100MHz Digital AFM Controller

The Kronos controller is a high performance AFM-controller developed by nano analytik GmbH, capable to work with “one or two plus n” piezoresistive AFM probes. Furthermore, interfacing the Kronos-Controller to an optical beam deflection based SPM-system is possible as well.

The multichannel controller enables the utilization of two or many probes for independent imaging. This permits supreme flexibility with the ultimate resolution using high frequency (1-5 MHz) probes which are having autonomous read-out and actuation. The 100MHz nano analytik controlling system is emphasized by the capability to combine AFM with other electron or ion based scanning system.

The AFM dual-channel controller is a low-cost and effective AFM controller comprising the essential blocks for AFM/SPM applications. The all-in-one flexible architecture replaces the necesity of combining different modules for building common AFM/SPM systems as well as various application specific instruments.

The controller features two identical channels which include all-digital lock-in amplifiers, DDS signal generators, PID controllers for Z-drive and sensor conditioning circuitries. The XY stage driving and sample approach are provided by special blocks integrated in the controller.

The controller combines a high-end analog front-end for signal conditioning and all-digital FPGA core for high-performance all-digital modules for signal processing and control.

A high-speed USB communication interface provide a real-time data sampling and visualization using nano analytik’s proprietary PC software with а functional and convenient GUI.

Key features

  • Two independant channels comprising:
    • Lock-in amplifier, all digital
    • PID controller for Z-drive
    • Direct Digital Syntesis (DDS) generator for scan signals
    • 18-bit real noise free digital resolution
  • XYZ drivers for 3-dimensional piezo stage (18-bit)
  • DC and Stepper motor driver
  • Feedback control of sensor electrical parameters
  • Non-contact and contact measurement modes
  • High speed 2.0 USB host communication interface
  • All parameters controllable from PC software

Lock-in amplifier

  • Custom FPGA-based high speed design
  • Bandwidth 5MHz
  • Resolution (Amplitude and Phase) 18-bit
  • Time constant 0.5us to 100ms
  • Input voltage noise density 2nV/Hz-1/2

Digital PID Controller

  • Resolution 16-bit
  • Sampling rate 1MHz

DDS Generator

  • Generation of x-y- and z-scan signals
  • Frequency range DC to 12MHz
  • Resolution 0.001Hz
  • Integrated PID-regulation of positioning-signals

Motor drivers

□ DC motor

  • Speed 4um/s .. 3000um/s

□ Stepper motor

  • Speed 4um/s .. 4000um/s

□ Resolution 0.5 um (1/16 step)

Optional Add-on modules

  • additional modul for digitally controllable sample bias voltage (e.g. for lithography)
  • optional high voltage amplifier (-10…+150V) for sample biasing


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