This chapter helps you to quickly get acquainted with the main features, the panels, and the operating modes of the HF2 Series. A product selector is provided listing the key features of the products in order to support the selection and ordering. This section is intended as overview and therefore has a coarse level of detail without containing detailed descriptions.
The HF2 Instrument as in Figure 1 consists of 4 high-frequency analog blocks, 2 low-frequency auxiliary blocks, the internal digital processing block (light-blue), and the hardware interfaces (mostly available on the back panel of the instrument).
The signal to be measured is connected to one of the two high-frequency analog inputs where it is amplified to a defined range, filtered, and digitized at very high speed. The resulting samples are fed into the digital signal processing block for demodulation by means of up to 8 dual-phase demodulators. The demodulators output samples flow into the embedded RISC processor for further processing or to be sent to the host computer. The samples are also sent to the auxiliary outputs in order to be available on the front panel of the HF2 Instrument.
The numerical oscillators generate sine and cosine signal pairs that are used for the demodulation of the input samples and also for the generation of the high-frequency output signals. For this purpose, the Output Mixers generate a weighted sum of the generator outputs to generate the multi-frequency signal that can be used a stimulation signal. The 2 high-frequency output stages provide analog to digital conversion, signal scaling (range), add of an external AC or DC signal, and a synchronization signal.
- Internal reference mode
- External reference mode
- Auto reference mode
- Dual-channel operation
- Dual-harmonic mode
- Multi-harmonic mode
- Arbitrary frequency mode
High-frequency Analog Inputs¶
- 2 low-noise high-frequency inputs
- Differential & single-ended operation (A, -B, A-B)
- Variable input range
- Variable input impedance
- AC/DC coupling
High-frequency Analog Outputs¶
- 2 low-noise high-frequency outputs
- Large output range
- Variable output range settings
- 1 synchronization signal for each output
- 1 adder signal for each output
Auxiliary Analog Input/Outputs¶
- 4 auxiliary high-speed outputs
- 2 auxiliary high-speed inputs
- User defined signal on auxiliary output
Demodulators & Reference¶
- Up to 8 dual-phase demodulators
- Up to 8 programmable numerical oscillators
- Programmable demodulators filters
- Very-high resolution internal reference
- 64-bit resolution demodulator outputs
- Frequency response analyzer
- FFT spectrum analyzer
User-programmable Embedded Processor (Option)¶
- Microblaze 32-bit RISC
- 64 MHz operation allows implementation of real-time control loops
- 32-bit floating-point unit
- 64 kB internal memory (maximum program size)
- 64 MB external memory DDR2
- USB 2.0 high-speed 480 Mbit/s host interface
- DIO: 32-bit digital input-output port
- ZSync: 2 ports for inter-instrument synchronization bus (ZI proprietary)
- ZCtrl: 2 ports for control/power bus for external pre-amplifiers (ZI proprietary)
- Clock input connector (10 MHz)
- The LabOne User Interface, a powerful browser-based graphical interface
- ziServer multi-mode multi-connection server
- ziAPI for extended programmability in C, LabVIEW, MATLAB, and Python - programming examples included
- Console: text interface to connect virtually any programming language
Front Panel Tour¶
The front panel BNC connectors and control LEDs are arranged in 5 sections as shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3 and listed in . The HF2LI and HF2IS have the same connectors and connector functionality on their front and back panel.
|Position||Label / Name||Description|
|A||Signal Input 1 + In||single-ended input|
|B||Signal Input 1 - In Diff||negative input (when not used, has to be internally shorted to ground with switch on graphical user interface)|
|C||Signal Input 1 Over||this LED indicates that the input signal saturates the A/D converter|
|D||Signal Input 2 / Ref + In||single ended input / reference input for external reference mode|
|E||Signal Input 2 / Ref - In Diff||negative input (when not used, has to be internally shorted to ground with switch on graphical user interface)|
|F||Signal Input 2 Over||this LED indicates that the input signal saturates the A/D converter|
|G||Signal Output 1 Add||the signal applied to the connector is added (analog add) to the output signal|
|H||Signal Output 1 Out||high-frequency output|
|I||Signal Output 1 Sync||the output signal before the output gain stage for use as synchronization or monitoring signal; the amplitude voltage calculates as ratio of the corresponding output amplitude and its range setting|
|J||Signal Output 1 On||this LED indicates that the signal output is turned on|
|K||Signal Output 2 Add||the signal applied to the connector is added (analog add) to the output signal|
|L||Signal Output 2 Out||high-frequency output|
|M||Signal Output 2 Sync||the output signal before the output gain stage for use as synchronization or monitoring signal; the amplitude voltage calculates as ratio of the corresponding output amplitude and its range setting|
|N||Signal Output 2 On||this LED indicates that the signal output is turned on|
|O||Y/θ 1 / Aux 2||this connector provides either the quadrature signal of the demodulator (Y1), the phase (θ1), or an auxiliary output signal Aux 2|
|P||X/R 1 / Aux 1||this connector provides either the in-phase signal of the demodulator (X1), the magnitude (R1), or an auxiliary output signal Aux 1|
|Q||Y/θ 2 / Aux 4||this connector provides either the quadrature signal of the demodulator (Y2), the phase (θ2), or an auxiliary output signal Aux 4|
|R||X/R 2 / Aux 3||this connector provides either the in-phase signal of the demodulator (X2), the magnitude (R2), or an auxiliary output signal Aux 3|
|S||Power||instrument mains power-on LED|
Back Panel Tour¶
The back panel is the main interface for power, control, service and connectivity to other ZI instruments. Please refer to Figure 4 and for the detailed description of the items.
|Position||Label / Name||Description|
|A||-||ventilator (important: keep clear from obstruction)|
|B||Earth ground||4 mm banana jack connector for earth ground purpose, electrically connected to the chassis and the earth pin of the power inlet|
|C||Power inlet||power inlet with On/Off switch|
|D||Power system||select between 115 V and 230 V power system|
|E||ZCtrl 1||peripheral pre-amplifier power & control bus 1 - attention: this is not an Ethernet plug, connection to an Ethernet network might damage the instrument|
|F||ZCtrl 2||peripheral pre-amplifier power & control bus 2 - attention: this is not an Ethernet plug, connection to an Ethernet network might damage the instrument|
|G||Aux In 1||auxiliary high-sampling rate input 1|
|H||Aux In 2||auxiliary high-sampling rate input 2|
|I||DIO 0||digital input/output 0|
|J||DIO 1||digital input/output 1|
|K||DIO||digital input/output 0-31|
|L||Clock In||clock input (10 MHz)|
|M||ZSync In||inter-instrument synchronization bus input - attention: this is not an Ethernet plug, connection to an Ethernet network might damage the instrument|
|N||ZSync Out||inter-instrument synchronization bus output - attention: this is not an Ethernet plug, connection to an Ethernet network might damage the instrument|
|O||USB||host computer connection|
The HF2 Series is a product line comprising an impedance spectroscope and a digital lock-in amplifier covering advanced requirements for laboratory equipment. The HF2 Series provides best-in-class performance, wide operation range, intuitive handling and excellent accuracy. The HF2IS Impedance Spectroscope is controlled with the ziControl user interface which is described in the ziControl Edition of the HF2 User Manual.
provides an overview of the available products in the HF2 Series. Upgradeable features are options that can be purchased anytime without need to send the instrument to Zurich Instruments - the upgradeable features consist of a firmware upgrade.
|Product code||Product name||Description||Upgrade in the field possible|
|HF2LI||HF2LI Lock-in Amplifier||base lock-in amplifier||-|
|HF2LI-PLL||HF2LI-PLL Dual Phase-locked Loop||option||yes|
|HF2LI-PID||HF2LI-PID Quad PID Controller||option||yes|
|HF2LI-MOD||HF2LI-MOD AM/FM Modulation||option||yes|
|HF2PLL||HF2PLL Phase-locked Loop||bundle of the HF2LI plus the HF2LI-PLL and the HF2LI-PID options||-|
|HF2IS||HF2IS Impedance Spectroscope||base impedance spectroscope||-|
|HF2TA||HF2TA Current Amplifier||low-noise transimpedance amplifier||yes|
|Feature||HF2LI||HF2LI + HF2LI-MF||HF2IS||HF2IS + HF2IS-MF|
|Internal reference mode||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|External reference mode||yes||yes||-||-|
|Auto reference mode||yes||yes||-||-|
|Dual-channel operation (2 independent measurement units)||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Superposed output sinusoidals per generator||1||up to 6||up to 4||up to 8|
|Arbitrary frequency mode||-||yes||yes||yes|
|Number of demodulators||6||6||4||8|
|Simultaneous freq. supported (fundamentals/harmonics)||2/4||6/-||4/-||8/-|
|Signal input select switch matrix||-||yes||yes||yes|
|Oscillator select switch matrix||-||yes||-||-|
|50 MHz, 210 MS/s, 0.8 μs TC||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|DSP technology||128 bit||128 bit||128 bit||128 bit|
|Dynamic reserve||120 dB||120 dB||-||-|
|Lock-in range||50 MHz||50 MHz||-||-|
|USB 2.0 480 Mbit/s||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Instrument software||LabOne User Interface, ziAPI, ziServer software||LabOne User Interface, ziAPI, ziServer software||ziControl, ziAPI, ziServer software||ziControl, ziAPI, ziServer software|
|Frequency response analyzer||yes||yes||yes||yes|
Internal Reference Mode¶
The internal reference mode takes advantage of the internal HF generators inside the HF2 Instrument. There are 6 frequency generators in the HF2LI and up to 8 frequency generators in the HF2IS. The output of these generators are added numerically inside the instrument avoiding complicated external analog signal adders and the resulting signal is fed to the device under test. The internal reference mode is the preferred mode as the signal recovery works at its best as the generated frequency is known inside of the instrument. The signal acquisition works immediately and there is no delay lock-time.
The internal reference mode is supported with single-channel and dual-channel operation. This is possible as the HF2 Instrument includes 2 independent measurement units that are working autonomously. Each of the measurement units provides analysis for one fundamental and 2 harmonic frequencies in parallel (sometimes called dual-harmonic mode). In total, the HF2LI can measure 2 fundamental and 4 harmonic frequencies, while the HF2IS can measure 4 frequencies. The number of frequencies increases with the multi-frequency options.
The demodulator samples are available in analog format on the auxiliary outputs of the HF2 Instrument and digitally on the connected computer transferred over the USB interface. The auxiliary outputs generate an analog signal after a linear digital to analog conversion at high sample rate. There are 2 pairs of analog signals allowing to output any 2 of the demodulation sample streams. All demodulator streams are available on the computer and can be further analyzed or stored in the local drives.
External Reference Mode¶
The external reference mode uses external reference sources to recover the signal of interest inside the HF2 Instrument. In this mode, the internal frequency generators are not used to stimulate the DUT. As the signal reference is an arbitrary periodic signal, a certain amount of time is required for the HF2LI to lock on the reference and to be able to recover the signal of interest reliably. This lock time depends on several parameters, but most important on the level and phase noise of the reference.
The external reference mode is supported with single-channel and dual-channel operation. This is possible as the HF2 Instruments includes 2 independent measurement units that are working autonomously. In single-channel mode, the reference can be fed into the Input 2/Ref connector on the front panel. This alternative provides an unmatched capability to use references with small amplitudes as they can be amplified by the signal path of Input 2. In dual-channel operation, the external TTL references are fed into the HF2 by means of the DIO0 and DIO1 connectors on the back panel.
Auto Reference Mode¶
The auto reference mode makes use of the internal PLLs to recover the reference frequency directly from the signal coming from the DUT. In this mode, the internal frequency generators are not used to stimulate the DUT. As the reference is inherently contained in the sampled signal, a dedicated PLL is able to lock on the frequency and to recover the reference and the signal of interest. This process is suited for signals with enough amplitude and signal-to-noise ratio. Further the reference recovery requires a certain amount of time that depends on several parameters like the level and the phase noise of the measured signal.
The auto reference mode is supported with single-channel and dual-channel operation. This is possible as the HF2 Instrument includes 2 independent measurement units that are working autonomously. In dual-channel mode it is sufficient to connect the signals captures at the DUTs to the Input 1 and Input 2 connectors of the HF2 Instrument. The HF2 Series support both single-ended and differential input signals ideal for fixed and floating ground applications.
The multi-frequency operation is the powerful extension provided by the HF2 Series increasing the number of frequencies that can be analyzed in parallel. Moreover, the multi-frequency considerably expands the multiplexing options the user has with respect of input channels and demodulator clocks. Please note that the HF2IS-MF is different than the HF2LI-MF (see ) as different features and different number of demodulators are activated.
For the HF2LI the multi-harmonic mode and the arbitrary frequency mode are distinguished. In multi-harmonic mode it is possible to analyze a signal at the fundamental frequency and at 5 harmonics at the same time, and the arbitrary frequency mode is the extension to analyze a signal of interest at 6 completely independent frequencies.
For the HF2IS only the arbitrary frequency mode is relevant.