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MCVA5 Multichannel Voltage Preamplifier

The Nanonis MCVA5 differential multichannel preamplifier provides low-noise amplification, very high input impedance, high common-mode rejection, gain up to 1000, and differential inputs at a moderate cost. It can be used standalone or as a frontend to a Nanonis TSC or SC5.

The instrument offers 4 independent differential channels. It is powered and remote-controlled from a Nanonis Tramea Quantum Transport Measurement System or a Nanonis Mimea SPM Control System, or alternatively over an USB interface from any PC.

MCVA5 input panel
Input panel of the MCVA5
MCVA5 output panel
Output panel of the MCVA5
MCVA5 control board
Detail of the control board of the MCVA5
Sealed serial connectors
Serial communication connectors with sealing
MCVA5 input channel detail
Detail of the input section of a MCVA5 input channel

The 4 differential inputs offer an input impedance greater than 10 TΩ to GND and a very low input bias currents of less than 2 pA (typ.). They can be operated in either A-B (differential) or A (single-ended) mode or left floating. The circuit can be AC-coupled, and the integration of AC-coupling after the first amplification stage further reduces leakage currents at the input. The amplification circuit has user-selectable gains of 1, 10, 100 and 1000 and a bandwidth in excess of 500 kHz. Despite the very high input impedance spectral noise is as low as 4 nV/√Hz (SE, gain 100/1000)

The preamplifier is solely controlled through its remote interface, as there are no physical controls on the instrument. The preamplifier is supplied with either suitable cables for a Nanonis system or a plug&play USB adapter for standalone operation. In order to avoid any coupling between the remote interface and the signal circuits, the remote interface is optically isolated. As an additional measure, control signals are sent to the preamplifier only when a parameter (like gain, input coupling,…) needs to be altered. Multiple preamplifiers can be connected in series if more than 4 channels are required.

Power is provided from the AUX power supply of a Nanonis TSC/SC5 or TSO/SO5 through the supplied cable (if ordered with a Nanonis Tramea Quantum Transport Measurement System or a Nanonis Mimea SPM Control System). Alternatively a power supply for Femto® preamplifiers is also suitable to power the instrument.

The amplifier is protected against dust and moisture ensuring that the very high input impedance will be maintained over time as no substances like oil, water or dust can enter the enclosure. The sealed enclosure also permits the instrument to be located where condensation due to cryogenic liquids or gases might otherwise cause water penetration into the enclosure.


  • Ultra-high imput impedance
  • Ultra-low drift and noise
  • Ultra-low input bias current
  • 4 independent channels
  • Gain of 1, 10, 100, 1000
  • 500 kHz bandwidth
  • Optically isolated remote control interface




MCVA5 Multichannel Voltage Preamplifier
Analog inputs


Number of Connectors

8x BNC connector (4x A inputs, 4x B inputs), shield on case

Input mode


Input coupling

DC or AC

Differential input voltage range

±10 V

Maximum input voltage

±13 V (to chassis GND)

Input impedance

>10 TΩ to GND @ DC, >50 GΩ differential @ DC

Input bias current

< 2 pA typ. at 25° C ambient temperature

Analog bandwidth

DC - 500 kHz (linear response), DC - 1 MHz (-3 dB) for all gains


1, 10, 100, 1000

Input noise density

< 4 nV/√Hz (SE), < 5.5 nV/√Hz (differential) @ 10 kHz, gain 100 and 1000; <11 nV/√Hz (SE), < 15 nV/√Hz (differential) @ 1 Hz, gain 100 and 1000

Input noise 0.1 Hz - 10 Hz

 25 nV rms (SE), < 32 nV rms (differential) @ gain 100 and 1000


>125 dB @ 10 Hz, >120 dB @ 100 Hz, >100 dB @ 1 kHz, >80 dB @ 10 kHz (gain 100 and 1000)

Input offset

typ. max ±150 μV, input referred (A-B mode, AC coupling. A mode, DC coupling values are typ. 3x lower). 

Analog outputs


Number of Connectors

4x BNC

Output coupling

DC, referenced to chassis GND

Voltage range

±10 V into 1 kΩ or larger

Output impedance

50 Ω, short circuit safe

Analog bandwidth

DC-500 kHz (linear response), DC - 1 MHz (-3 dB) @ all gains

Maximum output current

±40 mA

Digital interface


Number of Connectors

1x D-sub 9-pin (male, optically isolated), 1x D-sub 9-pin (female, for control of up to 3 further MCVA5)

Maximum input voltage

5.5 V

Maximum sampling frequency

500 kHz

Power Input


Power Supply

External ±15 V DC power supply required (not supplied with MCVA5). Powering over TSC/SC5 and TSO/SO5 possible

Power supply connector

LEMO EPL.1S.303.HLN (identical to power supply connector of Femto® preamplifiers)

Power supply voltage

±15 V DC

Current consumption

±120 mA (idle operation), ±200 mA normal operation (no overload), ±600 mA (all channels in overload)


17.0 x 24.8 x 8.5 cm


2.2 kg