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Proceedings Paper

An integrated controller for a flexible and wireless atomic force microscopy
Author(s): Juanjo Lacort; Raimon Casanova; Jordi Brufau; Anna Arbat; Angel Dieguez; Marc Nierlich; Oliver Steinmetz; Manel Puig; Josep Samitier
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Paper Abstract

Nowadays Atomic Force Microscopy is one of the most extended techniques performed in biological measurements. Due to the higher flexibility in respect to conventional equipments, a novel approach in this field is the use of a microrobot equipped with an AFM tool. In this paper it is presented an integrated controller for an AFM tool assembled in a 1 cm3 wireless microrobot. The AFM tool is mounted on the tip of a rotational piezoelectric actuator arm. It consists on a XYZ positioning scanner, based in 4 piezoelectric stacked actuators, and an AFM piezoresistance probe. Two types of AFM working modes are implemented in the controller, i.e., nanoidentation and AFM scanning. Correction of the mismatch of the piezoactuators composing the arm is possible. A programmable PID control is included in the controller in order to get more flexibility in terms of scanning speed and resolution. An IrDA protocol is used to program the parameters of the AFM tool controller and the positioning of the robot in the working area. Then the values of the nanoindentation or of the scanning can be read through the IrDA interface without any other external action. Due to the strong power and area restrictions, the controller has been implemented in specific logic in a 0.35um technology. The design has been done using functional specifications with high level tools and RTL synthesis. The AFM scanner can be positioned with a resolution of 10 nm and scan areas up to 1 μm2 with an expected vertical resolution of 1nm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 June 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5837, VLSI Circuits and Systems II, (30 June 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.607535
Show Author Affiliations
Juanjo Lacort, Univ. of Barcelona (Spain)
Raimon Casanova, Univ. of Barcelona (Spain)
Jordi Brufau, Univ. of Barcelona (Spain)
Anna Arbat, Univ. of Barcelona (Spain)
Angel Dieguez, Univ. of Barcelona (Spain)
Marc Nierlich, Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (Germany)
Oliver Steinmetz, Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering (Germany)
Manel Puig, Univ. of Barcelona (Spain)
Josep Samitier, Univ. of Barcelona (Spain)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5837:
VLSI Circuits and Systems II
Jose Fco. Lopez; Francisco V. Fernandez; Jose Maria Lopez-Villegas; Jose M. de la Rosa, Editor(s)

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