Digital FM

The development of FM-AFM for the Asylum Research AFM controller has enabled an integrated software based implementation without the need for any additional hardware. Moreover the thorough characterisation of the feedback loops and signal pathways employed in the system has enabled the use of an automated gain calculation algorithm which greatly simplifies experimental parameter setup. No additional hardware is required which enables FM-AFM to be added to all Asylum Research systems. The user friendy software interface and automated gain calculation allows people who are not experts in the field of FM-AFM to use the technique successfully without the need for extensive training. Asylum Research will be shipping Digital FM with their Cypher AFMs from March 2010.

Collaboration Benefits

  • Hardware development design and prototyping support
  • Software Development collaboration and integration
  • Reciprocal flow of technology and knowledge
  • Workshops and training
  • Site visits
  • Development of career opportunities in industry

Digital FM Software Interface

Figure 1: The software interface for Digital FM

Digital FM Schematic
Figure 2: Schematic of the Digital FM system

Projects Using Low Noise AFM

Lubricating Polymer Brushes

Lipid Membrane Nanostructure


High Resolution AFM in Liquid

Colloid Probe Measurements

Instruments Using Digital FM

All Asylum Research AFM systems in our lab

All Low Noise AFM systems in our lab

Group Members working on this project

Dr. Jason Kilpatrick

Funding Sources

Science Foundation Ireland Logo

Asylum Research Logo


  1. Frequency modulation atomic force microscopy in ambient environments utilizing robust feedback tuning, Kilpatrick, J. I., Gannepalli, A., Cleveland, J. P., and Jarvis, S. P., Review of Scientific Instruments, 80, 023701, (2009). [PDF]