Digitally controlled analog proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller for high-speed scanning probe microscopy

Nearly all scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) contain a feedback controller, which is used to move the scanner in the direction of the z-axis in order to maintain a constant setpoint based on the tip-sample interaction. The most frequently used feedback controller in SPMs is the proportional-integral (PI) controller. The bandwidth of the PI controller presents one of the speed limiting factors in high-speed SPMs, where higher bandwidths enable faster scanning speeds and higher imaging resolution. Most SPM systems use digital signal processor-based PI feedback controllers, which require analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters. These converters introduce additional feedback delays which limit the achievable imaging speed and resolution. In this paper, we present a digitally controlled analog proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller. The controller implementation allows tunability of the PID gains over a large amplification and frequency range, while also providing precise control of the system and reproducibility of the gain parameters. By using the analog PID controller, we were able to perform successful atomic force microscopy imaging of a standard silicon calibration grating at line rates up to several kHz.

Published in:
Review of Scientific Instruments, 88, 12, 123712

 Record created 2018-03-16, last modified 2019-05-07

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