Chaos: The speed limiting phenomenon in dynamic atomic force microscopy

A. Keyvani, F. Alijani, H. Sadeghian, K. Maturova, H. Goosen, F. van Keulen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the closed-loop dynamics of the Tapping Mode Atomic Force Microscopy using a new mathematical model based on the averaging method in Cartesian coordinates. Experimental and numerical observations show that the emergence of chaos in conventional tapping mode AFM strictly limits the imaging speed. We show that, if the controller of AFM is tuned to be faster than a certain threshold, the closed-loop system exhibits a chaotic behavior. The presence of chaos in the closed-loop dynamics is confirmed via bifurcation diagrams, Poincaré sections, and Lyapunov exponents. Unlike the previously detected chaos due to attractive forces in the AFM, which can be circumvented via simple changes in operation parameters, this newly identified chaos is seemingly inevitable and imposes an upper limit for the closed-loop bandwidth of the AFM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224306
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2017


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