Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a major imaging tool used to map surfaces down to atomic resolution. However, scanning rates in AFM are still low, and attempts to increase the speed usually end up with low-resolution pictures. In order to address this deficiency we propose a novel model that treats the scanning element as a moving continuous microcantilever, which undergoes a combined spatial motion in both the horizontal and the vertical directions. This research investigates the effect of increasing the scan speed on the dynamics and stability of a vibrating microcantilever that is governed by a specified control law. We reduce the spatio-temporal model to a rigid body two-degrees-of-freedom system, which is connected to a linear digital controller. Results demonstrate that the digital controller stabilizes the nonlinear system and enables a smooth transition from one side to the other side of the sample, needed for the scanning process.

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