Part of the Oxford Instruments Group


A cryogenic programmable intelligent temperature controller.

  • Multi-channel

  • Accurate

  • Ability to upgrade

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The MercuryiTC is a versatile cryogenic environment controller.  In its basic form it includes a single channel high-resolution (24 bit) temperature measurement circuit which supports all the standard cryogenic sensors (ruthenium oxide, cernox, silicon diodes, platinum, thermocouple and RhFe).  With the constant voltage mode it enables reliable, accurate temperature measurement using negative temperature sensors (NTC) down to below 250 mK.  The base unit enables PID loop configuration control of a single heater output up to 80W (40 V, 2 A).   

The base unit incorporates a versatile touch screen display with signal widgets (18 widgets) that are user configurable to display any of the internal system signals.  The unit is fully controllable by remote command via TCP/IP, USB, RS232 or optional GPIB.  Any of the available system signals are also available by remote command.

The base unit is expandable with plug-and-play cards.  There are 9 expansion slots, 8 multi-use and 1 dedicated for GPIB.  The expansion slots allow the addition of 8 extra temperature sensor cards, or 3 temperature sensor cards coupled with 3 additional 80W heater cards to form a total of 4 independent PID loops.  Or pressure sensors cards can be added which can be used to control cryogen flow via Auxiliary (Gas Control) cards. 

Please note: The temperature sensor – heater PID loop algorithm also includes a feature to balance a cooling cryogen flow without the need of a pressure card.  The MercuryiTC will also support the Cryogen level meter card for monitoring Helium and Nitrogen cryogen levels

  • Measures and controls temperatures to below 250 mK with a precision of 0.1 mK (24 bit A to D resolution)
  • Heater output up to 80 W per channel
  • Software switchable between true constant voltage source or current source for sensor excitation, preventing self-heating and allowing for high quality measurements at the lowest temperature
  • Supports all standard cryogenic sensors (ruthenium oxide, cernox, silicon diodes, platinum, thermocouple and RhFe)
  • Base system includes a single temperature sensor input and 80W heater output for precise temperature PID control
  • Customisation is possible through the addition of plug and play expansion cards. The controller features 9 expansion slots (8 multi-function slots and a dedicated GPIB slot) which can be used to extend its capability. Expansion cards include additional temperature sensor inputs and heater outputs, pressure transducer inputs, stepper motor drive allowing gas flow regulation for efficient use of liquid helium in flow cryostats and cryogen level metering of both helium and nitrogen
  • System control

  • The intuitive touch screen user interface facilitates easy monitoring, control and configuration of your experimental system.
  • Easy pc connection to your Mercury instrument via multiple remote ports
  • Interfaces: Ethernet, Serial, USB or optional GPIB

  • Easy integration within your data acquisition programs for monitoring and remote control of your cryogenic and superconducting magnet system
  • The MercuryiTC has also a number of pre-configured control modes e.g., Heliox control, Lambda Fridge control, Rotator control, etc.
  • Rear panel connections
  • Number of inputs: 1 included as standard, up to 8 extra
  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit
  • Maximum reading rate: Up to 4 readings per sec.
  • Isolation: All sensors independently isolated
  • Supported sensor types: All standard types of cryogenic RTD’s plus diodes and thermocouples
  • Number of outputs: 1 incl. as standard, up to 3 extra
  • DAC Resolution: 16-bit
  • Max heater power: 80 W
  • Max current: 2 A
  • Max voltage: 40 V
  • Heater load range: 20 Ohms to 120 Ohms
  • Heater noise (0 - 2 MHz): < 2 mV 
Configuration options
  • Sensor input: Up to 9
  • Heater output: Up to 4
  • N2 / He level meter: Up to 2
  • Auxiliary control (stepper motor): Up to 4
  • GPIB: 1
  • Number of loops: 1 incl. as standard, up to 3 extra
  • PID control: Fixed or zonal
  • Set point: Programmable
  • Proportional gain: 0 to 200 K (resolution 0.1)
  • Integral time: 0 to 200 mins (resolution 0.001)
  • Derivative rate: 0 to 300 mins (resolution 0.001)
 Pressure Reading
  • Number of inputs: Up to 4
  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit
  • Maximum reading rate: Up to 4 readings per sec.
  • Absolute accuracy: ±0.1% full scale in each range
  • Voltage Ranges:               10V, 1.6V, 0.8V, 0.4V, 0.2V, 0-0.1V (Auto-ranging)
  • Current Ranges:               4-20mA (20mA, 16mA, 8mA, 4mA Auto-ranging)              
  • Sensor Excitation Voltage: 0 V(off) ,  10V±5% or 15V±5%
  • Sensor Excitation Current: 0 - 20 mA
  • Supported sensor types: Voltage, Current and Ratiometric


Cryogen Level Reading
  • Number of cards: Up to 2
  • Each card supports a Helium Level input and a Nitrogen Level input
  • Helium Level specifications
    • Excitation current settings: 20 mA to 280 mA in 20 mA steps
    • Excitation current accuracy: ±5%
    • Excitation voltage: 40 V maximum
    • Probe resistance: 0 to 300 ohms
    • Probe resistance accuracy: ±0.2%
    • Probe resistance stability: ±0.1%
    • A/D Resolution: 24-bit
    • Reading rate: 1 sample every 10s or 1 sample every 30 minutes.
    • Isolation: All sensors independently isolated
  • Nitrogen Level input
    • Probe source voltage: 12 VDC
    • Probe source oscillator frequency range: 5 kHz to 90 kHz
    • Probe sensing resolution (level): 0.1%
    • Probe sensing accuracy (level): 0.5%
  • Control the temperature of a chamber (e.g. VTI) via PID control of a heater and stepper motor control of cooling gas flow
  • Control the pressure of a chamber (e.g. VTI) via stepper motor control of cooling gas flow
  • Control of a Heliox insert
  • Control a Lambda fridge
  • Drive 4 independent PID loops
  • Drive a sample rotator
  • Read up to 9 temperatures
  • Read up to 8 pressures
  • Read cryogen levels
  • Drive up to 4 heaters (80W each
  • Drive up to 2 stepper motors


Expansion cards 

LabView library downloadable from Mercury Support 



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