Nanorobotic Manipulation System for 360° Characterization Atomic Force Microscopy

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number8693663
Pages (from-to)2916-2924
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number4
Online published17 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


Nanorobotic manipulation technique has been regarded as one of the most dominating approaches to upgrade the functions of microscope benefits from its complex and precise operation system. At the current stage, although atomic force microscopy (AFM) is capable of mapping specimens on a two-dimensional/partial three-dimensional (3-D) plane, a full orientation of 360° characterization still remains a challenge for AFM. Taking advantage of a nanorobotic manipulation system (NMS), 360° mapping and 3-D reconstruction of topography and nanomechanical properties are presented in this paper. Compared with recent advances of AFM mapping techniques, our proposed method is able to realize effective, large area characterization and integral results can be directly perceived through 3-D reconstruction. In this paper, a six degrees-of-freedom NMS assembled inside AFM and task specification are first proposed. Second, home positioning method for effective specimen rotation scanning is introduced. Third, 3-D reconstruction methods for the topography and nanomechanical properties of the specimen are presented. After that, 360° characterization of three different types of specimens, human hair (anisotropic biological material), trapezoidal cantilever, and conical micropipette (isotropic inorganic material) are adopted to demonstrate the feasibility and practicability of our proposed system. Finally, the 3-D reconstruction results of selected specimens are analyzed. This paper fills the blank of current AFM topography and nanomechanical characterization methodologies, which is expected to give a long-term impact in the fundamental nanomaterial research and practical micro/nano characterization.

Research Area(s)

  • 360° characterization, Atomic force microscopy, micro/nano robot, nanorobotics system, three-dimensional (3-D) nanomechanical mapping