Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) Controller

The SPM controller is a dedicated electronics, developed specifically for the operation of scanning probe microscopes – instruments which are widely used in the field of surface analytics („Nanotechnology“). While various types of scanning probe microscopes exists, SPMs are generally capable of determining pyhsical properties of a given sample on the atomic scale. In a tyical application, a SPM is used to determine the atomic lattice of a sample, measure its electronic properties on the nanometer scale, and manipulate single atoms on the surface of the sample. The resolution of an SPM is typically significantly less than one nanometer (one billionth of a meter).
At the interfaces between these types of microscopes and the necessary control units, ultra low currents (pA) and voltages (µV) need to be dealt with at highest precision. In addition to the resulting demands to the analog signal procession, the main challenge of the scanning probe controller rests in the software support of komplex physical experiments and the visual and algorithmic evaluation of measurement data.
  • Highest precision analog signal processing with a SNR of 120dB
  • Real time data processing using digital signal processing and FPGAs
  • Data transfer to user PC using high speed USB2.0 (480MBit)