AFMs for Instrument Innovators
The TT-AFM is ideal for instrument builders who want to use an Atomic Force Microscope as a platform for creating new instrumentation (such as a new imaging mode), or who want to use an Atomic Force Microscope in combination with another analytical instrument. TT-AFM customers have access to the systems software, mechanical drawings, and schematics. Because the software is written in LabVIEW, it can be easily modified to meet very specific demands.
TT-AFM software was developed in LabVIEW, making it easy for customers with a LabVIEW user license to customize their software. Additionally, National Insturment Data Acquisition Cards can be integrated into the TT-AFM to create a customized experiment.
Instrument Innovators are no longer faced with the decision to either create an entirely new AFM, or to live with the limitations of commercial AFMs that have limited documentation and a closed architecture. An engineering documentation package is available as an option to TT-AFM customers.
All the drawings for mechanical parts used to build a TT-AFM were created in AutoCAD and are included in the optional documentation package. If you require a .dwg file for a specific part in the TT-AFM, AFMWorkshop will provide it to you. Additionally, single parts in the microscope can be purchased if you need to modify a part for your needs. Each part is identified by part numbers on each mechanical drawing.
National Instrument's LabVIEW instrumentation programming language is setting the standard as the graphical programming environment for developing instrumentation. The TT-AFM includes a VI that can be modified for specific needs. The instrument control protocol for addressing functions such as Z feedback, XY scanning and stepper motor control is included with the technical documentation package. The AFMWorkshop does not provide a LabVIEW software development license – this must be purchased from NI.
Direct access to TT-AFM electronics signals may be gained from a 50 pin ribbon cable at the rear of the TT-AFM EBox, or from the mode connector at the front of the microscope stage. For developers who want even more access, the technical guide includes schematics to all electronics in the TT-AFM, including: photodetector board, piezo electric control board, controller main board, and even the power supply board. There are several pinned signal access points on the main controller board.