Generate Transistor Curves with a Power Supply
White Paper Overview
When your lab lacks a dedicated transistor curve tracer use a power supply instead. A bench power supply with multiple outputs can generate a set of transistor curves for a metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET). A MOSFET is a field-effect transistor (FET) used for switching signals in electronic devices. A power supply with two positive outputs can test an N-channel FET, such as the popular 2N7000. An alternative is the BS170 N-channel MOSFET as it is very similar but has a higher drain current making it a more robust choice.
Accurately measuring the small drain currents requires short wires and minimal connections. Attaching short wires directly from the transistor to the power supply eliminates all unnecessary connections. Using sockets and breadboards can introduce significant errors.
This white paper from Keysight Technologies discusses generating transistor curves with a power supply in greater detail and also provides information on Keysight's EDU36311A Smart Bench Essentials DC Power Supply.