MFLI Lock-in Amplifier

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Zurich Instruments MFLI, lock-in amplifier, medium and low frequency lock-in amplifier, lock-in, digital lock-in amplifier, 5 MHz, 500 kHz

The Zurich Instruments MFLI is a digital lock-in amplifier that sets the new standard for measurements in the medium and low frequency range. The MFLI is available in two versions covering the frequency range DC to 500 kHz and DC to 5 MHz (an upgrade from 500 kHz to 5 MHz is possible later). With the carefully developed analog and digital front ends in combination with the merits of fast digital processing provided by the on board FPGA, the MFLI combines superior performance with the outstanding LabOne® toolset. The embedded data and web servers allow straightforward connection to any device running a web browser.

EUR 5,400.00
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MFLI Key Features

  • DC - 500 kHz / 5 MHz, 60 MSa/s, 16 bit
  • Current and differential voltage inputs
  • LabOne toolset: Scope, Sweeper, Spectrum Analyzer, etc.
  • Plug & Play with embedded LabOne® Web Server
  • USB 2.0 and 1 GbE high-speed connections
  • AC line and DC supply (battery) operation
  • Upgradeable in the field with options

MFLI Overview Video

MFLI Applications

  • Optical chopper applications
  • Pulsed laser applications (e.g. high power lasers)
  • Materials research
  • Quantum- and nano-electronics
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy
  • Low temperature physics
  • Four-terminal sensing
  • Seismic measurements


Are there different hardware configurations available?
No, all options are firmware and software based and can be upgraded at any time later in the field.
Do I need a PC to run the instrument?
The MFLI has an embedded web server and can be connected to a local network where it can be accessed from any web browser by opening the address "http://mf-dev3XXX".
How does the MFLI compare to HF2LI and UHFLI with respect to key features and specification?
Please see the comparison chart.
What are the key features of the MFLI Scope?
The key features of MFLI oscilloscope are
  • Single channel, up to 16 kSa per shot, 16 bit resolution (24 bit with BW limit)
  • Sampling rates from 1.8 kSa/s to 60 MSa/s, up to 8.9 s acquisition time
  • Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of acquired scope shots with up to 30 MHz span (limited by 10 MHz input bandwidth (-3 dB))
  • 6 signal sources including signal inputs and trigger inputs, up to 6 trigger sources and 2 trigger methods
  • Independent hold-off, hysteresis, pre-trigger and trigger level settings
  • Support for input scaling and arbitrary input units

See also LabOne Toolset and Scope.

What are the key features of the MFLI Spectrum Analyzer?
The key features of MFLI spectrum analyzer are
  • Up to 58 kHz span, noise floor at 2.5 nV/√Hz, up to 8 kSa
  • Choice of 4 different FFT window functions
  • FFT input parameters: X+iY, R, Θ, f, (dΘ/dt)/(2π)

See also LabOne Toolset and Spectrum Analyzer.

What are the key features of the MFLI Sweeper?
The key features of MFLI Sweeper are
  • Full-featured parametric sweep tool for signal output frequency, signal output amplitude, signal output offset, signal output phase, offset voltage auxiliary output
  • Recording parameters: demodulator data (X, Y, R, Θ), oscillator frequency, auxiliary inputs, etc.
  • Application modes: Parameter sweep, Noise amplitude measurement, Frequency response analyzer, 3-Omega-Sweep
  • Other features: logarithmic sweeps, automatic bandwidth adjustment, persistent display of previous scans, phase unwrap, etc.

See also LabOne Toolset and Sweeper.

More Q & A

MFLI Available Options

MF-F5M Frequency Extension

This option extends the frequency range of the 500 kHz MFLI Lock-in Amplifier and of the 500 kHz MFIA Impedance Analyzer to 5 MHz. The upgrade relies on a software key and does not require any hardware change or return of the instrument; the installation can also take place at a later point in time. The upgrade is independent of the set of installed options and does not affect the other specifications.

EUR 3,800.00

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MF-IA Impedance Analyzer Option

The Zurich Instruments MF-IA is an upgrade option for the MFLI lock-in amplifier. It provides the full digital impedance analyzer and precision LCR meter functionality that sets the new standard for impedance measurements in the frequency range from DC to 500 kHz / 5 MHz. With the MF-IA option installed impedance can be measured with 0.05% basic accuracy and a measurement range spanning from 1 mΩ to 1 TΩ. The instrument has a high measurement repeatability and a small temperature drift.

EUR 4,400.00

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MF-PID Quad PID/PLL Controller

The MF-PID option consists of 4 configurable PID (proportional - integral - derivative) controllers. These controllers take a variety of different measurement data as the input quantity and they can provide fast feedback to a number of instrument parameters or analog output channels. Seamlessly integrated with the lock-in amplifier, the programmable PIDs enable operation in a wide range of applications such as the setup of phase-locked loops (PLLs) for the phase synchronization of two lasers, CEO stabilization and advanced AFM modes.

EUR 4,900.00

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MF-MD Multi-Demodulator

The MF-MD Multi-Demodulator option broadens the capabilities of the MFLI and the MFIA by increasing the number of demodulators to 4 and the number of oscillators to 4. It also provides an additional external reference PLL (for a total of 2), and enables simultaneous DC offset and AC signal measurement.

EUR 4,100.00

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MF-MOD AM/FM Modulation

The AM/FM modulation option allows generation of phase-coherent linear combinations of up to 3 oscillator frequencies. The direct measurement of (higher-order) sidebands in a variety of different modulation schemes, including amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM), can be conveniently set up in the LabOne® user interface. Unlike conventional double demodulation schemes, e.g.

EUR 1,300.00

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MF-DIG Digitizer

Combining the MFLI Lock-in Amplifier or the MFIA Impedance Analyzer with a digitizer opens up a wide range of measurement opportunities thanks to continuous streaming, cross-domain triggering, and a segmented memory. The 2 Scope channels can simultaneously display signals from the differential voltage input and from the current input.

EUR 1,250.00

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MFLI Available Bundles

MFLI 5 MHz Lock-in Amplifier

The 5 MHz version of the instrument is offered as a bundle containing the MFLI 500 kHz plus the MF-F5M Frequency Extension with a more attractive price than buying the items separately. Please note that the special pricing is offered only when the two items are purchased with a single purchase order referring to a single quotation.

EUR 8,100.00

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Multi-device Synchronization (MDS)

With MDS you can operate multiple MFLIs much as a single multi-channel device:
  • Operate all instruments from a single LabOne user interface and LabOne API
  • Phase lock all instrument clocks and oscillators (stable phase relationship)
  • Synchronize time stamps and sampling rates for automatic alignment of measurement data

MFLI Functional Diagram

Front panel interface

The front panel of the MFLI 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 immunity from noise disturbances. The signal ground can be referenced either to the instrument ground or the BNC shield of the signal inputs.

Voltage and current measurements

Voltage measurements and current measurements are both supported by the base instrument, but the simultaneous measurement of current and voltage requires the MF-MD Multi-demodulator option. 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 over sampling factor, ensuring superior lock-in performance and high signal fidelity for the Scope.

Output channels

The results of the lock-in measurement, i.e. X, Y, R and Θ for each of the demodulators, can be utilized in the following ways:

  • Analog output to any of the 4 auxiliary outputs on the front panel. Individual scaling and offsets can be set for each signal and the 612 kSa/s sampling rate ensures that all demodulated signal components are reliably available on the physical connectors. The signal bandwidth is the same for all signals and can be as high as 200 kHz.
  • Transferred to the host PC over either USB 2.0 or 1 GbE and displayed on the LabOne® user interface, where they can be analyzed with one of several LabOne tools, or easily stored locally using just a few mouse clicks.
  • Stored locally on a USB mass storage device plugged in into either of the two USB connectors.

Back panel interface

The back panel offers more 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. from an external battery pack, in order to break up ground loops.

Basic Specification


Storage temperature +5°C to +65°C
Storage relative humidity < 95%, non-condensing
Operating temperature +5°C to +40°C
Operating relative humidity < 90%, non-condensing
Specification temperature +18°C to +28°C
Power consumption < 40 W
DC power inlet 12 V, 2 A
Connector: Switchcraft 760BK, ID 2.5 mm, OD 5.5 mm
Power supply AC line 100 - 240 V (±10%), 50/60 Hz
Line power fuse 250 V, 2 A, fast, 5 x 20 mm, F 2A L 250V
Dimensions including bumper 28.3 x 23.2 x 10.2 cm
11.1 x 9.1 x 4.0 inch
Rack mount on request
Weight including bumper 3.8 kg
Recommended calibration interval 2 years (see sticker on back panel)
Warranty 1 year, extensible

For full list, please see the

MFLI and MFIA Specification


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