Conference paper

PLL-based high-speed demodulation of FM signals for real-time AFM applications

In this paper we present a new architecture for PLL-based high-speed demodulation of frequency-modulated AFM signals. In our approach, we use single-sideband frequency up-conversion to translate the AFM signal from the position sensitive detector to a fixed intermediate frequency of 10MHz. In this way, we fully benefit from the excellent noise performance of PLL-based FM demodulators still avoiding the intrinsic bandwidth limitation of such systems. Furthermore, the system becomes independent of the cantilever's resonance frequency. To investigate if the additional noise introduced by the single-sideband upconverter degrades the system noise figure we present a model of the AM-to-FM noise conversion in the PLL phase detector. Using this model, we can predict an upper corner frequency for the demodulation bandwidth above which the converted noise from the single-sideband upconverter becomes the dominant noise source and therefore begins to deteriorate the overall system performance. The approach is validated by measured data obtained with a PCB-based prototype implementing the proposed demodulator architecture. © 2013 IEEE.

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