More Science, Less Time

10 ms/point data acquisitionMeasurement speed is key

While there have been many features included to make setup and data collection easy, the most notable feature in the 8600 Series VSM is the data acquisition speed. A complete change in the acquisition architecture permits an unprecedented data rate with exceptional, built-in noise suppression. The 8600 Series is capable of continuous 10 ms/point acquisition (100 points per second). A complete -2 T to +2 T hysteresis loop with 3,000 measurement points can be completed in less than 30 s.

Optimized for FORC data acquisition

FORC measurementsFirst order reversal curves (FORCs) provide information regarding magnetic interactions and coercivity distributions which cannot be obtained from measurements of a materials hysteresis loop alone. FORC measurements can be helpful in studying materials such as:

  • FORC has long been the standard measurement and analysis protocol used by earth and planetary scientists studying the magnetic properties of natural samples because FORC can distinguish between single-domain (SD), multi-domain (MD) and pseudo single-domain (PSD) behavior and because it can distinguish between different magnetic mineral species.
  • FORC is relevant to any material composed of fine (micron- or nano-scale) magnetic particles, which includes a broad array of magnetic materials (e.g., permanent magnets, recording media, magnetic nanowires and dots).
  • The complex magnetic signatures of multi-phase magnets is difficult, if not impossible, to unravel from a hysteresis loop measurement alone. FORC can distinguish between phases in magnetic materials containing more than one phase (e.g., exchange spring magnets, soft shell/hard core nanowires)

FORC distribution plotA FORC is measured by saturating a sample in a field Hsata, then sweeping the field back to Hsat in a series of regular field steps. This process is repeated for many values of Ha, yielding a series of FORCs that can be exported for further analysis.

Because FORCs may contain many thousands of data points, measurement speed is critical to productive research. However, data point quantity alone is not enough. FORC requires adherence to specific data collection protocols in order for the subsequent analysis to be meaningful.

The 8600 Series VSM has been specifically designed to execute FORC measurements quickly and easily, and with high precision. 10,000-point FORCs can be completed in minutes.

Proven FORC data acquisition protocols are built into the standard 8600 Series VSM system software and are very easy to set up, run, and modify. FORC data sets, once acquired, are readily exported for analysis using FORCinel* or similar third-party tools to render distribution plots of interaction and switching fields.

FORCs are indispensable in characterizing interactions and coercivity distributions that reveal insight into the relative proportions of reversible and irreversible components of the magnetization in many technologically important magnetic materials. The 8600 Series VSM is the best VSM in the industry for convenient, productive, and accurate FORC measurement.

*R.J. Harrison, J.M. Feinberg, FORCinel: An Improved Algorithm for Calculating First-Order Reversal Curve Distributions Using Locally Weighted Regression Smoothing, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. 9, 11, 2008. Download FORCinel.

Includes RTForc™ software

As part of the 8600 V1.40 software release, the system includes Real-Time FORC (RTForc™) software, which enables fully automated first order reversive curve (FORC) data acquisition using the 8600 Series software. RTForc calculates and displays FORC distributions in real time, significantly reducing the time required by researchers to collect and analyze FORC data. In addition, users can change between the (Ha, Hb) and (Hc, Hu) coordinate systems, select smoothing factors (SF) and number of contours to be displayed, export the FORC diagram image, etc. Output data is compatible with FORCinel post-processing software. For more information, download the technical note and watch our video demonstrating the short amount of time required to acquire and analyze FORC data for a magnetic tape sample when using the RTForc software.

The approach: rethink everything

As part of the project charter, the team had no constraints. Our approach was to design a completely new system for the ultimate in performance and usability.

We developed novel measurement techniques and reimagined each part of the system—from the mechanics of loading a sample to the fluidity of the all new software interface—to create a next generation VSM capable of quickly characterizing the magnetic properties of a broad range of materials, especially very low moment samples.

VSM sketches

Focused on leading-edge research

The 8600 Series VSM enables better measurements in less time, accelerating magnetics research and supporting the study of novel, low moment, and hybrid materials.


Resulting from extensive design innovations that lower the noise floor and increase sampling speed, the 8600 VSM system brings new levels of measurement performance to magnetic characterization. The system features ultra-high sensitivity (down to 15 nemu), wide dynamic range, faster field ramping (10,000 Oe/s) and rapid data acquisition (up to 10 ms/pt). A complete -2 T to +2 T hysteresis loop with 3,000 measurement points can be completed in about 30 s.

Field setting resolution of 1 mOe is available across the entire measurement range, and especially helpful in regions where moment gradient ΔM is high. This fine resolution, combined with high sensitivity and fast measurement speed, make the 8600 Series ideal for first order reversal curve (FORC) measurements, which inherently involve very large data sets.

Lake Shore's significant background in FORC guided the 8600 Series development, which set out to ensure that FORC measurements were fully supported and convenient to make. The resulting new VSM system not only performs these complex measurement routines with great speed and precision, but also provides built-in tools to ensure that configuring and managing FORC profiles is very straightforward.


Convenience is a primary focus of the 8600 Series, starting with the QuickLIGN™ sample rod exchange, which can be accomplished easily with one hand. When variable temperature studies are needed via cryostat, oven, or wide-range SSVT, the 8600 Series VSM has significantly streamlined the process of adjusting the pole gap and installing and configuring the temperature option. Overall time required is reduced to well under 5 minutes, with the system software auto-detecting the type of temperature option and reconfiguring settings instantly.

While the 8600 Series software provides a broad range of measurement flexibility, Lake Shore knows that researchers are often interested in trying new measurement protocols. The software incorporates a full scripting engine and encourages users to either edit and adapt the standard protocol scripts provided, or create their own.

The powerful combination of measurement sensitivity, speed, integrated FORC routines, convenience, and adaptability make the 8600 Series VSM an ideal platform for advanced magnetics research.


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repeatable and convenient

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