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Publication - Professor Mario Di Bernardo

    Improved control strategies for atomic force microscopes in intermittent contact mode


    Coraggio, M, Homer, M, Payton, O & Di Bernardo, M, 2018, ‘Improved control strategies for atomic force microscopes in intermittent contact mode’. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, vol 26., pp. 1673-1684


    Atomic force microscopes have proved to be fundamental research tools in many situations and in a variety of environmental conditions, such as the study of biological samples. Among the possible modes of operation, intermittent contact mode is one that causes less wear to both the sample and the instrument; therefore, it is ideal when imaging soft samples. However, intermittent contact mode is not particularly fast when compared with other imaging strategies. In this paper, we introduce three enhanced control approaches, applied at both the dither and {z} -axis piezos that determine the motion of the microscope tip, to address the limitations of existing control schemes. Our proposed practical strategies are able to eliminate different image artifacts, automatically adapt scan speed to the sample being scanned, and predict its features in real time. The result is that both the image quality and the scan time are improved.

    Full details in the University publications repository