Printed circuit board

Impedance Analyzers Provide Accurate Characterization

Impedance analyzers can perform accurate measurements across a wide impedance range, enabling high-quality components to be accurately characterized. In an application note titled “Power of Impedance Analyzer,” Keysight Technologies discusses why it can be essential to characterize components and materials beyond the characteristics specified in a manufacturer’s datasheet. The application note then describes how impedance analyzers can be used to perform these measurements.

The characteristics of components and printed-circuit-boards (PCBs) can depend on their operating conditions. When a component is integrated in a circuit, the operating conditions of the circuit may not correspond with the test conditions of the component when specified by the manufacturer. Thus, while a component may meet the manufacturer’s specifications, it may exhibit different characteristics upon actual integration. Therefore, manufacturers of electronic devices may find it necessary to evaluate the materials or components used in their products under actual operating conditions.

To achieve characterization, components or materials may need to be accurately measured across a wide impedance range. In addition, low-loss and high-stability measurements may also be required. The application note analyzes the capability of Keysight’s E4990A and E4991B impedance analyzers to provide these measurements.

To demonstrate the E4990A’s capability to accurately perform high-impedance measurements, a 10 pF capacitor is measured over the entire frequency range of the E4990A. Similarly, a 22 nH inductor is measured to demonstrate the E4990A’s capability to accurately perform low-impedance measurements. Measurement results from both the E4990A and a network analyzer are presented. The company claims that the E4990A achieves greater measurement accuracy over a wide impedance range than the network analyzer.

The application note also demonstrates how impedance analyzers can be used to perform low-loss measurements. Low-loss measurements with the E4990A are performed by measuring a 10 pF capacitor’s dissipation factor (DF). Similarly, the E4991B’s low-loss measurement capability is demonstrated by measuring a 22 nH inductor’s quality factor (Q).  Lastly, the measurement stability of both impedance analyzers is demonstrated, as measurements are recorded over a time interval of 5 hours.

Keysight Technologies Inc., 1400 Fountaingrove Pkwy., Santa Rosa, CA 95403; (707) 577-2663

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