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Oscillation Controller with digitally integrated PLL

For the finest control of mechanical oscillators

The Oscillation Controller (OC4) adds dynamic and multifrequency AFM capabilities to the Nanonis controller. The z-feedback can regulate on any signal coming from the mechanical resonator with any predefined SafeTip™ conditions. Imaging modes include among others: non-contact AFM, intermittent contact mode, phase imaging, dissipation. With an input bandwidth of 5MHz, the OC4 can operate any type of cantilever, tuning fork, needle sensors, etc. and their harmonics. It is also perfect as a digital lock-in and signal analyzer (FFT) up to 5 MHz and can be further extended for Kelvin probe applications or customized in LabVIEW with the Nanonis Programming Interface

Details and Specs
Related Modules

  • Fully digital PLL up to 5MHz: no introduction of noise or drift from analog or mixed signals
  • Digitally integrated into the Nanonis control system
  • Any signal or combination can be used as z-feedback, user-defined SafeTip™ features
  • Easy access and analysis of internal signals reporting frequency shift, amplitude, phase and excitation
  • 4 independent demodulators for Multifrequency operation
  • Advanced filtering: independent lock-in filters with selectable order (1. to 8.) and cut-off frequency (100 mHz to 50 kHz)  for each demodulator
  • Integrated oscilloscope and spectrum analyzer (FFT) with continuous display up to 5MHz
  • Demodulation bandwidth up to 5 kHz
  • Frequency and phase sweep spectrum for maximum amplitude and minimum excitation
  • perfectPLL™: automatic PLL-tuning according to the Q-factor, demodulation bandwidth, and gain
  • TrueDissipation: automatic correction of apparent damping for precise dissipation measurements
  • Accurate amplitude detection: lock-in technique for amplitude detection instead of RMS-to-DC conversion

                                                                            More about OC4 software…

Instrument features:

  Dedicated Hardware

The OC4 hardware is designed according to the needs of AFM experiments: Low-noise inputs and outputs, a differential input buffer, wide-range variable gain and variable attenuation ensure perfect handling of sensitive signals. Frequency stability of 1ppb is guaranteed by an on board OCXO and frequency resolution down to below 1 nHz through a Direct Digital Synthesizer (DDS). The input range of ±10 V ensures that the instrument is compatible with almost any AFM

  OC4 interface

The OC4 interface is intended to work with any third party controller. All internally calculated channels can be sent out simultaneously over 6 BNC outputs. Two outputs are user configurable for SafeTip signal or Bias voltage for Kelvin probe, for instance. Triggering and synchronization with respect to the drive signal can be done through two trigger ports.

  Extremely wide signal ranges

Excitation output range can be selected from 4 different settings, from ±10mV up to ±10V. This allows optimal operation of the mechanical resonator depending on the type of application, particularly between ambient and UHV conditions where the Q factor changes drastically and necessitates a completely different drive amplitude. The input range can be set continuously between a gain of 0.1 and 1000 allowing for a precise matching to the expected input signal amplitude.

  Advanced lock-in signal processing

The quality of the lock-in signal processing is the key to accurate measurements and outstanding signal recovery capabilities, which are vital for detecting the smallest changes in interaction between the probe and the sample. The OC4 signal processing uses advanced filtering techniques and independent, user-configurable filters with slopes up to 8th order (48 dB/oct) and cut-off frequencies from 100 mHz to 50 kHz. Each of the four parallel demodulators can be configured individually ensuring optimized signal quality for multi-harmonic analysis.

  Signal analyzer up to 5 MHz

The OC4 integrates many noise and analysis tools such as a powerful 5MHz signal analyzer (FFT) to visualize the resonance frequency of the cantilever and its higher modes in the frequency domain. A zoom-FFT feature allows more refined analysis like for instance thermal peak analysis, while the transfer function of a system can be easily determined with the frequency response tool

  Feedback error signal (OC4.5-S only)

A dedicated feedback signal module allows the user to freely configure which error signal to use for any third party controller. Many parameters such as error signal, recovery time, threshold condition, and SafeTip level are all user definable. The user can either output the direct signal or subtract a set-point value to it in order to match the requirements of the feedback signal inputs of third-party controllers.


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