A magneto-optical Kerr loop tracer for hysteresis loop measurements in thin films with field excitation frequency f0 from 10 mHz to 10 kHz is described. A very high sensitivity is obtained by using an ultrabright light-emitting diode as a low-noise light source and a novel acquisition process. The field is generated with a coil driven by an audio amplifier connected to a free-running oscillator. The conditioned detector output constitutes the magnetization signal (M); the magnetic field (H) is measured with a fast Hall probe. The acquisition electronics are based on a set of sample-and-hold amplifiers which allow the simultaneous sampling of M, H, and dH/dt. Acquisition is driven by a personal computer equipped with a multifunction I/O board. Test results on a 120 nm Fe film on Si substrate are shown. The coercive field of the film increases with frequency and nearly doubles at 10 kHz with respect to dc. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.