Skip to main content

Full Python driver for the Keithley 2600 series.

Project description

PyPI Release Downloads Build Status Documentation Status

Warning: From version 1.3.2, keithley2600 only support Python 3.6 and higher. Install version 1.3.1 if you require support for Python 2.7.


A full Python driver for the Keithley 2600 series of source measurement units.


keithley2600 provides access to base functions and higher level functions such as IV measurements, transfer and output curves, etc. Base commands replicate the functionality and syntax from the Keithley's internal TSP functions, which have a syntax similar to Python.


There are currently only heuristic checks for allowed commands and arguments by the driver itself. See the Keithley 2600 reference manual for all available commands. To enable command checking, set the keyword argument argument raise_keithley_errors = True in the constructor. When raise_keithley_errors is set, all invalid commands will be raised as Python errors. This is done by reading the Keithley's error queue after every command and will therefore result in significant communication overhead.

Almost all Keithley TSP commands can be used with this driver. Not supported are:

  • All Keithley IV sweep commands. We implement our own in the Keithley2600 class.
  • Keithley TSP functions that have the same name as a Keithley TSP attribute (and vice versa). The driver cannot decide whether to handle them as a function call or as an attribute access. Currently, there is only one such case:
    • io.output() has been dropped because it conflicts with smuX.source.output, which is more commonly used.
  • Keithley TSP commands that have the same name as built-in attributes of the driver. Currently, this is only:
    • lan.trigger[N].connected: conflicts with the attribute Keithley2600.connected.


Install the stable version from PyPi by running

$ pip install keithley2600

or the latest development version from GitHub:

$ pip install git+


Connect to the Keithley 2600 and perform some base commands:

from keithley2600 import Keithley2600

k = Keithley2600('TCPIP0::')

k.smua.source.output = k.smua.OUTPUT_ON   # turn on SMUA
k.smua.source.levelv = -40  # sets SMUA source level to -40V
v = k.smua.measure.v()  # measures and returns the SMUA voltage
i = k.smua.measure.i()  # measures current at smuA

k.smua.measure.v(k.smua.nvbuffer1)  # measures the voltage, stores the result in buffer
k.smua.nvbuffer1.clear()  # clears nvbuffer1 of SMUA

Higher level commands defined in the driver:

data = k.readBuffer(k.smua.nvbuffer1)  # reads all entries from nvbuffer1 of SMUA
errs = k.readErrorQueue()  # gets all entries from error queue

k.setIntegrationTime(k.smua, 0.001)  # sets integration time in sec
k.applyVoltage(k.smua, 10)  # turns on and applies 10V to SMUA
k.applyCurrent(k.smub, 0.1)  # sources 0.1A from SMUB
k.rampToVoltage(k.smua, 10, delay=0.1, stepSize=1)  # ramps SMUA to 10V in steps of 1V

# sweep commands
k.voltageSweepSingleSMU(k.smua, range(0, 61), t_int=0.1,
                        delay=-1, pulsed=False)
k.voltageSweepDualSMU(smu1=k.smua, smu2=k.smub, smu1_sweeplist=range(0, 61),
                      smu2_sweeplist=range(0, 61), t_int=0.1, delay=-1, pulsed=False)
k.transferMeasurement( ... )
k.outputMeasurement( ... )

Singleton behaviour:

Once a Keithley2600 instance with a visa address 'address' has been created, repeated calls to Keithley2600('address') will return the existing instance instead of creating a new one. This prevents the user from opening multiple connections to the same instrument simultaneously and allows easy access to a Keithley2600 instance from different parts of a program. For example:

>>> from keithley2600 import Keithley2600
>>> k1 = Keithley2600('TCPIP0::')
>>> k2 = Keithley2600('TCPIP0::')
>>> print(k1 is k2)

Data structures:

The methods voltageSweepSingleSMU and voltageSweepDualSMU return lists with the measured voltages and currents. The higher level commands transferMeasurement and outputMeasurement return ResultTable objects which are somewhat similar to pandas dataframes but include support for column units. ResultTable stores the measurement data internally as a numpy array and provides information about column titles and units. It also provides a dictionary-like interface to access columns by name, methods to load and save the data to text files, and live plotting of the data (requires matplotlib).

For example:

import time
from  keithley2600 import Keithley2600, ResultTable

k = Keithley2600('TCPIP0::')

# create ResultTable with two columns
rt = ResultTable(column_titles=['Voltage', 'Current'], units=['V', 'A'],
                 params={'recorded': time.asctime(), 'sweep_type': 'iv'})

# create live plot which updates as data is added

# measure some currents
for v in range(0, 20):
    k.applyVoltage(k.smua, 10)
    i = k.smua.measure.i()
    rt.append_row([v, i])

# save the data'~/iv_curve.txt')

See the documentation for all available methods.

Backend selection

keithley2600 uses PyVISA to connect to instruments. PyVISA supports both proprietray IVI libraries such as NI-VISA, Keysight VISA, R&S VISA, tekVISA etc. and the purely Python backend PyVISA-py. You can select a specific backend by giving its path to the Keithley2600 constructor in the visa_library argument. For example:

from  keithley2600 import Keithley2600

k = Keithley2600('TCPIP0::', visa_library='/usr/lib/')

keithley2600 defaults to using the PyVISA-py backend, selected by visa_library='@py', since this is only a pip-install away. If you pass an empty string, keithley2600 will use an installed IVI library if it can find one in standard locations and fall back to PyVISA-py otherwise.

You can find more information about selecting the backend in the PyVISA docs.

System requirements

  • Python 3.6 and higher


Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Files for keithley2600, version 1.4.0
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size keithley2600-1.4.0.tar.gz (30.1 kB) File type Source Python version None Upload date Hashes View

Supported by

Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Sentry Sentry Error logging AWS AWS Cloud computing DataDog DataDog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page