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One of the major limitations in the speed of the atomic force microscope(AFM) is the bandwidth of the mechanical scanning stage, especially in the vertical () direction. According to the design principles of “light and stiff” and “static determinacy,” the bandwidth of the mechanical scanner is limited by the first eigenfrequency of the AFM head in case of tip scanning and by the sample stage in terms of sample scanning. Due to stringent requirements of the system, simply pushing the first eigenfrequency to an ever higher value has reached its limitation. We have developed a miniaturized, high speed AFMscanner in which the dynamics of the -scanning stage are made insensitive to its surrounding dynamics via suspension of it on specific dynamically determined points. This resulted in a mechanical bandwidth as high as that of the z-actuator (50 kHz) while remaining insensitive to the dynamics of its base and surroundings. The scanner allows a practical z scan range of 2.1 m. We have demonstrated the applicability of the scanner to the high speed scanning of nanostructures.


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