1st Student's Major

Integrated Engineering

1st Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Additional Authors

Tien Pham

Major = Integrated Engineering

College = Science, Engineering, and Technology

Students' Professional Biography

Michael Ganzer is an engineer and recent graduate from the Twin Cities Engineering program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. His future goals are to continue to grow and develop as an engineer. Tien Pham is a current engineering student in the Twin Cities Engineering program.

Mentor's Name

Robert Sleezer

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department

Integrated Engineering

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology


The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is an important instrument in nanoscale topography, but it is expensive and slow. The authors designed an AFM to overcome both limitations. To do this, they used an Optical Pickup Unit (OPU) from a DVD player as the laser and photodetector system to minimize cost and they did not implement a vertical control loop, which maximized potential speed. Students will be able to be use this device to make nanoscale measurements and engage in micro-engineering. To prototype this idea, the authors tested an OPU with a silicon wafer and demonstrated the ability to consistently distinguish different distances based on the OPU output. Additional testing was done in order to measure the sensitivity of the OPU using a more robust signal conditioning system. The result of their work is that the system they designed has a resolution of 65 nm on static samples and 1 μm on dynamic samples. Further work is needed to improve the resolution of this system, reduce noise, calibrate the system, and minimize drift.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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