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A single-chip event sequencer and related microcontroller instrumentation for atomic physics research

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1 Author(s)
Eyler, E. E. ; Physics Department, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269, USA

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A 16-bit digital event sequencer with 50 ns resolution and 50 ns trigger jitter is implemented by using an internal 32-bit timer on a dsPIC30F4013 microcontroller, controlled by an easily modified program written in standard C. It can accommodate hundreds of output events, and adjacent events can be spaced as closely as 1.5 μs. The microcontroller has robust 5 V inputs and outputs, allowing a direct interface to common laboratory equipment and other electronics. A USB computer interface and a pair of analog ramp outputs can be added with just two additional chips. An optional display/keypad unit allows direct interaction with the sequencer without requiring an external computer. Minor additions also allow simple realizations of other complex instruments, including a precision high-voltage ramp generator for driving spectrum analyzers or piezoelectric positioners, and a low-cost proportional integral differential controller and lock-in amplifier for laser frequency stabilization with about 100 kHz bandwidth.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:82 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 2011

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