Zurich Instruments is a test and measurement company based in Zurich, Switzerland, developing and selling measurement instruments and delivering customer support in key markets around the world, either directly or with carefully selected partners. We are a growing, independent and founder-led company.

What we do

Zurich Instruments makes cutting-edge instrumentation for scientists and technologists in advanced labs who are passionate about phenomena that are often notoriously difficult to measure. Our core offering includes lock-in amplifiers, phase-locked loops, arbitrary waveform generator, impedance analyzers, digitizers and boxcar averagers. 

We believe that system integration is good. We believe that system integration leads to significant time savings, reduced lab setup complexity, efficient workflows and reliable, accurate measurements.

Our instruments deliver market-leading specifications for sensitivity, dynamic range, feature set, speed and accuracy as a list of Zurich Instruments' industry firsts shows:

Setting new industry standards

  • In 2009, Zurich Instruments launched its first product: the world's fastest lock-in amplifier, the HF2LI, with 6 demodulators and a dynamic reserve of 120 dB for frequencies up to 50 MHz.
  • In 2010, the world’s fastest phase-locked loop (PLL) was integrated into the HF2LI. A scope, spectrum analyzer and parametric sweeper were also integrated into each instrument, giving the HF2 series a unique set of features that is still unrivaled in the lock-in amplifier market.
  • In 2012, the UHF series was introduced, including what even today is the fastest commercially available lock-in amplifier and PLL. At the same time, it set a new sensitivity standard, reducing input noise to a mere 4 nV/√Hz.
  • In 2013, the LabOne instrument control software was introduced, featuring a web-based user interface for instrument control and a set of application programming interfaces for leading languages.
  • In 2014, a Boxcar option with a periodic waveform analyzer (PWA) was integrated into the UHF series. It remains the fastest commercial boxcar averager on the market. The PWA is an innovative tool that greatly simplifies and speeds up many tasks related to the analysis of periodic waveforms, e.g. asynchronous optical/electrical detection.
  • In 2015, the MF series was launched. It is the first lock-in amplifier with an integrated web-server, enabling remote experimental control from any platform without the need to install any software. Its 2.5 nV/√Hz input noise level and dynamic range of more than 120 dB set the industry standard in the low and medium frequency range market segment.
  • Early in 2016, we introduced our first arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) and a counter module for the UHF series. With the AWG option, the UHF series is the first commercial instrument to integrate highly flexible signal generation, multiple detection schemes, and various feedback options.

How we do it

We integrate state-of-the-art analog electronics, high-precision digital signal processing, innovative software and intuitive user interfaces into a line of products guided by lean design principles. Integration does not stop at the instrument level. Our instruments also integrate highly responsive and supportive customer care, complete documentation, as well as a high level of professionalism and know-how.

Where we came from

Zurich Instruments was founded in April 2008 by Dr. Sadik Hafizovic, Dr. Flavio Heer and Beat Hofstetter as a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). At ETH Zurich they developed a prototype that was used by a team of biologists to characterize and sort blood cells using single-cell impedance measurement. The instrument had to be capable of demodulating at multiple frequencies at the same time and at a high rate. The solution relied on an FPGA-based digital signal processor and sophisticated software and replaced a much bigger setup consisting of multiple instruments. It became the foundation for the first line of highly integrated multi-functional time and frequency domain analysis equipment developed by Zurich Instruments.

Where we are going

Our measurement systems are used in a wide range of demanding applications all over the world. We are inspired by our customers, who are global leaders in scientific and industrial research and development, by our external partners and by each other. Zurich Instruments has a pipeline filled with projects and innovations that we are looking forward to sharing with you. We are open to new partnerships, new collaborations, new customers and new team members. 

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