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Title: Autopilot for frequency-modulation atomic force microscopy

One of the most challenging aspects of operating an atomic force microscope (AFM) is finding optimal feedback parameters. This statement applies particularly to frequency-modulation AFM (FM-AFM), which utilizes three feedback loops to control the cantilever excitation amplitude, cantilever excitation frequency, and z-piezo extension. These loops are regulated by a set of feedback parameters, tuned by the user to optimize stability, sensitivity, and noise in the imaging process. Optimization of these parameters is difficult due to the coupling between the frequency and z-piezo feedback loops by the non-linear tip-sample interaction. Four proportional-integral (PI) parameters and two lock-in parameters regulating these loops require simultaneous optimization in the presence of a varying unknown tip-sample coupling. Presently, this optimization is done manually in a tedious process of trial and error. Here, we report on the development and implementation of an algorithm that computes the control parameters automatically. The algorithm reads the unperturbed cantilever resonance frequency, its quality factor, and the z-piezo driving signal power spectral density. It analyzes the poles and zeros of the total closed loop transfer function, extracts the unknown tip-sample transfer function, and finds four PI parameters and two lock-in parameters for the frequency and z-piezo control loops that optimize themore » bandwidth and step response of the total system. Implementation of the algorithm in a home-built AFM shows that the calculated parameters are consistently excellent and rarely require further tweaking by the user. The new algorithm saves the precious time of experienced users, facilitates utilization of FM-AFM by casual users, and removes the main hurdle on the way to fully automated FM-AFM.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000 (Israel)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22482565
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Review of Scientific Instruments; Journal Volume: 86; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; ALGORITHMS; ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY; BIOMEDICAL RADIOGRAPHY; EXCITATION; FEEDBACK; FREQUENCY MODULATION; QUALITY FACTOR; RESONANCE; SIGNALS; SPECTRAL DENSITY; TRANSFER FUNCTIONS