Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Keithley Instruments has been very busy extending the capabilities of it’s 4200-SCS (Semiconductor Characterization System) with new cables for IC measurements and new software libraries for PV, OLED, and other devices. The 4200-SCS replaces a variety of electrical test tools with a single integrated characterization solution, and works for applications including semiconductor technology development, process development, and materials and device research labs. The test systems’s modular architecture allows for easy field upgrades, like those just released.

Triaxial cable allows for I-V, C-V, and pulsed I-V tests (source: Keithley Instruments)

Triaxial cable allows for I-V, C-V, and pulsed I-V tests (source: Keithley Instruments)

The new triaxial cabling kits (see figure) are based on a patent-pending design that speeds and simplifies the process of making DC Current-Voltage (I-V), Capacitance-Voltage (C-V), and pulsed I-V testing connections. The new cables connect any modern semiconductor parameter analyzer to a Cascade Microtech or SUSS MicroTec prober, and allow for switching between measurement types without recabling. In addition, test setup changes can be made while the probe needles are in contact with a wafer, reducing pad damage and maintaining the same contact impedance for all three types of measurements. The cables are designed for compatibility with the 4200-SCS, as well as with other test instruments.

The company has introduced other hardware, firmware, and software enhancements to the 4200-SCS. The Keithley Test Environment Interactive (KTEI) V7.2 upgrade includes nine new solar cell test libraries, an expanded frequency range for the system’s C-V measurement capability, and support for the company’s new nine-slot Model 4200-SCS instrument chassis.

The new test libraries expand capabilities for solar cell I-V, C-V, and resistivity testing applications, and also supports Drive-Level Capacitance Profiling (DLCP). Lowering the frequency range to 1kHz (from the previous 10kHz) provides for testing of LCDs and organic semiconductors such as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), and also allows for DLCP. DLCP of thin film solar cells was first shown by Michelson et al. in 1985, but can result in erroneous defect densities if test parameters are not proper. Version 7.2 of KTEI is available at no cost to existing 4200-SCS users. More about test in the BetaSights Newsletter. –E.K.

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