A high-speed atomic force microscope for precision measurement of microstructured surfaces

Yuguo Cui, Yoshikazu Arai, Takemi Asai, Bin Feng Ju, Wei Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a contact atomic force microscope (AFM) that can be used for high-speed precision measurements of microstructured surfaces. The AFM is composed of an air-bearing X stage, an air-bearing spindle with the axis of rotation in the Z direction, and an AFM probe unit. The traversing distance and maximum speed of the X stage are 300 mm and 400 mm/s, respectively. The spindle has the ability to hold a sample in a vacuum chuck with a maximum diameter of 130 mm and has a maximum rotation speed of 300 rpm. The bandwidth of the AFM probe unit in an open loop control circuit is more than 40 kHz To achieve precision measurements of microstructured surfaces with slopes, a scanning strategy combining constant height measurements with a slope compensation technique is proposed. In this scanning strategy, the Z direction PZT actuator of the AFM probe unit is employed to compensate for the slope of the sample surface while the microstructures are scanned by the AFM probe at a constant height. The precision of such a scanning strategy is demonstrated by obtaining profile measurements of a microstructure surface at a series of scanning speeds ranging from 0.1 to 20.0 mm/s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-32
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jul


  • Atomic force microscope
  • Constant force mode
  • Constant height mode
  • Height-speed imaging
  • Precision measurement
  • Slope compensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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