An open-source and low-cost atomic force microscope controller for high-speed imaging

Published: 10 January 2022| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/kz3rx67cgw.2
Imtisal Akhtar,
Ellen DTU,
Anja Boisen ,


An open-source and low-cost AFM controller with a sinusoidal scanning function for high-speed scanning. The proposed AFM system achieved a scan rate of 55 line/s (9.3 s/frame for 512×512 pixels image), and the cost of the whole AFM system was below 4000 US dollars.


Steps to reproduce

The low-cost and high-speed AFM design is light, portable, and plug & play. The low-cost and high-speed AFM consists of four parts: an open-source controller (myRIO-1900, National Instruments), an open-source buffer circuit, simplified AFM controller (Arduino-based open-source controller, Strømlinet Nano), and simplified AFM (Strømlingo Nssembly AFM, Strømlinet Nano) system. The following steps should be followed to reproduce the hardware. 1. Connect three 12 volts DC adapters to the open-source controller, open-source buffer circuit, and simplified AFM controller separately. Do not turn on the power before all the cables are well connected. 2. Attach the open-source controller with PC using a USB cable (type B to type A). 3. Connect an open-source buffer circuit with an open-source controller. 4. Solder three wires at the base of AFM structure marked by the Roman numbers I (Fast X), II (Slow Y), and III (GND) as shown in Figure 3. 5. Connect the wires I and II from simplified AFM to the terminal blocks of the open-source buffer circuit labeled by FastX and SlowY. The III wire from simplified AFM can be connected along the FastX or SlowY as the ground is common. 6. Connect the FES and GND from the simplified AFM controller to the terminal block of an open-source buffer circuit labeled by FES. 7. Connect the simplified AFM with the simplified AFM controller using flexible flat cable.


Danmarks Tekniske Universitet


Scanning Probe Microscopy