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A Current Source for Picoammeter Calibration

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3 Author(s)
Luca Callegaro ; Ist. Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica, Torino ; Vincenzo D'Elia ; Bruno Trinchera

A current source, which is to be employed in the calibration of low-current meters (picoammeters and electrometers), is presented here. The output current range is 100 fA to 100 pA and is directly traceable to calibrated standards of dc voltage, capacitance, and time period. The source is based on a low- frequency (ap1 mHz) trapezoidal signal generator, which charges and discharges a gas-dielectric capacitor; the voltage is monitored with a voltmeter that is triggered by a precision time base. The source has been employed during March 2006 for the Italian participation to the supplementary comparison EUROMET.EM-S24 and will be part of an extension of the Italian national standard of dc current. However, being composed of low-cost electronics and common commercial instrumentation, the source can also find useful application in secondary calibration laboratories.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 4 )