivered to the DUT is equal
to the sum of the currents flowing from each SMU. With two
SMUs connected in parallel, we can deliver to the DUT twice
the amount of current that can be delivered by a single SMU.
Using this method with two Model 2651As, we can deliver up to
100A pulsed.
Implementation
To create a current source capable of delivering more current
than a single SMU can provide, we put two SMUs, both
configured as current sources, in parallel. Below is a quick
overview of what needs to be done to successfully combine
two Model 2651As so that together they can source up to
100A pulsed.
1. Use two Model 2651As.
2. Use the same current range for both SMUs.
3. Use the same regions of the power envelope (Figure 3)
for both SMUs.
4. Use 4-wire mode on both SMUs with Kelvin connections
placed as close to the DUT as possible.
5. Use the Keithley supplied cables. If this is not possible, be
sure your cabling matches the specifications of the Keithley
supplied cable.
2
–20V
–10V
0V
+10V
+20V
+40V
Figure 3: Power envelope for a single Model 2651A.
6. Set the voltage limit of both SMUs. (When the output of an
SMU reaches its voltage limit, it goes into compliance.) The
voltage limit of one SMU should be set 10% lower than the
other SMU.
7. Select the output off-mode of each SMU. This determines
whether an SMU will function as a voltage source set to
0V or as a current source set to 0A when the output is
turned off. When two SMUs are functioning in parallel as
current sources:
• The SMU with the lower voltage limit should have its
output off-mode set to NORMAL with the off function set
to voltage, and
• The SMU with the higher voltage limit should have its
output off-mode set to NORMAL with the off function set
to current.
Example Test System Configuration
The test system in this example is designed to collect Rds(on)
measurement data for a power MOSFET device, however,
it can easily be modified for use in other applications. This
application was selected to demonstrate how to gather data
using a pulsed current sweep to test up to 100A. (See Figure 4.)
Required Equipment
The following equipment is needed:
• Two Model 2651A High Power System SourceMeter
instruments that will be connected in parallel to source
up to 100A pulsed through the drain of the DUT.
application brief
• One Model 26xxA System SourceMeter
Instrument to control the gate of the DUT.
The 26xxA can be a Model 2601A, 2602A,
2611A, 2612A, 2635A, or 2636A.
• One GPIB cable or one Ethernet cable to
connect the instruments to a computer.
Communications Setup
The communication setup is illustrated in
Figure 5. GPIB is used in this example to
communicate with the PC, but this application
can be run using any of the supported
communication interfaces for the instruments.
The TSP-Link connection enables communication
between the instruments, precision timing, and
tight channel synchronization to within <500ns.
Device Connections
Connections from the SourceMeter instruments
to the DUT can be seen in Figure 6. Proper care
should be taken to ensure good contact through
all connections. For best results, all connections
should be left floating and no connections
should be tied to ground. Also, all connections
should be made as close to the device as
possible to minimize errors caused by voltage
drops between the DUT and the points in which
the test leads are connected.
Note: During high current pulsing, the gate of
your DUT may begin to oscillate, creating an
unstable voltage on the gate and thus unstable
current through the drain. To dampen these
oscillations and stabilize the gate, a resistor
can be inserted between the gate of the
device and the Force and Sense Hi leads of
the Model 26xxA. If the gate remains unstable
after inserting a dampening resistor, enable
High-C mode on the Model 26xxA (leaving the
dampening resistor in place.)
Vgs = 10V
Vgs = 6V
0.018
Rds (ohms)
• Two TSP-Link cables for communications and
precision timing between instruments.
0.020
0.016
0.014
0.012
0.010
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Ids (Amps)
Figure 4: Example Rds(on) measurement data on a power MOSFET device
using two Model 2651As connected in parallel.
GPIB
Model 2651A SMU #1
(TSP-Link Node #1)
Model 2651A SMU #2
(TSP-Link Node #2)
Controller
TSP-LINK
Series 2600A SMU
(TSP-Link Node #3)
Figure 5: Communications setup for example application.
Gate Resistor
(if required)
D
G
HI
SHI
Model
26xxA
SMU
S
HI
SHI
HI
SHI
Model
2651A
SMU #1
Model
2651A
SMU #2
SLO
LO
SLO
LO
SLO
LO
Figure 6: Connections for a dual SMU Rds(on) sweep.
3
application brief
Test
The Test Script Processor (TSP®) script for this example
should include:
• 1μV measurement resolution and current sourcing up to 50A
(100A with two units)—enable low-level Rds measurements
to support next-generation devices
• TSP-Link—tightly synchronizes the operations between
channels and/or other Series 2600A instruments to
within <500ns
• Initializing the TSP-Link connection
• Configuring all SMUs
• Configuring the trigger models of the two Model 2651As
• Preparing the readings buffers
• Initializing the sweep
• Processing and returning the collected data in a format that
can be copied and pasted directly into Microsoft Excel®
Conclusion
Keithley’s Model 2651A High Power System SourceMeter®
Instrument lets you characterize and test today’s challenging
high power electronics with unprecedented power, precision,
speed, flexibility, ease of use, and:
• 1μs per point (1MHz) 18-bit sampling—accurately
characterizes fast transient behavior
• True SMU-per-pin testing—prevents the distortion of
measurement and load signals
For complete details about configuring the test system and the
trigger models as well as all the code necessary to perform a
pulsed Rds(on) sweep up to 100A using two Model 2651A High
Power System SourceMeter instruments and a Model 26xxA
System SourceMeter instrument, see the application note titled
“Combining Keithley Model 2651A High Power SourceMeter
Instruments for 100A Operation.”
Specifications are subject to change without notice.
All Keithley trademarks and trade names are the property of Keithley Instruments, Inc.
All other trademarks and trade names are the property of their respective companies.
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© Copyright 2011 Keithley Instruments, Inc.
Printed in the U.S.A.
No. 3121
04.13.11
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