The Zurich Instruments MFIA is a digital impedance analyzer and precision LCR meter that sets the new standard for impedance measurements in the frequency range from 1 mHz to 500 kHz (extended to 5 MHz when upgraded). The MFIA has a basic accuracy of 0.05% and operates over a measurement range spanning from 1 mΩ to 1 TΩ. It is also characterized by a high measurement repeatability and small temperature drift. Every MFIA comes with the LabOne user interface and with the MFITF Impedance Test Fixture.
500 kHz / 5 MHz Impedance Analyzer
- 1 mHz to 500 kHz, 1 mΩ to 1 TΩ
- Optional upgrade to 5 MHz
- 0.05% basic accuracy
- Compensation Advisor and Confidence Indicator
- Full MFLI Lock-in Amplifier functionality
- LabOne® Sweeper tool for frequency, bias voltage, and test signal amplitude response measurements
- LabOne APIs for Python, C, MATLAB® and LabVIEW™
- Multi-Device Synchronization
- LabOne Toolset
- Accuracy and Ranges
- Electrical engineering: sensors, supercapacitors, semiconductor characterization, DLTS, display technology, ultra-high resistors, high-Q dielectrics
- Materials research: polymer dielectrics, ceramics and composites, solar materials, thin-film and nanostructure characterization
- Bioimpedance: tissue impedance analysis, cell growth, food research
With multi-device synchronization (MDS) you can operate multiple MFIAs as a single multi-channel device:
- Operate all instruments from a single LabOne user interface and LabOne API.
- Lock in phase all instrument clocks and oscillators (stable phase relationship).
- Synchronize time stamps and sampling rates for automatic alignment of measurement data.
Front panel interface
The front panel of the MFIA features 1 current signal input, 1 differential voltage input, 1 differential signal output, 2 auxiliary inputs that can work as reference inputs, and 4 auxiliary outputs. Both signal inputs and outputs can be operated in single-ended and differential mode for experiments that require extra noise immunity. The signal ground can be referenced to the instrument ground or to the BNC shield of the signal inputs.
Back panel interface
The back panel offers additional BNC connectors comprising 2 trigger inputs, 2 trigger outputs, and 1 input and 1 output for 10 MHz clock synchronization. Moreover, a SCSI connector offers access to all DIO channels. The units can be operated with standard 90 - 240 V mains supply or by an external 12 V DC power supply (e.g., an external battery pack) to break up ground loops.
High repeatability and fast start-up
Temperature changes of the instrument can severely limit start-up speed and measurement repeatability. The MFIA performs exceptionally well in both aspects, as shown by the start-up drift graph above and by the reactance chart at the bottom of the page. You can start the first measurements after 25 s from turning on the instrument.
Voltage and current measurements
Voltage measurements and current measurements are both supported by the MFIA. The analog front end features variable input impedance as well as AC/DC coupling selection, and the high-frequency analog to digital sampling provides a large oversampling factor. This ensures superior lock-in performance and high signal fidelity for the Scope.
The MFIA comes with the LabOne instrument control software and runs an embedded data and web server that provide the graphical user interface to any web browser. Adding the MFIA by Ethernet into your local network or connect directly by USB, type the instrument address into your web browser, and you have access to the LabOne tool set. Data from each LabOne tool can be stored as vector graphics or as plain data files with a single click. Basic cursor and statistical functions are available for initial data analysis in the time or frequency domain. For further analysis with other software, ZView®, MATLAB® and customized CSV export file formats are all supported.
The Sweeper enables measurement automation by scanning instrument parameters over a defined range with a freely adjustable number of scan steps, linearly or logarithmically. It is also possible to automatically record the frequency dependence as well as the variation of bias voltages or test signal amplitudes. A variety of application modes enable the identification of the optimal settings to obtain the most accurate results in a minimum time without tedious manual tweaking.
The example above shows a frequency sweep from 100 Hz to 5 MHz of a 1-GΩ resistor in a dual-plot representation. The top plot illustrates the absolute value of the impedance |Z| and the resistance Rp. The bottom plot shows how the stray capacitance Cp remains constant at about 30 fF over the entire scan range. A free choice of additional parameters can be visualized at the same time.
The Numeric tool displays all measurement values and model parameters in a user-configurable format. Each impedance unit features simultaneous views of the impedance value, the underlying current, the voltage measurements, and the model-derived parameters (L,C,R, etc.).
Plotter and SW Trigger
The Plotter and Software Trigger are tools for the analysis of measurement data and model parameters in the time domain. The Plotter can display multiple data streams continuously. For a window length of 10 s, the time resolution goes down to 10 μs. The Software Trigger captures and displays individual shots based on different internal and external trigger conditions.
The LabOne Plotter displays impedance data continuously. The above plot shows data from a 100-mΩ resistor over 20 minutes. The histogram indicates a standard deviation as small as 6 µΩ.
All measurement data pass a confidence estimation before appearing in the LabOne tools. Whenever the measurement is compromised by suppression, gain error, or compensation error a warning flag is raised to signify that the data might be inaccurate. Depending on the type of warning, suggestions are provided to improve the measurement result.
In order to achieve a high measurement accuracy, parasitic effects caused by the test fixture or cabling between the instrument and the DUT need to be compensated. The LabOne Compensation Advisor provides step-by-step guidance and an efficient workflow to achieve maximum measurement performance. In addition to Short-Open (SO) and Short-Open-Load (SOL) compensation, a variety of alternative compensation schemes are offered. Each compensation step is validated and feedback is provided before data are taken to correct for measurement errors.
The reactance chart presented below indicates the instrument accuracy for given frequency and impedance values. In the wide core area indicated in white, a 0.05% accuracy is specified between 1 mHz and 500 kHz, and 1 Ω and 1 MΩ (with limitations towards higher frequencies). The measurement range extends further with reduced specified accuracy of 0.1% and 1% to cover a measurement range from 10 mΩ to 1 GΩ. Even outside of this range, repeatable measurements are possible but accuracy might drop below 1%.
Measuring high impedances at low frequencies can be particularly challenging when values have to be obtained close to the line frequency. Adequate sample shielding along with a sinc filter and the possibility for battery operation will provide the most accurate results.
|Dimensions||28.3 x 23.2 x 10.2 cm; 11.1 x 9.2 x 4 inch|
|Weight||3.8 kg; 8.4 lbs|
|Power supply||AC: 100 to 240 V; DC: 12 V, 2 A|
|Interface||USB 2.0, LAN 1GbE|
|Frequency range||1 mHz to 5 MHz|
|Frequency resolution||1 µHz|
|Basic temp. stability||200 ppm/K|
|Test signal level||0 V to 2.1 Vrms; incl. monitoring|
|Demodulator bandwidth||276 µHz to 206 kHz|
|DC bias signal level||2T: ±10 V, 4T: ±3 V|
|Compensation||SO, SOL, LLL, SL, L, OL|
Measurement parameters, range and typ. accuracy
|Impedance Z||1 mΩ to 1 TΩ, 0.05%|
|Admittance Y||1 pS to 1 kS, 0.05%|
|Voltage V||0 V to 3 V, 1%|
|Current I||0 mA to 10 mA, 2%|
|Phases ΘZ, ΘY, ΘV, ΘI||±180 deg, 10 µdeg res.|
|Resistance RS, RP1||1 mΩ to 1 TΩ, max(10 µOhm, 0.05%)|
|Capacitance CS, CP1||10 fF to 1 F, max(10 fF, 0.05%)|
|Inductance LS, LP1||100 nH to 1 H, max(10 nH, 0.05%)|
|DC Resistance RDC||1 mΩ to 10 GΩ, 2%|
|Reactance X||1 mΩ to 1 TΩ, 0.05%|
|Conductance G, Susceptance B||1 nS to 1 kS, max(100 nS, 0.05%)|
|Loss coefficient D||10-4 to 10'000|
|Q factor||10-4 to 10'000|
|Sweep parameters||Frequency, test signal amplitude, bias voltage, etc.|
|Sweep points||2 to 100'000|
|Sweep resolution||Arbitrary, defined by start value, stop value, number of sweep points|
|Display parameters||ZX, ZY, Z, ZΘ, VX, VY, VR, VΘ, IX, IY, IR, IΘ, model parameter 1/2, frequency, auxiliary input|
|Display options||Single plot, dual plot (e.g., Bode plot), multi-trace|
|Application modes||Impedance, frequency response analyzer, 3-omega, etc.|
|Sweep modes||Sequential, binary, bidirectional, reverse|
|Sweep step modes||Linear, logarithmic|
|Sweep speed||20 ms/pt for f > 10 kHz|
Additional tools and features
|LabOne toolset||Numerical, FFT Spectrum Analyzer, Plotter, SW Trigger, Scope|
|APIs||C, .NET, MATLAB, LabVIEW, Python|
|Confidence Indicator||Suppression, compensation, overflow, underflow|
|Input range control||Auto, impedance, manual|
|Test signal amplitude||Auto, manual|
|Bandwidth control||Auto, manual|
|Replacement circuit models||Rp||Cp, Rs+Cs, Rs+Ls, G-B, D-Cs, Q-Cs, D-Ls, Q-Ls|
|Test fixture compatibility||Yes|
1 Accuracy valid if parameter is the dominant value of the circuit representation.
For the full list of specifications, please see the MFLI and MFIA Specification.
No, all MF Instrument Series are based on the same hardware. Variants are firmware- and software-based and can be implemented at a later time in the field.
The MFIA features an embedded web server, and it can thus be connected to a local network where it can be accessed from any web browser by typing in the address "http://mf-devXXXX" (replacing XXXX with the serial number).
No. Please see the reactance chart below for a detailed specification of accuracy over the entire frequency and measurement ranges.
The basic MFIA has 2 fully configurable demodulators. The MF-MD option extends that to a total of 4 demodulators.
The MFIA Impedance Analyzer and the MFLI Lock-in Amplifier with the MF-IA option installed are technically the same instrument. The only differences are found in the front panel and in the organization of the user interface (e.g., the ordering of the application icons).
Every MFIA is shipped with the MFITF Impedance Test Fixture and 12 carriers. For customers with existing setups and test fixtures, note that the main connector spacing (22 mm) is fully compatible with most of the accessories from other vendors.