The RBD Instruments’ 9103 USB Picoammeter is designed for measuring electron and ion beam currents in the range of nA to mA in vacuum systems (vacuum spectrometers and electron microscopes) and incorporates a built-target bias for improved accuracy. By floating the target with an ultra-clean +90 V DC bias, the number of secondary electrons that leave the target is greatly reduced, thereby increasing the accuracy of the target current measurement. An external bias allows you to program the bias using your floating power supply for voltage vs. current measurements.

The included Actuel™ software provides a virtual display of the current measurement and all control parameters, as well as providing data logging of the current vs. time. The data logging feature is useful for monitoring the stability of an electron or ion beam current vs. time for alignment, stability, and troubleshooting purposes. The ASCI-based command structure makes it easy for you to incorporate low DC current measurement into your own application.

Features and Benefits of the 9103 USB Picoammeter

USB Picoammeter designed for Vacuum System Applications

  • Compact and rugged USB Picoammeter
  • USB (PC-based) power and data acquisition
  • Accurate Current Measurement: Accurately measure current (ranges 2 nA to 2 mA)
  • Auto or Manual Range: Automatic or manual range selection
  • Interval or Single Sampling: Take samples of current at timed intervals ranging from 25 ms to 9999 ms
  • Offset Null: Null (zero) the offset at a particular range
  • Input Grounding: Enables the input to be shorted to ground when not sampling, and automatically opened when sampling. (This feature is designed specifically for use with electron microscopes and vacuum spectrometers to prevent the specimen stage from charging.)
  • Output via External Chart Recorder: Convert the sample current measurement to a voltage and output the voltage to a chart recorder or similar device
  • Sample Filter: Select the speed and accuracy of the built-in sample filter
  • Query Status: Query status (including stability, over/under range indication), calibration, and diagnostic information from the device
  • 90 V Bias (Optional): Select a 90 V bias
  • Software and Compatibility: Comes bundled with application software for Microsoft Windows (Actuel). Hardware is compatible with various other operating systems including most Linux and Apple Mac OS systems.
  • Programmability: ASCII command interface provided for user-defined testing and automation as well as integration with third-party instrument software
  • Interface: On/Off switch, USB (type B) interface connector, BNC input connector, banana jack recorder output connectors, power and data LEDs
  • Flexible Calibration: Calibration procedure is provided so the unit can be calibrated annually by your local calibration company

Applications of the 9103 USB Picoammeter

  • Electron and ion current measurements
  • Electron current stability testing and Ion current stability testing
  • Mass spectrometer current measurements
  • Photodiode current and leakage measurements
  • Beam and particle monitoring
  • Data logging current comparisons
  • Conductivity measurement
  • Leakage current measurement and Current leakage testing

Source: RBD Instruments ( Article submitted by Randy R Dellwo.