The accuracy of nanovolt meters requires careful design

Voltage measurements are fairly straightforward most of the time. Simply grab any old cheap multimeter, hook the probes and read the answer. However, if you have to measure a very small voltage, the problem becomes more complicated. [Jaromir-Sukuba] A nanovoltmeter has been specially designed to deal with this difficult case.

The nanovoltmeter sounds exactly like this: a voltmeter that is sensitive and stable enough to measure and report voltage on a scale of nanovolts. Having a tool that can do this reliably can be very useful when it comes to measuring very small resistances or when working with ever-slightly differential voltages.

The design of this type of device is quite involved in reducing the source of noise and instability. Analog-to-digital converters must be of high quality and must be powered by their own supply to avoid additional noise. There are low-noise amplifiers and all sorts of special subsystems needed to get the job done. There is also a 3D-printed cover to prevent airflow over a voltage reference to reduce noise from thermal variants.

Still, [Jaromir-Sukuba] It does a great job of exploring what is needed to make a nanovoltmeter and explains it well to new viewers in the case of such precise measurements. As a result, the instrument was able to measure less than 25 nanovolts with noise peak-to-peak. This is a great achievement and a great resource for those who are interested in learning how to do it.

We’ve seen other clever measuring devices before. Did you know that you probably already have a usable nano-emitter? Ha shah ah!

[Thanks to David Gustafik for the tip!]

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