Towards a Fully Automated Scanning Probe Microscope for Biomedical Applications

Witek K Szeremeta, Robert L Harniman, Charlotte R Bermingham, Massimo Antognozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


he increase in capabilities of Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) has resulted in a parallel increase in complexity that limits the use of this technique outside of specialised research laboratories. SPM automation could substantially expand its application domain, improve reproducibility and increase throughput. Here, we present a bottom-up design in which the combination of positioning stages, orientation, and detection of the probe produces an SPM design compatible with full automation. The resulting probe microscope achieves sub-femtonewton force sensitivity whilst preserving low mechanical drift (2.0±0.2 nm/min in-plane and 1.0±0.1 nm/min vertically). The additional integration of total internal reflection microscopy, and the straightforward operations in liquid, make this instrument configuration particularly attractive to future biomedical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3027
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2021


  • SPM
  • automation
  • femtonewton resolution
  • vertical probes
  • translation stages
  • inertial drive
  • piezo actuators
  • vertical positioning

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