A feedback controlled MEMS nanopositioner for on-chip high-speed AFM

Ali Mohammadi, Anthony G. Fowler, Yuen K. Yong, S. O.Reza Moheimani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (SciVal)


We report the design of a two-degree-of-freedom microelectromechanical systems nanopositioner for on-chip atomic force microscopy (AFM). The device is fabricated using a silicon-on-insulator-based process to function as the scanning stage of a miniaturized AFM. It is a highly resonant system with its lateral resonance frequency at ~850 Hz. The incorporated electrostatic actuators achieve a travel range of 16 ~{&L̃}m in each direction. Lateral displacements of the scan table are measured using a pair of electrothermal position sensors. These sensors are used, together with a positive position feedback controller, in a feedback loop, to damp the highly resonant dynamics of the stage. The feedback controlled nanopositioner is used, successfully, to generate high-quality AFM images at scan rates as fast as 100 Hz.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6678523
Pages (from-to)610-619
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE/ASME Journal of Microelectromechancial Systems
Issue number3
Early online date5 Dec 2013
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


  • AFM.
  • Electrothermal sensor
  • MEMS
  • Nanopositioning
  • On-chip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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