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Proceedings Paper

Advances in high-speed low-latency communications for nanopositioning in advanced microscopy
Author(s): Scott C. Jordan
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Paper Abstract

We present a comparison of classical and recently developed communications interfacing technologies relevant to scanned imaging. We adopt an applications perspective, with a focus on interfacing techniques as enablers for enhanced resolution, speed, stability, information density or similar benefits. A wealth of such applications have emerged, ranging from nanoscale-stabilized force microscopy yielding 100X resolution improvement thanks to leveraging the latest in interfacing capabilities, to novel approaches in analog interfacing which improve data density and DAC resolution by several orders of magnitude. Our intent is to provide tools to understand, select and implement advanced interfacing to take applications to the next level. We have entered an era in which new interfacing techniques are enablers, in their own right, for novel imaging techniques. For example, clever leveraging of new interfacing technologies has yielded nanoscale stabilization and atomic-force microscopy (AFM) resolution enhancement. To assist in choosing and implementing interfacing strategies that maximize performance and enable new capabilities, we review available interfaces such as USB2, GPIB and Ethernet against the specific needs of positioning for the scanned-imaging community. We spotlight recent developments such as LabVIEW FPGA, which allows non-specialists to quickly devise custom logic and interfaces of unprecedentedly high performance and parallelism. Notable applications are reviewed, including a clever amalgamation of AFM and optical tweezers and a picometer-scaleaccuracy interferometer devised for ultrafine positioning validation. We note the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI), emerging as a high-speed/low-latency instrumentation interface. The utility of instrument-specific parallel (PIO) and TTL sync/trigger (DIO) interfaces is also discussed. Requirements of tracking and autofocus are reviewed against the time-critical needs of typical applications (to avoid, for example, photobleaching), as exemplified in recent capabilities for fast acquisition of focus with bumpless transition between optical and electronic position control. A novel planarization approach is reviewed, providing a nanoscale-accurate datum plane over mesoscale scan areas without scanline flattening. Finally, not to be overlooked is the original real-time interface: analog I/O, with novel capabilities introduced in recent months. Here additional developments are discussed, including a resolution-enhancing technique for analog voltage generation and a useful combination of high-speed block-mode and single-point data acquisitions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8378, Scanning Microscopies 2012: Advanced Microscopy Technologies for Defense, Homeland Security, Forensic, Life, Environmental, and Industrial Sciences, 83780R (14 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919237
Show Author Affiliations
Scott C. Jordan, Physik Instrumente L.P. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8378:
Scanning Microscopies 2012: Advanced Microscopy Technologies for Defense, Homeland Security, Forensic, Life, Environmental, and Industrial Sciences
Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy; Tim K. Maugel, Editor(s)

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