Control of a MEMS nanopositioner for atomic force microscopy

Y. K. Yong, Anthony G. Fowler, A. Mohammadi, S. O. R. Moheimani

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

4 Citations (SciVal)


A 2 DoF MEMS-based nanopositioner with integrated electrothermal sensors for on-chip AFM applications is presented. The electrothermal sensors consist of a pair of 50-μm long silicon heaters that operate in a differential mode. It is demonstrated in this work that the sensor measurements can be used in feedback control loops to improve the quality of AFM images during high-speed raster scanning. The x and y resonance frequencies of the MEMS-based nanopositioner appear at 815 Hz and 800 Hz respectively. To obtain high-speed AFM images, a positive position feedback (PPF) controller is designed to damp the resonant mode of the fast axis and an integrator is used to achieve satisfactory tracking. For the slow axis, a notch filter and an integrator are implemented to track a slow ramp signal. To further increase the tracking bandwidth of the fast axis, an inversion-based feedforward technique is combined with the PPF and integral feedback loops. With the proposed feedforward-feedback control strategy, high-quality AFM images up to 50 Hz line rate are obtained without noticeable vibration-induced artifacts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIFAC Proceedings Volumes
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2013
Event6th IFAC Symposium on Mechatronic Systems, MECH 2013 - Hangzhou, China
Duration: 10 Apr 201312 Apr 2013

Publication series

NameIFAC Proceedings Volumes
ISSN (Print)1474-6670


Conference6th IFAC Symposium on Mechatronic Systems, MECH 2013


  • AFM
  • Electrothermal sensor
  • Feedback
  • Feedforward
  • MEMS
  • Nanopositioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


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