Control of dynamics-coupling effects in piezo-actuator for high-speed AFM operation

Szuchi Tien, Qingze Zou, S. Devasia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article addresses the compensation for the dynamics-coupling effects in piezo-actuators used for positioning in atomic force microscopes (AFMs). Piezo-actuators are used to position the AFM probe (relative to the sample) both parallel to the sample surface (x-y-axes) and perpendicular to the sample surface (z-axis). During AFM operation, such as nanofabrication and imaging of soft biological samples, the probe-sample distance (in the z-axis) needs to be precisely controlled to maintain the probe-sample interaction at a desired value; otherwise, large variation of the probe-sample distance will result in distortions of the fabricated parts (in nanofabrication) and can cause sample damage (in imaging soft biological samples). In this article, we show that dynamics-coupling from the x-y-axes (the scanning axes) to the z-axis, referred to as x-to-z dynamics-coupling, can generate significant variations in the probe-sample distance when operating AFM at high speed, i.e., when the sample is scanned at high speed. We present an inversion-based approach to compensate for these dynamics-coupling effects. Additionally, for applications where the x-y-axes movement is repetitive (as in AFM scanning operations), an iterative approach is proposed to further reduce the coupling-caused positioning errors. Convergence of the iterative approach is investigated and experimental results show that the coupling-caused errors can be reduced to the noise level using the proposed approach. Thus, the main contribution of this article is the development of an approach to substantially reduce the coupling-caused positioning errors and thereby, enable high-speed high-precision positioning of piezoscanners used in AFMs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2004 American Control Conference (AAC)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventProceedings of the 2004 American Control Conference (AAC) - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 2004 Jun 302004 Jul 2

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


OtherProceedings of the 2004 American Control Conference (AAC)
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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