New SMU Modules For Improved Testing Of High Capacitances And Low Current


Better than traditional SMUs and effectively performs testing of capacitances thousand times high

Test setups performing testing of low capacitance devices often increase the output capacitance as shown in the display of a traditional SMU (source measure unit). Further, this high capacitance output results in an unstable measurement of low currents.

In order to solve this problem, Tektronix, the global provider of test and measurement solutions, has introduced two new SMU modules: 4201-SMU and 4211-SMU for the Keithley 4200A-SCS Parameter Analyser. These new SMUs have the ability to draw-in voltage and perform low-current measurements in the presence of long cables and complex test setups.


Especially designed for test setups with long cables and switch matrices, the new SMU effectively supports testing of high capacitances (almost 1000 times high) without unstable measurement of low currents.  For example, if the current level is between 1 to 100 pA (picoamp), these new modules can be stable with as much as 1 µF (microfarad) of load capacitance. In contrast, the maximum load capacitance test setups can tolerate before measurement stability degradation is just 1,000 pF (picofarad).

This greatly saves time and cost of troubleshooting and reconfiguring the test setups done by researchers and test engineers.

“High load capacitance resulting from elaborate test setups is a growing problem as current levels are reduced to save energy, as is the case with testing the large LCD panels that ultimately end up in smartphones or tablet computers,” said Peter Griffiths, General Manager Systems & Software, Keithley division of Tektronix. “Our new modules excel at making stable low-current measurements and will immediately benefit many of our existing and future customers.”

Now available worldwide, the 4201-SMU and 4211-SMU come pre-configured with 4200A-SCS for a full parameter analysis solution or as a field upgrade for existing units. This upgrade can be easily done online without any need to send the unit to a service centre.

See Keithley 4200A-SCS Parameter Analyser for more details.



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