June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.187.1 - 26.187.12
An Inexpensive Curve Tracer for Introductory Electronics Laboratory CoursesAmong the fundamental topics of introductory electronics courses are the I-V characteristics ofbasic electronic devices—diodes, MOSFETs, and BJTs. However, the expense of a dedicatedcurve tracer would not be justifiable in an introductory electronics laboratory. An easy-to-operate device capable of obtaining the I-V characteristics of basic electronic devices would behighly beneficial, especially if it were sufficiently inexpensive and easy to construct that a curvetracer could be made available for each bench. The device described herein meets theserequirements. Operating in conjunction with typical laboratory equipment (an oscilloscope withx-y display capability, a triangle-wave signal generator, and a triple-output dc power supply), it iscapable of displaying the I-V characteristics of diodes, PMOS and NMOS devices, and NPN andPNP devices at device currents up to ±30mA and voltages up to ±24V. It includes a voltage-controlled base-current generator capable of ±100μA for characterizing BJTs. Currents in thesemiconductor device under test are converted to voltages by means of a transresistanceamplifier. This paper will describe the circuit and its implementation as well as its curricularintegration. Sample results from student work using these curve tracers is included.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015