HF2LI Graphical User Interface

ziControl is the first PC-based graphical user interface of the HF2LI that redefined the features set that belongs to a lock-in amplifier. Zurich Instruments claims that buttons and tiny screens on front panels do not foster immediate and intuitive instrument control nor measurement interpretation. It is at the heart of the Zurich Instruments product philosophy to simplify the laboratory setups of users combining the measurement instruments with powerful analysis tools. Always included in the base instrument, for significant efficiency increase, the user will find:

8 instruments in 1 box

  • 2 high-frequency measurement units
  • 2 high-frequency multi-sine signal generators
  • 1 high-resolution Frequency Response Analyzer
  • 1 high-resolution FFT Spectrum Analyzer
  • 1 high-resolution 14-bit oscilloscope with 2048 samples
  • 1 time domain spectroscope

ziControl Key Features

  • Intuitive, easy to use graphical user interface
  • Integrated oscilloscope, spectroscope, and frequency response analyser
  • Simultaneous HF2 Instrument access by multiple programs
  • Control of local and remote HF2 Instruments
  • Control of up to 16 HF2 Instruments from one graphical user interface

ziControl is the well-conceived graphical user interface for accessing the HF2LI. It provides full control, several data visualization tools, data and setting storage, status and log functionality. ziControl supports local instruments (connected to the local computer over USB) or remote instruments (connected over TCP/IP).

Most importantly, the ziControl supports access to your HF2LI by multiple programs running in parallel (LabVIEW VIs, C++ based programs, Matlab, and others). This multitasking capability is a unique feature offered by Zurich Instruments.

Numerical Tool

The numerical tool provides an overview of the active demodulators of your instrument. The tool is especially useful when setting up the measurement experiment. The numerical indicators immediately reveal the range of the demodulator results, the current precision of the results and a logarithmic range for both polar (R, Theta) and cartesian (X, Y) representations.


Oscilloscope Tool

The oscilloscope tool provides a handy graphical representation of what is occurring at the inputs and the outputs of your instrument. This simplifies the situation for the user, as it is then unnecessary to install a physical oscilloscope on the test bench for this purpose. The built-in oscilloscope features all of the common scope controls such as run/single, trigger selection, trigger level, time scale, hold off, an FFT view, and a harmonic analysis of the measured signal.


Spectroscope Tool

The spectroscope tool represents the demodulator results as a function of time. It features a very wide range of scaling for both time and signal values, allowing the monitoring of all major as well as minor events. Flexible scaling and cursor function is also included. This tool is particularly useful for differentiating between the steady state of a measurement and the events where an impedance change has been detected. Saving functions for data and instrument settings are also available.


Frequency Response Analyzer / Sweeper Tool

The Frequency Response Analyzer is a very powerful and high precision measurement tool that is unique for this type of instrument. For instance, the frequency step is configurable to very small values. This mostly allows to perform advanced measurements, without the need for expensive spectrum analyzers which are usually rare in laboratories or may subsequently be in use at the same time by other experiments. The built-in Frequency Response Analyzer features all of the common controls such as run/single, precision and filter settings, and many features that simplify the daily life of the user.


FFT Spectrum Analyzer / Zoom FFT Tool

The HF2 FFT Spectrum Analyzer is a standard feature of all HF2 Instruments, fully integrated inside the ziControl graphical user interface. It builds on a technique also called Zoom FFT, which is the numerical calculation of the FFT spectrum on samples demodulated by the lock-in amplifier. It delivers an extremely high resolution output compared to an FFT performed on raw data before demodulation. As the resolution of an FFT spectrum is determined only by the total length of time spanned by the samples.

ziAPI Application Programming Interface

  • LabVIEW (min version 2009) support
  • Binary interface with C, C++ bindings
  • MATLAB support
  • Python support
  • High-speed operation: 1 million demodulated samples per second

The ziAPI provides 5 programming interfaces to the HF2 Series. The dedicated binary APIs for LabVIEW, C, and C++ provide extra support for the efficient integration of ZI Instruments into laboratory setups. More than 30 MByte of data per second can be processed, corresponding to more than 1 million demodulated samples per second.


  • Multi-instrument support
  • Unlimited client support
  • Powerful text-based programming interface
  • High-speed operation: 30 MByte of data per second
  • Support for remote client access over TCP/IP

The ziServer keeps the user informed of what is happening. It detects the HF2 Instrument, provides configuration and generates the overview for the user. It also provides a text-based interface that supports manual use and allows for integration with virtually any programming language. A powerful framework synchronizes settings amongst multiple instruments and clients connected to the server.

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