Zurich Instruments Users Meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands

On June 3rd my colleague Romain Stomp and I welcomed Zurich Instruments users with a focus in Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) to visit us for the day at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In the morning, Romain shared his expertise with a presentation outlining how to optimally configure the HF2 and UHF Lock-in Amplifiers for SPM applications. I followed with a talk on An Introduction to Programming our Instruments using the LabOne APIs (pdf) and then demonstrated some special features of our instruments (hardware triggering, synchronisation of multiple HF2s) and software (LabOne’s Software Trigger) that are of particular relevance to scientists in this field.

After lunch, we were given a tour of the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium in which scientists explained their research directly in front of their SPM setups. The number and variety of SPMs was very impressive: Low temperature, high temperature, video-rate SPM and even Magnetic Resonance Force Microscopy (application note) were all presented. Then, in the afternoon, Romain and I did hands-on sessions for PLL configuration and demonstrated some new features use of the LabOne User Interface. Some of our guests had specific questions, so we wrapped up with a Q&A session before breaking out the cheese and wine.

It was a valuable experience for me to meet some of our power users and hear more about their applications. Being able to communicate with the lock-in programmatically is particularly relevant for scientists with imaging applications. Typically, SPM set-ups require communication with other lab equipment in order to trigger and synchronise data streaming from the lock-in to the PC. This can can be done using the LabOne User Interface, but API users can additionally asynchronously acquire lock-in data directly into the programming language they’re familiar with (Matlab, Python, LabView, C). Based on this, API users can then implement their custom online data processing algorithms in order to dynamically visualize their substrate whilst their experiment is running.

A more complete Python API example for mapping application will be posted later, demonstrating multiple image acquisition from all demodulated samples and synchronized with an external scan engine or X,Y map.

Tutorial 2nd section: API examples

Second Tutorial in the Hands-on Afternoon Session: API examples

Please find the full presentation on LabOne API programming available for download (pdf).