Oxford and Zurich Instruments collaborate to improve low temperature measurements

Oxford Instruments NanoScience (CSA CSM) on January 7 announced a new technical collaboration with Zurich Instruments, a leader for digital lock-in amplifiers, focused on combining equipment from both companies in order to reduce the time between installation and measurement in cryogenic systems.

The partnership is expected to yield a series of joint applications notes beginning with one related to the characterization of a high temperature superconducting sample using the MFLI Lock-in Amplifier and the OptistatDry cryostat.

“This collaboration continues to demonstrate the versatility of Oxford Instruments’ OptistatDry Cryofree® cryostat for optical and electrical applications. Our customers’ demands for streamlined experiments and the joint demonstrations with ZI equipment provide the evidence for faster and more accurate measurements taken in less time,” said Dr Michael Cuthbert, managing director at Oxford Instruments Nanoscience.

Oxford’s OptistatDry is comprised of a range of compact cryostats with optical access. It provides fast set-up and fast sample change, and is cooled by a closed cycle refrigerator. The MFLI, meanwhile, covers the frequency range between DC and 500 kHz (alternatively up to 5 MHz) and provides signal generation and measurement analysis with a software environment designed to improve understanding of the signal quality during the course of measurements.

In the application note the companies conclude that the superconducting transition of the chosen sample could be clearly demonstrated at various heating rates. According to the paper, “using such a cryogenic and instrumentation configuration, many differential measurements of various physical properties (resistivity, current, capacitance, etc.) can be performed over a wide range of temperatures and driving modulation. Phase information and multidemodulator configuration at higher harmonics or multiple frequencies can be acquired at the same time without any hardware modification, allowing for more flexibility in the design of such low-temperature experiments.”