1296A Dielectric Interface System

System Overview

Analyzing low conductivity, low loss materials stretches the capabilities of even the best impedance analyzers. Used alone, they lack the sensitivity required for accurate measurements, especially at low frequencies.

The 1296A Dielectric Interface overcomes these limitations to give you fast, accurate and repeatable impedance measurements over 12 decades of frequency, yielding valuable insights into the characteristics of a wide range of materials, including polymers, ceramics, ion conductors, dielectrics, piezo/ferroelectrics, display materials etc. Coupled with easy-to-use software, a 1296A-based system takes care of experimental technique and lets you concentrate on interpreting the results.

The 1296A enhances the capabilities of Solartron Analytical’s renowned 1260A and 1255A FRAs to cope with ultra-low current and capacitance levels experienced in testing dielectric materials, enabling:
  • Impedance measurements to exceed 100 TΩ (1014Ω)
  • Accurate tan delta measurements down to <10-4
  • Frequency range from 10 μHz up to 10 MHz
  • AC signal and DC bias voltages up to 10,000 V (with external psu or amplifier) for dielectric breakdown and linearity studies
Highly accurate reference capacitors are built in to 1296A for sample/reference testing, or you can choose to use an external reference, offering unrivaled flexibility to meet almost every measurement need. Support for temperature and DC controllers is integral to the measurement software, further increasing the scope for materials analysis.

Defining Dielectrics
Many materials have the properties of low conductance (high impedance) and low loss. They are often referred to as dielectrics, although many materials not normally considered as dielectrics exhibit these properties.

One popular technique for analyzing such materials is Impedance Spectroscopy - measuring the electrical impedance over a range of frequencies. The impedance is related to the conductivity and capacitance of the material, and these parameters can in turn be related to the molecular activity of the material.

When an alternating voltage is applied to a dielectric sample, some energy is stored by the capacitance, and some is dissipated by the resistance effects.

The resulting current in the sample will exhibit a phase lag, δ. In materials research, the capacitance effect is known as the permittivity (or dielectric constant) ε’, and the resistive effect as dielectric loss, ε”. Tan δ, the dissipation factor equals ε”/ε’.

In materials where ε” is very small and ε’ large, the resolution of tan δ becomes critical if an accurate measurement is to be made. The 1296A overcomes this by taking a reference measurement on precision capacitors which are automatically substituted for the sample; a second measurement is made, this time on the sample itself. The two results are used to derive an accurate measurement of the permittivity of the material - in effect, the first measurement is used to eliminate the effects of extraneous capacitance.

Temperature Options
  • 129610A Cryostat System covering 5 K to 600 K, complete with solid and liquid sample holder for testing polymers, rubber, pharmaceuticals, etc.
  • Furnace system covering room temperature to 1200º C, complete with sample holder for testing ceramics, composites, glasses etc.
  • Room temperature sample holder for solids and liquids

  • Applications
    The range of applications for a 1296A system is huge, and includes the investigation of:
  • Relaxation processes in the molecular dynamics of liquid crystals, polymers and liquids
  • Charge transport in semiconductors, organic crystals, ceramics etc.
  • Analysis of chemical reactions, polymerization and curing processes
  • Non-linear electrical and optical effects
  • Novel gas and liquid sensors
  • Characterization of insulating and semiconductor materials
  • Quality control in the production of insulators, printed circuit boards, etc.
  • Fuel cell/battery materials
  • Documents +

  • Specifications +




    Frequency Range 10 µHz to 10 MHz 10 µHz to 65 KHz 1 mHz to 20 kHz
    Signal Amplitude up to 7 V rms* up to 10 V rms up to 10 V rms
    DC Bias up to ±40 V up to ±10 V up to ±10 V
    *For signals >3Vrms, an internal amplifier is used, and signal amplitude + DC bias must not exceed 10V peak

    Current measurement 1 fA to 100 mA
    Tan delta range <10-4 to 103 (reference mode)
    Impedance range 100 Ω to > 100 TΩ (1014Ω)
    Capacitance range 1 pF to >0.1 F
    1296A Typical accuracy

    Software Provides control of FRA, 1296A and optional temperature controller, DC bias and AC signal amplifiers
    Result parameters Z*, Y*, ε*, C* (real, imaginary, magnitude, phase, tan δ)
      plotted vs frequency, time, temperature, bias, ac level
      on Bode, complex plane
    Power supply 85 VAC to 264 VAC (47 to 440 Hz)
    Power consumption 30 VA max.
    Dimensions (w x h x d) 13.39" (340 mm) x 4.72" (120 mm) x 11.81" (300 mm)
    Weight 12.13 lb (5.5 kg)
    Operating temp. range 10 to 30º C (50 to 80º F)
  • Options +

    560 001 160 National Instruments USB-GPIB Adapter
    31203B Shielded GPIB cable 6' (2 meter)
  • Accessories +

  • Software +

    • SMaRT Impedance Measurement Software l Solartron Analytical

      • Wide range of materials test AC techniques (impedance, capacitance, admittance, permittivity and Mott-Schottky) for all types of materials including dielectrics, insulators and electronic materials
      • Full support of 12xx materials test products including 1260A Impedance Analyzer and 1296A Dielectric Interface
      • Integrated temperature control including custom designed cryostats and furnaces

      Keep Reading

    • ZView Software

      • ZView is the companion EIS data analysis software for ZPlot
      • Multiple display formats (impedance, admittance, capacitance, permittivity and electrical modulus)
      • Comprehensive data analysis capabilities include an extensive library of equivalent circuit data fit models – R, C, L, Warburg, Distributed Elements

      Keep Reading