I-V curve tracing for transistors is easily accomplished with the SpikeSafe SMU. The SpikeSafe’s short pulsing capability allows the true I-V curve to be obtained without distortion caused by heating. The graphs below show the I-V characteristic for an N-Channel MOSFET taken with an external voltage source driving the gate. As you can see the plots, taken with a pulse width of 20us, closely match the manufacturer’s datasheet. 

SpikeSafe SMU generated I-V curve
SpikeSafe SMU generated IV curve
A03422 Transistor Manufacturer Provided IV Curve
Manufacturer Generated IV Curve

The third graph shows the adverse impact of device heating when slower pulses are used. For this graph the gate voltage is kept constant at 5V. You can see that wider pulses produce greatly distorted curves. 

Compare A03422 Transistor Measured Output at different pulse widths
A03422 Transistor Measured Output Using Different Pulse Widths

Contact Vektrex to learn more about using your SpikeSafe Source Measure Unit for Curve Tracing.

About Jeff Hulett

Jeff Hulett is the Founder and CTO of Vektrex Electronic Systems, Inc. Because of his vision and leadership, the company grew from a start-up to the market leader. Currently, Hulett is the Chief Architect for Vektrex products placing the highest emphasis on technology and quality. Hulett holds a BSEE from the Illinois Institute of Electronics, and has been awarded four U.S.patents. He is a member of the Illumination Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and chairs the IESNA LM-80 working group that is focused on LED flux maintenance testing. He has been active in the LED testing and reliability field since 2004.