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We have performed an optimization of those parameters of a single‐electron pump that may influence the accuracy of this device as a standard of dc current. Two types of rf drive were considered: the traditional triangular waveform and a step‐like waveform. We have shown that, after optimization, the accuracy of the pump may be improved considerably in a wide range of drive frequencies, especially at low temperatures, using the step‐like waveform. For example, the error of a five‐junction pump with junction capacitances C=0.1 fF at 100 mK and 10 MHz may be as small as 10-13. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.