1.  
  2. Microscopy instruments are important in nanotechnology research for imaging of nanoscale phenomena. Among such tools is the atomic force microscope (AFM) for nanoscale imaging and surface characterization. An AFM scans a micro-cantilever over the sample surface to measure various quantities from the probe-sample interaction. With high-speed imaging, dynamic processes can be visualized to improve fundamental understanding of microscopic interactions. Scientists can use videos, in addition to images, to observe and compare experimental data with theoretical predictions, and verify models without speculating about intermediate dynamics. However, conventional AFMs have limited throughput that allow for static imaging only and require transparent working environments. 
  3.  
  4. The contributions of this work remove such AFM restrictions and enable advanced visualization capabilities. Example applications include visualizing chemical reactions and biological responses in their native environments. To this end, the thesis addresses four main AFM limitations. These are (i) increase the low imaging throughput to be compatible for higher temporal resolution imaging, (ii) remove the transparency requirement, for AFMs that use optical beam deflection sensing, and enable imaging in harsh opaque liquids, (iii) establish automation algorithms to reduce operational overheads associated with experiment setup and controller tuning, and (iv) introduce custom design modifications resulting in affordable AFMs for engineering education.
  5.  
These new capabilities are primarily enabled with the development of new subsystems. The key components include nano-positioners, cantilever probes, and control algorithms. New generation AFM nano-positioners are designed with high-speed, large-range or low-cost characteristics for different scanning needs. Coated active cantilever probes are developed for AFM imaging in specialized opaque environments. Multiple algorithms for scanner control, automatic tuning, and image formation are investigated to improve AFM imaging performance. Additional developments to support AFM imaging include high-bandwidth driver electronics, optical systems with vision-based automation, and software implementation for AFM big data processing. Three AFM systems are integrated using these new subsystems for different applications. They include a versatile sample scan AFM for overview-and-zoom imaging in air and liquids, a multi-layer stacked scanner AFM for high-speed and large-range imaging in air, and a low-cost active probe AFM for engineering education. AFM images and videos at 20 frames per second are taken in various environments to verify the new capabilities. These developments have broader impacts in the fields of precision instrumentation, nano-fabrication, and nano-scale process video-rate visualization.
  1.  
  2. The main susbsystem level contributions involved in this work include: 
  3. 1) high-speed and large-range AFM nano-positioner design
  4. 2) imaging algorithms for scanner control and sampling
  5. 3) optical system for small probes with automation
  6. 4) coated active cantilever probes for opaque liquid operation
  7. 5) high-bandwidth driver and signal conditioning electronics
  8. 6) software implementation of high-speed data processing
  9. 7) AFM system integration for dynamic process visualization.
  10.  
  11. The AFM development extends the capabilities of current AFM systems in various aspects. The research also has broader impacts in the fields of precision instrumentation, nano-fabrication and chemical or biological process visualization. Continuing work of this project for fundamental research applications are currently in progress.
     

Publications

2021

19.A modular low-cost atomic force microscope for precision mechatronics education

Fangzhou Xia; James Quigley; Xiaotong Zhang; Chen Yang; Yi Wang; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

A modular low-cost atomic force microscope for precision mechatronics education Journal Article

Mechatronics, 76 , pp. 102550, 2021, ISSN: 0957-4158.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2020

18.Model and Controller Design for High-speed Atomic Force Microscope Imaging and Autotuning

Fangzhou Xia; Chen Yang; Yi Wang; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Model and Controller Design for High-speed Atomic Force Microscope Imaging and Autotuning Inproceedings

2020 ASPE Spring Topical Meeting on Design and Control of Precision Mechatronic Systems, pp. 99–104, ASPE ASPE, 2020.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

17.Modeling and Control of Piezoelectric Hysteresis: A Polynomial-Based Fractional Order Disturbance Compensation Approach

Chen Yang; Nicolas Verbeek; Fangzhou Xia; Yi Wang; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Modeling and Control of Piezoelectric Hysteresis: A Polynomial-Based Fractional Order Disturbance Compensation Approach Journal Article

IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 2020, ISSN: 1557-9948.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2019

16.Bandwidth Based Repetitive Controller Design for a Modular Multi-actuated AFM Scanner

Fangzhou Xia; Chen Yang; Yi Wang; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Bandwidth Based Repetitive Controller Design for a Modular Multi-actuated AFM Scanner Inproceedings

2019 American Control Conference (ACC), pp. 3776–3781, IEEE IEEE, 2019.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

15.Design and Control of a Multi-Actuated Nanopositioning Stage with Stacked Structure

Chen Yang; Fangzhou Xia; Yi Wang; Stephen Truncale; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Design and Control of a Multi-Actuated Nanopositioning Stage with Stacked Structure Inproceedings

2019 American Control Conference (ACC), pp. 3782–3788, IEEE IEEE, 2019, ISBN: 978-1-5386-7926-5.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

14.Lights Out! Nano-Scale Topography Imaging of Sample Surface in Opaque Liquid Environments with Coated Active Cantilever Probes

Fangzhou Xia; Chen Yang; Yi Wang; Kamal Youcef-Toumi; Christoph Reuter; Tzvetan Ivanov; Mathias Holz; Ivo W Rangelow

Lights Out! Nano-Scale Topography Imaging of Sample Surface in Opaque Liquid Environments with Coated Active Cantilever Probes Journal Article

Nanomaterials, 9 (7), pp. 1013, 2019.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2018

13.Charge Controller With Decoupled and Self-Compensating Configurations for Linear Operation of Piezoelectric Actuators in a Wide Bandwidth

Chen Yang; Changle Li; Fangzhou Xia; Yanhe Zhu; Jie Zhao; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Charge Controller With Decoupled and Self-Compensating Configurations for Linear Operation of Piezoelectric Actuators in a Wide Bandwidth Journal Article

IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 66 (7), pp. 5392–5402, 2018.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

12.Design and Control of a Multi-actuated High-bandwidth and Large-range Scanner for Atomic Force Microscopy

Fangzhou Xia; Stephen Truncale; Yi Wang; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Design and Control of a Multi-actuated High-bandwidth and Large-range Scanner for Atomic Force Microscopy Inproceedings

2018 Annual American Control Conference (ACC), pp. 4330–4335, IEEE IEEE, 2018.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2017

11.Review Article: Active scanning probes: A versatile toolkit for fast imaging and emerging nanofabrication

Ivo W Rangelow; Tzvetan Ivanov; Ahmad Ahmad; Marcus Kaestner; Claudia Lenk; Iman Soltani Bozchalooi; Fangzhou Xia; Kamal Youcef-Toumi; Mathias Holz; Alexander Reum

Review Article: Active scanning probes: A versatile toolkit for fast imaging and emerging nanofabrication Journal Article

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Materials, Processing, Measurement, and Phenomena, 35 (6), pp. 06G101, 2017.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

10.Induced Vibration Contact Detection for Minimizing Cantilever Tip-Sample Interaction Forces in Jumping Mode Atomic Force Microscopy

Fangzhou Xia; Iman Soltani Bozchalooi; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Induced Vibration Contact Detection for Minimizing Cantilever Tip-Sample Interaction Forces in Jumping Mode Atomic Force Microscopy Inproceedings

2017 American Control Conference (ACC), pp. 4141–4146, IEEE IEEE, 2017, ISBN: 978-1-5090-5992-8.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2016

9.Design and control of multi-actuated atomic force microscope for large-range and high-speed imaging

Iman Soltani Bozchalooi; Andrew Careaga Houck; Jwaher M. AlGhamdi; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Design and control of multi-actuated atomic force microscope for large-range and high-speed imaging Journal Article

160 , pp. 213 - 224, 2016, ISSN: 0304-3991.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2015

8.Surface and wetting characteristics of textured bisphenol-A based polycarbonate surfaces: Acetone-induced crystallization texturing methods

Ahmed Owais; Mazen M Khaled; Bekir S Yilbas; Numan Abu-Dheir; Kripa K Varanasi; Kamal Y Toumi

Surface and wetting characteristics of textured bisphenol-A based polycarbonate surfaces: Acetone-induced crystallization texturing methods Journal Article

Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 133 (14), 2015, ISSN: 43074.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

7.Multi-eigenmode control for high material contrast in bimodal and higher harmonic atomic force microscopy

Andreas Schuh; Iman Soltani Bozchalooi; Ivo W Rangelow; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Multi-eigenmode control for high material contrast in bimodal and higher harmonic atomic force microscopy Journal Article

Nanotechnology, 26 (23), pp. 235706, 2015.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

6.Aggrecan Nanoscale Solid–Fluid Interactions Are a Primary Determinant of Cartilage Dynamic Mechanical Properties

Hadi Nia; Lin Han; Iman Soltani; Peter Roughley; Kamal Youcef-Toumi; Alan Grodzinsky; Christine Ortiz

Aggrecan Nanoscale Solid–Fluid Interactions Are a Primary Determinant of Cartilage Dynamic Mechanical Properties Journal Article

ACS nano, 9 , 2015, ISSN: 2614-2625.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2014

5.Control design for division and compensation with application to high-speed/large-range nano-positioning

Soltani I Bozchalooi; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Control design for division and compensation with application to high-speed/large-range nano-positioning Inproceedings

2014 American Control Conference, pp. 1643-1648, IEEE IEEE, 2014, ISBN: 978-1-4799-3274-0.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

4.Multi-actuation and PI control: A simple recipe for high-speed and large-range atomic force microscopy

Iman Soltani Bozchalooi; Kamal Youcef-Toumi

Multi-actuation and PI control: A simple recipe for high-speed and large-range atomic force microscopy Journal Article

Ültramicroscopy, 146 , pp. 117 - 124, 2014, ISSN: 0304-3991.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2013

3.High-Bandwidth AFM-Based Rheology Reveals that Cartilage is Most Sensitive to High Loading Rates at Early Stages of Impairment

Hadi Nia; Iman Soltani; Yang Li; Lin Han; Han-Hwa Hung; Eliot Frank; Kamal Youcef-Toumi; Christine Ortiz; Alan Grodzinsky

High-Bandwidth AFM-Based Rheology Reveals that Cartilage is Most Sensitive to High Loading Rates at Early Stages of Impairment Journal Article

Biophysical journal, 104 , pp. 1529-37, 2013, ISSN: 00063496.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2012

2.A vibration suppression approach to high-speed atomic force microscopy

Soltani I Bozchalooi; Kamal Youcef-Toumi; D J Burns; Georg E Fantner

A vibration suppression approach to high-speed atomic force microscopy Inproceedings

2012 American Control Conference (ACC), pp. 3797-3802, ACC ACC, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-4577-1096-4.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

2011

1.The effect of GAG depletion on cartilage nanoscale hydraulic permeability

Tavakoli H Nia; L Han; Y Li; Soltani I Bozchalooi; H Hung; E Frank; K Youcef-Toumi; A Grodzinsky; C Orti

The effect of GAG depletion on cartilage nanoscale hydraulic permeability Inproceedings

ORS 2012 Annual Meeting, pp. 0282, ORS ORS, 2011, ISBN: 978-1-4577-1096-4.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

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