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19 March 2014

Keithley launches high-voltage power supplies for safe breakdown testing up to 10kV

Electrical test instrument and system provider Keithley Instruments Inc of Cleveland, OH, USA has introduced two power supplies optimized for high-voltage device and materials testing and high energy physics and materials science research. The Model 2290-5 5kV power supply and Model 2290-10 10kV power supply are suitable for high voltage breakdown testing of power semiconductor components, including devices made of wide-bandgap materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) for use in energy-efficient power generation and transmission systems as well as hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

The Model 2290-5 5kV and Model 2290-10 10kV power supplies. Picture: The Model 2290-5 5kV and Model 2290-10 10kV power supplies.

Other options on the market for sourcing 10kV lack many capabilities built into Series 2290 Power Supplies, claims Keithley. For example, some do not include a communication interface as standard equipment, do not offer an available protection module, or produce significantly higher output ripple. Compared with the Model 2290-10, the firm adds, one popular 10kV sourcing solution requires the purchase of a complete chassis-based semiconductor test system then the addition of a voltage expander, meaning that it costs 12 times more. This solution, designed for characterization of power components, also cannot address the high-voltage sourcing requirements of researchers in the basic sciences.

In contrast, Series 2290 power supplies are standalone voltage sourcing instruments that make it economical to create a high-voltage test solution, Keithley claims. For materials researchers and semiconductor device developers involved in creating and characterizing very high-voltage materials and devices, the maximum voltage output levels of either 5kV or 10kV complement Keithley’s Model 2657A High Power System SourceMeter source measure unit (SMU) instrument, which provides source voltages up to 3kV. Series 2290 power supplies can also be used in conjunction with test systems that include a Keithley Model 4200-SCS Parameter Analyzer and/or Parametric Curve Tracer configurations for more complex applications that require testing at up to 10kV.

Lowest noise performance

When making leakage current or high-resistivity measurements with sensitive measurement instruments, a power supply with low output noise is essential, says Keithley. The extremely low noise performance of both Series 2290 power supplies’ allows sensitive instruments to measure current accurately down to picoamp levels, the firm adds. Maximum output ripple is less than 1VRMS for the Model 2290-10 and just 100mVRMS for the Model 2290-5. Two selectable internal filters in the Model 2290-5 allow the reduction of its output ripple to only 3mVRMS, the lowest noise output in the industry.

Enhanced safety for both users and sensitive instruments

To prevent overvoltage damage to lower-voltage instrumentation configured into the same test system as a Series 2290 power supply, Keithley has also introduced the Model 2290-PM-200 10kV Protection Module. When low-voltage instruments, such as many of Keithley’s SMU instruments, are used in a high-voltage test circuit with a Series 2290 power supply to make accurate leakage current measurements, the protection module safely clamps the voltage across the sensitive instrument to a maximum value of 200V, even if the device under test (DUT) breaks down and effectively becomes a short. The power supplies, the protection module, sensitive instrumentation, and Keithley software and accessories bring together all the elements needed to create a safe, high-voltage test environment.

Both Series 2290 power supplies have a built-in interlock circuit to disable the output voltage if a high-voltage test fixture’s access door is not closed (a critical feature not available in all competing products, it is reckoned). In addition, they have low-voltage analog outputs to allow for safe monitoring of the high voltage and the output current. Keithley has developed LabVIEW and IVI drivers for the Series 2290 to speed and simplify test system development. The IEEE-488 interface that is provided standard in the Series 2290 simplifies the creation of automated high-voltage test systems and enhances safety by allowing the high-voltage instrumentation to be controlled remotely.

Low current output capabilities

In addition to their high voltage outputs, the Model 2290-5 can output up to 5mA of current (25W) and the Model 2290-10 can output up to 1mA (10W). Both offer current measurement resolution of 1μA. The front panels of these instruments provide voltage and current output displays, as well as a third display that shows the user’s choice of four settings: output voltage, voltage limit, current limit, or current trip.

In addition to high-voltage breakdown testing, applications for Series 2290 power supplies include high-energy basic science research, including voltage component and materials testing, insulation testing, and high-voltage resistivity measurements.

Tags: Keithley Semiconductor test instrument

Visit: www.keithley.com/data?asset=57875

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