Safe breakdown testing at up to 10kV

Paul Boughton

Keithley Instruments Inc has introduced two high voltage power supplies optimised for high voltage device and materials testing and high energy physics and materials science research.

The Model 2290-5 5kV Power Supply and Model 2290-10 10kV Power Supply are suited for high voltage breakdown testing of power semiconductor components.

This includes devices made of current- and next-generation wide-bandgap materials like silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN), designed for use in “green”, energy-efficient power generation and transmission systems and hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

Other options on the market for sourcing 10kV lack many capabilities built into Series 2290 Power Supplies. For example, some don’t include a communication interface as standard equipment, do not offer an available protection module, or produce significantly higher output ripple than the Series 2290 Power Supplies.

One popular 10kV sourcing solution requires purchasing a complete chassis-based semiconductor test system, then adding a voltage expander, which means it costs 12 times more than the Model 2290-10. This solution, designed for characterization of power components, also can’t address the high voltage sourcing requirements of researchers in the basic sciences.

In contrast, Series 2290 Power Supplies are stand-alone voltage sourcing instruments that make it economical to create a high voltage test solution.

For materials researchers and semiconductor device developers involved in creating and characterising very high voltage materials and devices, the Series 2290’s maximum voltage output levels of either 5kV or 10kV complement Keithley’s Model 2657A High Power System SourceMeter Source Measure Unit (SMU) Instrument, which provides source voltages up to 3kV. Series 2290 Power Supplies can also be used in conjunction with test systems that include a Keithley Model 4200-SCS Parameter Analyzer and/or Parametric Curve Tracer configurations for more complex applications that require testing at up to 10kV.

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