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Ossila Front Panel 1.3.0
The latest version of the Front Panel software for the Source Measure Unit.
Download (42.3 MB)
Minimum System Requirements
Operating System Windows 10 or 11 (64-bit)
CPU Dual Core 2 GHz
RAM 4 GB
Available Drive Space 161 MB
Connectivity USB 2.0, Ethernet (requires DHCP)
For USB drivers and more software that can be used with the Source Measure Unit, please see our software page.
Source Measure Unit User Manual
Product manual for the X200 Source Measure Unit.
Source Measure Unit programming documentation
Precision, Versatility, Integrated I-V Measurement
Source Voltage and Measure Current with the Ossila SMU, Reliably and Easily
The Ossila Source Measure Unit is one of our most adaptable and fundamental pieces of equipment. The SMU incorporates two voltage source meters for measuring current and two voltage meters for measuring voltage. This allows you to output voltage while measuring both current and voltage precisely. To be able to control the parameters of your experiment using precise and reliable instruments is essential for any experimental research – and the Source Measure Unit can deliver that.
An SMU can collect large amounts of accurate current-voltage data very quickly, so you can measure the current-voltage characteristics of many different devices including photovoltaics, LEDs and OLEDs, transistors, batteries and more. Use our intuitive I-V Curve software to measure I-V curves, or control measurement more directly using the Front Panel software. Alternatively, the SMU can be controlled directly by programming your own command code. The source measure unit is versatile and easily controlled, regardless of skill level.
Covered by the Ossila Warranty
Space Saving design
Voltage range from -10 V to + 10V
Easily Controlled from a PC
What is a Source Measure Unit?
The basic working principle of a source measure unit (also called an SMU or source meter) is quite simple - it can apply an output voltage and measure current and voltage characteristics simultaneously. Think of it as a voltmeter and an ammeter combined with a power supply in one bench-top instrument. It is programmable so it can collect large amounts of data quickly and can repeat measurements multiple times. It is often more quick, accurate and precise than manual set-up.
For these reasons, Source Measure Units are used to measure and characterize many electronic devices, such as :
- For LED and OLED characterization
- When Measuring Solar Cell I-V Curves
- For measuring transistor properties such as current gain.
- For measuring battery discharge rates
The Ossila Source Measure Unit features dual source measure and voltmeter channels and is perhaps our most versatile piece of equipment to-date.
Five current ranges
Choose between five separate current ranges to suit your experimental needs
Flexible & scalable communication
Connect the Source Measure Unit via USB or use several units at the same time via Ethernet connection
User-friendly PC software
No coding experience required! The included PC software comes with pre-set modes, allowing you to perform simple measurements
Portable data exports
All test data can be saved in .csv format for convenient analysis in your favourite software package
Software-controlled current ranges
For safety and convenience, the current range switches can be controlled using the included PC software - no need for manual adjustment
Wide language compatibility
All common programming languages (LabVIEW, Matlab, C, Java, Fortran, Python, Perl etc) are compatible with the unit
The Source Measure Unit is a professional alternative to old-fashioned and outdated bench top source-measure units at a fraction of cost. Ossila's product was thoroughly tested by us, it had to compete with state-of-art devices and to our surprise it won the race in all categories: precise PV measurements, networking capabilities, flexibility of programming language and smooth operation in pretty tough chemical/material science laboratories. The Ossila team has delivered a game changer for all of the PV community.
Adam Surmiak, PhD Student in Excitonic Systems for Solar Energy Conversion
Monash University, Australia
The Ossila Source Measure Unit, designed for use by scientists and engineers working on the next generation of electronic devices, is perhaps our most versatile piece of equipment. The device can be used in a wide range of applications to understand the electrical characteristics of any device at DC or low frequency over a voltage range from -10 V to + 10V with current flow from 10 nano-amps (nA) to 200 milliamps (mA). This covers most lab-scale devices that require electrical characterisation
Understanding how a vast number of materials and devices conduct electricity, ranging from carbon nanotubes and quantum well heterostructures to biomembranes and biosensors, requires a source measure unit.
We have used our SMU to develop systems for measurements for sheet resistance (Four-Point Probe), IV curves and OLED lifetime (OLED Lifetime System and Solar Cell IV Test System), and cyclic voltammetry (the Ossila Potentiostat).
The standard items included with the Ossila Source Measure Unit are:
- The Ossila Source Measure Unit
- 24 V / 2 A DC power adapter
- USB-B cable
- User manual and QC data
- USB drivers and Front Panel software installer
Frequently Asked Questions
Source measure units are similar to bench-top power supplies only in their basic operating principle; source measure units output a controlled voltage and measure the current that flows. SMUs are orders or magnitude more precise, are fully programmable, and allow the user to sweep the voltage over a defined range.
With a bench-top power supply you usually use a dial to select the voltage you want to generate, and then look at the display to read off how much current is flowing through your circuit. Usually a bench-top power supply will output a voltage from zero to 12 or 24 volts and measure the current to the nearest milliamp (1 thousandth of an amp) or so. This is great when measuring the current used by motors or light bulbs or high power devices. However, if your want to make precise scientific measurements, then a milliamp is actually a huge amount of current — very often it is necessary to have a precision of microamps (1 millionth of an amp) or nanoamps (1 billionth of an amp) to characterize many electronic devices.
It is important to separate the function of a source measure unit from a regular multimeter; both are very useful but have different purposes. A standard multimeter can measure voltage and it can also measure current — but not at the same time. It also doesn't output a voltage. A good handheld multimeter will be able to measure voltage with an accuracy of a few hundred micro-volts and current to an accuracy of a micro-amp or so — much better than a bench-top power supply. As such, you could also build a source-measure unit with moderate accuracy by using a bench-top power supply to output a voltage/current and two good quality multimeters — one to measure voltage and the other to measure the current. However, this still wouldn't be programmable and also wouldn't allow negative voltages to be measured very easily (both of which are important for many applications).
For some applications it might not be important to have a programmable instrument — you may just want to read off the value once or a small number of times. However, in many cases you might want to collect lots of data so that you can plot a graph or measure the performance of something over time, or link several pieces of apparatus together. However doing this manually is time consuming and difficult. There are also lots of different experiments that require automated data collection to get faster or more accurate measurements, or to take measurements over a long time-scale (months or even years). Here, you will certainly need a computer to collect your data and export it to a spreadsheet or database for analysis.
Not all experiments will need negative voltages — and in some cases, you can avoid this. However, many different types of devices work differently if a positive or a negative voltage is applied. To fully understand how such devices work, we need to be able to change the sign of the voltage applied.
As an example, consider a diode — a device that only allows electricity to pass through it in one direction. In order to evaluate if a diode is working, we need to see if it can pass electricity in both directions. We can do this in one of two ways. We can measure the diode in one direction, then manually turn it around and measure it the other direction, and then 'stitch' the data sets together. More simply however, we can just measure current flow when we apply either a positive or negative voltage. In fact, this technique is so useful it is used to characterize many types of devices that have diode-like behaviour — solar cells and light emitting diodes are both very good examples of this.
Resources and Support
For complete 'out-of-the-box' measurements, please see our full range of test and measurement systems. The Source Measure Unit is a versatile, hands-on device, and support is always available. Get started with the guides below.
The source measure unit contains four instruments on one board — two SMUs (voltage source, current sense) and two precision voltage sense channels. There is also a general-purpose shutter/trigger which enables it to control (or be controlled by) other instruments.
Source Measure Units (SMU 1 & SMU 2)
The SMUs output a voltage and then measure both the voltage and current. The output voltage is always measured on the output to the BNC, rather than assuming it is at the set voltage. This is to account for any load effects, for example, short circuiting the output, or low impedance causing a small drop in voltage. Each source measure unit has multiple current ranges, so that you can measure both large and small currents with accuracy.
Voltage source specifications
|±10 V||10 mV||333 µV||170 µV|
Voltage measure specifications
|±10V||10 mV||50 µV||10 µV|
Current measure specifications
|1||±200 mA||±500 µA||10 µA||1 µA||<20 mV|
|2||±20 mA||±10 µA||1 µA||100 nA||<20 mV|
|3||±2 mA||±1 µA||100 nA||10 nA||<20 mV|
|4||±200 µA||±100 nA||10 nA||1 nA||<20 mV|
|5||±20 µA||±10 nA||1 nA||0.1nA||<20 mV|
1Accuracy has been measured at the maximum current of the range.
2Precision has been measured at the highest OSR (9).
Precision Voltage Meter Specifications (Vsense 1 and Vsense 2)
The voltage meters are designed to accurately sense small voltages while also having a wide dynamic range (±10 V).
|±10 V||10 mV||50 µV||10 µV|
The Shutter/Trigger can be used either as an input or an output. It can be used to send a trigger signal to other instruments or configured to wait for a trigger from other instruments. The voltage level of this BNC is 5V - any higher may cause damage to the port.
The X200's user-friendly design will work almost any programming language (at least anything that supports either serial COMs or Ethernet, which is nearly everything commonly used). Common languages that can be used to interface to it are:
- C / C++
|Computer Connectivity||USB-B and Ethernet|
|Measurement Connections||BNC connector|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||125 mm x 55 mm x 185 mm (4.92" x 2.17" x 7.28")|
The Ossila Source Measure Unit includes a software Front Panel that enables you to start taking measurements as quickly as possible. With the program you can control each SMU and Vsense channel independently, allowing you to perform many of the most common electrical measurements.
Control both SMU channels
Set voltage and measure current with two independent SMU channels (voltage source, current sense)
Quickly measure voltages
Accurately measure small voltages with the two Vsense channels
Easily set sampling rates
Set sampling rates (OSR) for the SMUs and Vsense channels via the interface
Uses portable data formats
Save data as a portable spreadsheet (.csv) file or a text (.txt) file for analysis with your favourite software package
We also have software for performing specific measurements with the Ossila Source Measure Unit. These can be downloaded for free from our software and drivers page. The currently available measurements are:
- I-V curves
- Solar cell characterisation and lifetime
- Four-point probe sheet resistance
|Operating System||Windows 10 (32-bit or 64-bit)|
|CPU||Dual Core 2 GHz|
|Available Hard Drive Space||127 MB|
|Connectivity||USB 2.0, or Ethernet (requires DHCP)|
To the best of our knowledge the information provided here is accurate. The values provided are typical at the time of manufacture and may vary over time and from batch to batch. Products may have minor cosmetic differences (e.g. to the branding) compared to the photos on our website. All products are for laboratory and research and development use only.