Table Of Contents

Modes of Operation

Last Modified: September 3, 2019

Device Operating Modes

You can use one of the following modes for acquiring measurements using an SMU or VPS device in InstrumentStudio: Chart, Waveform, and Sweep.

Operating Mode Sourcing Behavior Large Panel Plotting Behavior Pause Behavior Potential Uses Notes
Chart Allows one or more channels to source current or voltage. Appends samples to the chart as they are measured. Channels continue to source at the last configured level when you pause measurements. Observe signals over an infinite duration.  
Waveform Allows one or more channels to source current or voltage. Plots samples to the graph all at once; the length of the graph is determined by capture time. Channels continue to source at the last configured level when you pause measurements. Observe signals over a shorter, finite duration, similar to an oscilloscope. Unless you press Single, InstrumentStudio automatically configures the device for a faster sample rate and runs the output continuously in a loop.
Sweep Sweeps through configured current or voltage steps for a single channel (Single-Channel Sweep) or two channels (Two-Channel Sweep). Plots sample step results on the graph as they are measured. Both measurement and output channels are paused when you pause measurements. Allows you to plot the relationship between current and voltage in an I-V curve. When you are using Two-Channel Sweep, the sweep acts as a nested loop, where the inner channel executes all the steps for each step configured in the outer channel.
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Note  

Waveform and Sweep modes are not available on PXI-4110, PXIe-4112, PXIe-4113, PXI-4130, or PXI-4132 devices.

Channel Operating Modes

In addition to device operating modes, you can also specify an operating mode for each channel. Some channel operating modes are only available on devices with certain capabilities.

If you change the operating mode of a channel, all panel measurements are paused. Any enabled outputs continue to generate signal at the last configured level. The new operating mode of the channel will not take effect until you run the panel.

  • Idle—The channel is not programmed. If you change a channel to Idle from another mode, the channel continues to generate signal according to its last configuration.
  • Voltage or Current—Sources DC voltage or DC current at a single configured level while the output is enabled.
  • Pulse voltage or Pulse current—Generates a single pulse at the pulse level, then returns to the bias level.
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    Note  
    • For more information on pulsing and devices that support pulse measurements, refer to Pulsing in the NI-DCPower help.
    • InstrumentStudio currently supports single point pulsing only; InstrumentStudio 2019 does not support pulse sequencing.
  • Voltage sequence or Current sequence—Allows you to configure a level and a duration for each step in a list. You can configure the list of steps on the device panel, or import steps from a .CSV file. For more information on creating voltage or current sequences, refer to Configuring Sequences.
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    Note  
    • If you import a step sequence from a .CSV file, the .CSV file must have two columns: the first for the level, and the second for the duration.
    • Voltage sequence and Current sequence modes are not available on the PXI-4110, PXIe-4112, PXIe-4113, PXI-4130, or PXI-4132 devices.

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