We present the design and implementation of a measurement system that enables parallel drive and detection of small currents and voltages at numerous electrical contacts to a multi-terminal electrical device. This system, which we term a feedback lock-in, combines digital control-loop feedback with software-defined lock-in measurements to dynamically source currents and measure small, pre-amplified potentials. The effective input impedance of each current/voltage probe can be set via software, permitting any given contact to behave as an open-circuit voltage lead or as a virtually grounded current source/sink. This enables programmatic switching of measurement configurations and permits measurement of currents at multiple drain contacts without the use of current preamplifiers. Our 32-channel implementation relies on commercially available digital input/output boards, home-built voltage preamplifiers, and custom open-source software. With our feedback lock-in, we demonstrate differential measurement sensitivity comparable to a widely used commercially available lock-in amplifier and perform efficient multi-terminal electrical transport measurements on twisted bilayer graphene and SrTiO3 quantum point contacts. The feedback lock-in also enables a new style of measurement using multiple current probes, which we demonstrate on a ballistic graphene device.
Feedback lock-in: A versatile multi-terminal measurement system for electrical transport devices
Arthur W. Barnard, Evgeny Mikheev, Joe Finney, Han S. Hiller, David Goldhaber-Gordon; Feedback lock-in: A versatile multi-terminal measurement system for electrical transport devices. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 1 January 2023; 94 (1): 013902. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0089194
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