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Automated Semiconductor Device/Sensor Measurement System For Temperature And Magnetic Field Characterization

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.119.1 - 5.119.8



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Paper Authors

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Serpil Guvench

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Mike Denton

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Mark Rollins

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Mustafa Guvench

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2259

Automated Semiconductor Device Measurement System for Temperature and Magnetic Field Characterization

M.G. Guvench, M. Rollins, S. Guvench and M. Denton University of Southern Maine


This paper describes the design, operation and use of a PC controlled automated measurement system for I-V characterization of semiconductor devices. The system can do, in addition to full I-V characterization of semiconductor devices like diodes, transistors and integrated circuits, characterization of their behavior under varying temperature, radiation and magnetic fields. Therefore, the system is also suitable for measuring and characterizing magnetic, radiation and temperature sensors as well as the standard semiconductor devices.

1. Introduction

Principles of automated measurement of bipolar and field-effect transistors by employing the standard IEEE- 488 interfaced electronic test bench instruments available in undergraduate electronics laboratories and methodologies that can be used to extract their SPICE parameters from the acquired I-V data were described earlier[1,3]. However, limited dynamic range of such electronic test bench instruments, although excellent as teaching tools, cannot be relied on for higher level modeling work needed at senior or graduate level courses and in research, particularly if CMOS components are being modeled for analog VLSI chip design. In order to facilitate automated characterization of I-V characteristics of semiconductor devices with precise measurement of terminal and environmental variables a new measurement setup was designed. This setup employs "Source- Measure-Units" rather than standard digital DC ammeter-voltmeter combinations to achieve wider dynamic range and accuracy as well as precision. Source-Measure Units (SMU’s) are combined instruments comprising of a source that can be held constant, or stepped, or swept upon instructions from a controller computer, and a digital meter to measure the complement of the current or voltage forced by its source. SMU’s can be operated in two distinct modes: (1) as a voltage source forcing terminal voltage and an ammeter that measures the current drawn by a device connected as a load at the SMU’s terminals, or (2) as a current source forcing the terminal current and a voltmeter combined with it that measures the voltage developed across the device connected at its terminals. If the SMU’s source is stepped by a controller computer a single SMU will be sufficient to get a full I-V curve of a two terminal device, such as a PN junction diode. Multiple SMU’s can be employed to get I-V characteristics of multi-terminal devices such as BJT’s and FET’s, and even logic gates and operational amplifiers. The purpose of this project was, while synchronizing multiple SMU’s to measure multi- terminal devices, also to be able to vary the environmental factors such as the temperature or a magnetic field in order to determine the sensitivity of semiconductor devices and sensors to such factors.

2. The Measurement System

The system designed comprises of a 9-inch pole Magnion electromagnet capable of generating fields up to 2.5 Teslas driven by a 65 ADC power supply that can be controlled by an external voltage source, a Group-3 141D model digital tesla-meter, an Oxford Instruments ITC4 digital PID temperature controller, a wafer prober with a heated chuck, two Keithley 236 source-measure units and a Keithley 213 quad voltage source. Figure 1

Guvench, S., & Denton, M., & Rollins, M., & Guvench, M. (2000, June), Automated Semiconductor Device/Sensor Measurement System For Temperature And Magnetic Field Characterization Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8177

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