Collocated Z-Axis Control of a High-Speed Nanopositioner for Video-Rate Atomic Force Microscopy


A key hurdle to realize video-rate atomic force microscopy (AFM) in constant-force contact mode is the inadequate bandwidth of the vertical feedback management loop. This paper describes techniques used to extend the vertical tracking bandwidth of a nanopositioner to a level that's sufficient for video-rate AFM. These techniques involve the combination of: a high-speed XYZ nanopositioner; a passive damping technique that cancels the inertial forces of the Z actuator that in turns eliminates the low 20-kHz vertical resonant mode of the nanopositioner; an energetic management technique that is used to augment damping to high vertical resonant modes at sixty kHz and higher than. The implementation of these techniques permits a tenfold increase within the vertical tracking bandwidth, from 2.three (without damping) to twenty-eight.1 kHz. This permits high-quality, video-rate AFM images to be captured at ten frames/s without noticeable artifacts related to vibrations and insufficient vertical tracking bandwidth.

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