Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

First Advisor

Kam Leang


An iterative control algorithm (ICA) which uses an approximate inverse-hysteresis model is implemented to compensate for hysteresis to precisely fabricate features on a soft polymer substrate using an atomic force microscope (AFM). The AFM is an important instrument in micro/nanotechnology because of its ability to interrogate, manipulate, and fabricate objects at the micro/nanoscale. The AFM uses a piezoelectric actuator to position an AFM-probe tip relative to the sample surface in three dimensions. In particular, precision lateral control of the AFM-probe tip relative to the sample surface is needed to ensure high-performance operation of the AFM. However, precision lateral positioning of the AFM-probe tip is challenging due to significant positioning error caused by hysteresis effect. An ICA which incorporates an approximate inverse of the hysteresis behavior is proposed to compensate for the hysteresis-caused positioning error. The approach is applied to fabricate a feature using the AFM on a polycarbonate surface, and it is demonstrated that the maximum tracking error can be reduced to 0.225% of the displacement range, underscoring the benefits of the control method.


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Date of Submission

November 2010

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