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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pulsed IV testing to precisely measure the RF Devices

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There are various methods characterizing the devices working on the signal networks using RF and other frequencies. Pulsed IV is one of the methods used for testing the devices working on electronic signals like as microwave and RF frequencies.  This can be applied to test and specify the characteristics of the DUT after carrying out the calibration process carefully.

The testing procedure that uses the Pulsed (IV) current has become more prevalent these days for evaluating performance of the semiconductor devices. This process of testing uses pulse sources that is supplying a current pulse to the device under test and do the measurements with pulse measurement device. The technique of Pulsed IV measurement is used mainly on the large signal analysis.

This method is useful and effective over the other methods as it is cost effective and don’t give negative effects like as self heating and transient trapped charges. The factors like as self heating and trapped charges can be producing misleading results of the tests. The pulsed IV testing process delivers the accurate data on the devices needed to improvise the devices. This is best suitable to measure the test results in RF devices like as the transistors, switched and amplifiers relating to nonlinear responses.

There are two types of test methods used for testing in the pulsed environment; i.e. pulsed IV sweeps and transient (single pulse) testing method. If the DUT is associated with the double channels including pulse source and a pulse measurement system the results can be recoreded easily. This makes it very cost effective.

The results produced under different biased conditions for the Pulsed IV measurement sweeps carried out in pulsed system can be easily compared with the results produced in DC tests. The graphs of the curves produced by showing drain voltage VD and drain current ID behavior under different bias conditions are similar to that of the pulsed testing.

The basics of the pulsed IV testing are set to provide the pulses with non-zero value for both gate and drain voltage, often referred to as the operating point or quiescent (q) point. This technique is very useful for condition and based on the applicability of the low-duty-cycle pulse to the DUT. This helps in avoiding the self-heating and carrier-trapping effects that can deviate the exact results. The method of  load pull testing is used to support the test results of overall measurements carried for a device.

The pulse width that is used in this technique ranges from milliseconds to nanoseconds.  The selection of the pulse widths depends upon the DUT, materials and test parameters. The standard source-measure units (SMUs) are usually used to measure the results on millisecond pulse widths. The shorter pulses (microseconds to nanoseconds) are generally more effective for avoiding self heating and charge-trapping effects. Therefore, short-pulse pulsed I-V testing of RF transistors generally allows the creation of more useful models.