DMCMN: In Depth Characterization and Control of AFM Cantilevers With Integrated Sensing and Actuation
New developments in MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) fabrication allowed the development of new types of atomic force microscopy (AFM) sensor with integrated readout circuit and actuator built in on the cantilever. Such a fully instrumented cantilever allows a much more direct measurement and actuation of the cantilever motion and interaction with the sample. This technology is expected to not only allow for high speed imaging but also the miniaturization of AFMs. Based on the complexity of these integrated MEMS devices, a thorough understanding of their behavior and a specialized controls approach is needed to make the most use out of this new technology. In this paper we investigate the intrinsic properties of such MEMS cantilevers and develop a combined approach for sensing and control, optimized for high speed detection and actuation. Further developments based on the results presented in this paper will help to expand the use of atomic force microscopy to a broad range of everyday applications in industrial process control and clinical diagnostics.