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I am pleased to share with you that the DIY AFM is reported by the latest Nature Nanotechnology 10, 480 (2015) that the DIY AFM is assembled by junior high school student and successfully measure PM 2.5 particles.

Microscopes are awesome! They help us see things that are not visible to bare eyes. Optical microscopes can only see micro scale (1/1,000 millimeter) structures. However, you can explore nano scale (1/1,000,000 millimeter) world by Atomic Force Microscopes (AFM). Yet a stock-ready AFM usually costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy. Thus we are providing you a solution to make your own AFM optomechanical system out of daily used parts including optical pickup unit (OPU) in a DVD player and piezo buzzers in your watch. The total cost is between 500 to 1,000 dollars (AFM controller not included). Most of the traditional AFM systems use beam deflection method for monitoring the AFM probe, the low cost educational AFM directly use an OPU for the same purpose. This low cost educational AFM is originally designed and made by Dr. En-Te Hwu, Institute of Physics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. Idea of using circuit boards as structure: Sebastian Buetefisch.

Traditional AFM:

DVD OPU based AFM

DVD OPU based AFM in German National Metrology Institute

顯微鏡可讓我們看到肉眼無法觀察的結構,实在是太棒了!光學顯微鏡能看到微米等級(1/1,000釐米)結構,然而原子力顯微鏡更可讓我們看到奈米(1/1,000,000 釐米)結構。一般的原子力顯微鏡動輒數萬至數十萬美元,只有研究機構可以負擔得起。我們希望透過這次介紹,告訴大家如何利用身邊的元件,包括DVD Rom的光學讀寫頭以及你手錶裡面嗶嗶叫的壓電喇叭,來製作一套自己的奈米級原子力顯微鏡的光機系統,材料價格不超過1000美元(不包含控制器)。傳統原子力顯微鏡大多使用光槓桿原理,而教育型原子力顯微鏡使用像散式光路偵測探針位移,此教育型原子力顯微鏡由台灣中央研究院物理研究所胡恩德博士設計並製作。使用電路板作結構之概念源自:Sebastian Buetefisch.

显微镜可让我们看到肉眼无法观察的结构,实在是太棒了!光学显微镜能看到微米等级(1/1,000毫米)结构,然而原子力显微镜更可让我们看到納米(1/1,000,000毫米)结构。一般的原子力显微镜动辄数万至数十万美元,只有研究机构可以负担得起。我们希望透这次介绍,告诉大家如何利用身边的元器件,包括DVD Rom的激光头以及你手表里面哔哔叫的压电喇叭,来制作一套自己的納米级原子力显微镜的的光机系统,材料价格不超过1000美元(不包含控制器。传统原子力显微镜大多使用光杠杆原理,而教育型原子力显微镜使用像散式光路侦测探针位移,此教育型原子力显微镜由台湾中央研究院物理研究所胡恩德博士设计并制作。使用电路板作结构之概念源自:Sebastian

Buetefisch.

Step 1: Materials and tools 材料與工具

Materials for the low cost AFM are: 1.OPU disassembled from a DVD ROM. 2.Piezo speakers. 3.Signal connector. 4.Precision screws. 5.Circuit boards. The tools needed are: 1.A soldering iron 2.Solder 3.Quick-dry adhesive 4.Epoxy 5.Magnets 6.Screw driver. The consumable is AFM probes (working frequency 300 kHz).

組裝原子力顯微鏡需要材料為:1.從DVD光碟機上的讀取頭 2.壓電喇叭 3.訊號接頭 4.精密螺絲 5.磁鐵 6.電路板結構。 工具為:1.烙鐵 2.銲錫 3.瞬間膠 4.AB膠 5.螺絲起子。耗材為:原子力顯微鏡探針(工作頻率300k赫茲)。

组装原子力显微镜需要材料为:1.从DVD光驱上的激光头 2.压电喇叭 3.信号接头 4.精密螺丝 5.磁铁 6.电路板结构。 工具为:1.烙铁 2.焊锡 3.瞬间胶 4.AB胶 5.螺丝刀。耗材为:原子力显微镜探针(工作频率300k赫兹)。

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Step 2: Assembling the AFM base 組裝原子力顯微鏡底座

The optomechanical part of the AFM system is assembled by students from junior high school attached to Tsinghua University. The AFM base is structured by 4 circuit boards which are fixed by solder.

這邊由北京清華大學附屬中學的國中學生來示範,如何自己動手組裝原子力顯微鏡的光學機構系統。底座由4片電路板構成,組起來的結構件使用銲錫固定。

这边由北京清华大学附属中学的国中学生来示范,如何自己动手组装原子力显微镜的光学机构系统。底座由4片电路板构成,组起来的结构件使用焊锡固定。

Step 3: Assembling the AFM piezo scanner 組裝壓電掃描器

Assembling the scanner structure and fix the structure on 4 piezo buzzers which are soldered to the base. The fifth piezo buzzer is fixed on top of the scanner structure.

掃描器由三片電路板組成,焊接掃描器結構後,並以AB膠將結構的四支腳固定在底座的四片壓電喇叭上,並將第五片壓電喇叭固定於掃描器頂端,大部分的零件皆由銲錫固定。

扫描仪由三片电路板组成,焊接扫描仪结构后,并以AB胶将结构的四支脚固定在底座的四片压电喇叭上,并将第五片压电喇叭固定于扫描仪顶端,大部分的零件皆由焊锡固定

Step 4: Assembling the AFM head 組裝光路頭

The frame of the AFM head composed of 5 pieces of circuit board. Assembling the frame of the AFM head then fix the DVD OPU in the center and place the probe adjustment mechanism. Install 3 screws on the AFM head for coarse adjustments.

光路結構由五片電路板組成,首先將光路機構焊接組裝好,再將DVD光學讀取頭以瞬間膠固定於中央,並安裝一片電路板作為探針調整機構。之後將三個精密螺絲透過AB膠固定於光路機構。

光路结构由五片电路板组成,首先将光路机构组装好,再将DVD激光头以瞬间胶固定于中央,并安装探针调整机构。之后将三个螺丝透過AB胶固定于光路机构。

Step 5: Installing piezo scanner connectors 安裝壓電掃描器接頭

The piezo scanner needs 3 connectors for X,Y,Z signal input. Wire those 5 piezo speakers to the connectors which installed in the base.

壓電掃描器需要三個接頭分別接收X、Y、Z三個方向的控制訊號。安裝訊號接頭後,並將五個壓電喇叭透過電線連接至接頭。

扫描仪需要三个接口分别接收X、Y、Z三个方向的控制信号。安装信号接头后,并将五个压电喇叭透过电线连接至接头。

Step 6: Assembling a passive anti-vibration platform 組裝被動式防震平台

Proper vibration isolation can ensure AFM measurement quality, good news is that the vibration table can be built by materials we can easily get:1.Bicycle tube(diameter 10-18 inch) 2.A stone, iron block or other heavy object (weight of 3-10 kg, size of approx. 20x50 cm) 3.Pump for pumping the bicycle tube. Place the stone on top of an inflated bicycle tube, this can be a very simple passive anti-vibration platform.

最低限度的防震平台是保證顯微鏡量測精度的關鍵,好消息是這防震平台的材料隨手可得:1.腳踏車內胎(直徑約10-18英吋)2.一塊石頭、鐵塊或其他長方體的重物(重約3-10公斤,長寬分別約20公分和50公分,厚度不限)。3.一個打氣筒,為內胎充氣。首先將一條腳踏車內胎充氣,接著將石頭放置於內胎上,此即為一簡易的被動式防震平台。

最低限度的防震平台是保证显微镜量测精度的关键,好消息是这防震平台的材料随手可得:1. 自行车内胎(直径约10-18英寸) 2. 一块石头、铁块、或其他外形呈长方体的重物(重约3-10千克即可,长宽分别约20厘米和50厘米,厚度不限) 3. 为内胎充气的气泵。将一条自行车内胎充气,接着将石头放置于内胎上,此即为一简易的被动式防震平台。

Step 7: Sample preparation 樣品準備

Like normal AFM systems, the low cost AFM also needs simple sample preparations. Here we use data tracks on DVD and Blu-ray disks (protection layer are torn out) for AFM system evaluations and calibrations. The DVD and Blu-ray data tracks have pitch of 740 nm and 320 nm, respectively. Besides, the students are very interested in measuring surface nano structures on an eraser. We cut one piece (approximately 1x1 cm) of the sample glued on an iron sample holder (piece of paper knife). The sample holder can be fixed by a magnet glued on the piezo scanner.

低價原子力顯微鏡跟一般原子力顯微鏡一樣,需要稍微準備一下樣品。我們這邊使用DVD與Blu-ray光碟片(將保護層撕除)作為原子力顯微鏡系統測試樣品,因為DVD資料軌道間距為740奈米,Blu-ray光碟資料軌道間距為320奈米。此外清華大學附屬中學的國中生也很好奇想看看橡皮擦的奈米結構。僅需將樣品裁切至大約1公分平方並在背面黏貼美工刀片,即可透過磁力吸在掃描器上進行掃描。

低价原子力显微镜跟一般原子力显微镜一样,需要稍微准备一下样品。我们这边使用DVD与Blu-ray光盘(将保护层撕除)作为原子力显微镜系统测试样品,因为DVD数据轨道间距为740納米,Blu-ray光盘数据轨道间距为320納米。此外清华大学附属中学的国中生也很好奇想看看橡皮擦的納米结构。仅需将样品裁切至大约1公分平方并在背面黏贴美工刀片,即可透过磁力吸在扫描仪上进行扫描。

Step 8: AFM evaluation and calibration 測試原子力顯微鏡

Students use the AFM they assembled for measuring the DVD data tracks (pitch 740 nm), measurement result shows that the actuation area of the scanner is 15x15 micron. Students also compare the AFM measurement result (right image) with optical image captured by a USB microscope (left image). The low cost AFM can easily measure the DVD data tracks which can not be observed by the optical microscope.

首先學生用自己組裝的原子力顯微鏡裝上探針掃描空白DVD光碟片資料軌(結構間距740奈米),由影像可以得知,此原子力顯微鏡的掃描器運作範圍是X與Y方向各15微米。學生並將AFM量測到結果(右圖)跟USB光學顯微鏡所得到的資料軌影像(左圖)進行比對,光學顯微鏡看不到的資料軌奈米結構可由原子力顯微鏡輕易地得到。

首先学生用自己组装的原子力显微镜装上探针扫描空白DVD光盘数据轨(结构间距740納米),由影像可以得知,此原子力显微镜的扫描仪运作范围是X与Y方向各15微米。学生并将AFM量测到结果(右图)跟USB光学显微镜所得到的影像(左图)进行比对,光学显微镜看不到的数据轨納米结构可由原子力显微镜轻易地得到。

Step 9: Measuring the surface of an eraser 量測橡皮擦的表面

Students are very interested in surface structures of an eraser that they use everyday. The surface of eraser is observed by the USB microscope (left image), we can not see clear structures. The same eraser is measured by the low cost AFM (right image), we found that the structures on the eraser surface are very big (several microns in all dimensions). The measurement area of the eraser is 5x5 micron.

接著學生們對於日常使用的橡皮擦表面結構非常有興趣,首先使用USB光學顯微鏡觀察(左圖),看到的結構不是很明顯,而原子力顯微鏡可以清楚看到橡皮擦的表面結構凹凸不平非常粗糙(右圖)。橡皮擦的量測範圍是5x5微米。

接着学生们对于日常使用的橡皮擦表面结构非常有兴趣,首先使用USB光学显微镜观察(左图),看到的结构不是很明显,而原子力显微镜可以清楚看到橡皮擦的表面结构凹凸不平非常粗糙(右图)。橡皮擦的量测范围是5x5微米。

Step 10: Observing PM 2.5 particles in Beijing 觀察北京空氣懸浮粒子

Students like to measure Blu-ray data tracks that the pitch is 320 nm. We can get the high density data tracks in a scanning area of 10x10 micron. Besides, we can find several particles (size approx. 1 micron) on the data tracks. Those particles are PM 2.5 in Beijing.

Due to some proboem in the instructables, here is a link of the step by step process in PDF: http://ppt.cc/bEsH

學生想挑戰結構更小的空白Blu-ray光碟片資料軌,其間距為320奈米。由量測結果可看到密度更高的Blu-ray光碟資料軌,掃描範圍為10x10微米。此外,我們可在資料軌上可以看到數個尺寸約1微米左右的顆粒,此即為北京漂浮在空氣中的PM 2.5顆粒。

由於網站轉PDF檔出了問題,這邊附上PDF連結:http://ppt.cc/bEsH

学生想挑战结构更小的空白Blu-ray光盘片数据轨,其间距为320納米。由量测结果可看到密度更高的Blu-ray光盘数据轨,扫描范围为10x10微米。此外,我们可在数据轨上可以看到数个尺寸约1微米左右的颗粒,此即为北京漂浮在空气中的PM 2.5颗粒。

由于网站转PDF档出了问题,这边附上PDF链结:http://ppt.cc/bEsH

Step 11: Prepare for making your own educational AFM

One working system in Taiwan runs 24-7 for stress test, this system is continuously scanning for more than one week. I am using contact mode AFM probe now (still use that probe in tapping mode). The sample is a Blu-ray disk of mass produced PS3 game ( I think the game is Front Mission Evolved). The are no data tracks on the disk, we can find data pits on the surface. The size of one data pit is about 150 nm.

Actually I work with OPUs for 10 years already....the OPU based AFM paper published long time ago (http://nanotechweb.org/cws/article/tech/33346) It's still fun to play with OPUs.

Using OPU for AFM application seems very easy, but actually there are a lot of tricky parts. One may need to know fundamentals of the OPU, then it would be easier to start working with OPUs. Here is a document about background knowledge of the OPU:

http://ppt.cc/SGYS

http://ppt.cc/ln~N

Good Luck!

Step 12: Some other OPU based instrumentations

Here is a file which introduces various precision measurements based on the OPU, such as AFM, Optical profiler, vibrometer, bio-sensing....you can find more details in the attached file!

Step 13: Measuring leafs surface with nano scale resolution

Step 14: Now, the DIY AFM controller is being hacked

The nanoscale stability structure is not easy to build, so I keep the original optomechanical part. For more flexible control, I tried to build open source AFM controller:

http://whoand8.wixsite.com/osil

You can discuss the open source controller here:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/nanoosil/m...

<p>Amazing project.</p><p>Are there any plans to make an AFM probe instructable?</p><p>Seems like the price of the AFM probes is now the biggest cost.</p><p>Not to mention AFM probes being consumables, wear and tear.</p>
<p>This is so exciting! Please send me the schematics/instructions, your booklet and all available info. My email is ginakathleenmiller@gmail.com</p><p>Also, what software are you using to view and can you build structures using the AFM? </p><p>Thank you so much! </p>
<p>Hi Gina, I will send you the open source controller circuit and control software to your email. I need to arrange the open source controller connections. </p>
<p>Thank you so much! I have also been trying to download your ebook but am unable to, is it possible that you could send that as well? Are your instructions/schematic the same as the ebook or is that something different? And can you move atoms around and build atomic structures with your AFM?</p>
<p>Dear Professor Hwo,</p><p>Nice work!</p><p>Could I please request additional information on the AFM, as mentioned by other in the posts below.</p><p>I am interested in AFM and would like to share this with my students</p><p>My email is: mhiggins@uow.edu.au</p><p>thanks </p><p>Michael</p>
<p>Hi Michael, sorry for late reply! I was super busy recently. I will send you some reference and open source AFM controller related design.</p>
<p>Dear Professor Hwo,<br><br>Thank you very much for sharing this great project.<br><br>I am an medical electronics researcher. I am planning to try this out and give this as a DIY project demo for students.<br><br>Greatly appreciate if you can share additional details (design,electronics, setup and software) regarding this project for more understanding.<br><br>My email id is: vigjes@gmail.com<br><br>Thanks<br><br>Vignesh</p>
<p>Hi Vignesh, Sorry for late reply. I was super busy recently. I can send you some reference and recently developed open source AFM controller.</p>
<p>Dear Professor.</p><p>I am a recent graduate biotechnologist engineer, and this work could help me to teach to another colleagues how this microscopes works and how looks the nano-world.</p><p>Would you send me all the technic info to my email?</p><p>chemical_23@outlook.com</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>Hi Lemonbass, sorry for late reply. I am happy that bio guys are interested in AFM or SPM. I will send you some detailed reference.</p>
<p>Dear Dr. Whoand.</p><p>Please also send me the schematics ?</p><p>I am a biomedic engeneer student.</p><p>My email is tatdblz@gmail.com</p>
<p>Hi Daniel, I will send you the controller schematics.</p>
<p>Dear Professor Hwo,</p><p>Thank<br> you for sharing this amazing project.</p><p>I am a software professional and an electronics enthusiast from India. I am planning to try this out with a bunch of high school students to assist.</p><p>Request you to please share additional informations that would be required to take this forward.</p><p>My email id is: bha100710@gmail.com</p><p>thanks and regards,</p><p>Bhaskar</p>
<p>Hi Bhaskar, I've send you email. </p>
<p>Dear Professor Hwo,</p><p>Amazing!!! Thank you Prof: for sharing this project. Am from Nanotechnology domain. It would be grateful, if you could forward additional informations regarding design,electronics,software etc, which will help me to study about the instrument.</p><p>Thank you so much Prof:</p><p>My mail id: anoobec@gmail.com</p><p>regards,</p><p>Anoob E C</p>
<p>Done!</p>
<p>Dear Professor Hwo, </p><p>Thank you for sharing this impressive project and the info on the use of OPU based instrumentations. I am a postdoc researcher exploring DIY instruments to be applied in investigating mechanical properties and behavior of cultural heritage materials. As well as many users, I would really appreciate if you could provide me with additional info on electronics, schematics, code, etc. of your AFM. </p><p>my personal e-mail address is siroasi@yahoo.it</p><p>but I will also contact you via my academic e-mail to keep in touch</p><p>Thank you in advance</p>
<p>Thank you! We tried to build nanoindentor based on this setup, so I think this is possible. Reference is sent.</p>
<p>Dear Dr. Whoand Please also send me the schematics,</p><p>I am a materials science student.. my email is hashim12atd@yahoo.com</p>
<p>Hi Syed, sure!</p>
Hi, Dr. Hwu,<br>your project is awesome, I never ever imagined making an AFM on my own, I think I'm lucky to meet you Dr. Hwu, I would be really grateful if you could help me with this project by sending me more information ( files, schematics, etc) about this mind blowing project.<br>I appreciate it in advance.<br>Mohsen.beglou@gmail.com
<p>Sure!</p>
<p>Dear Dr.Hwu,</p><p>I have read your article and am very amazed by it. So I followed the listed steps and managed to make a similar prototype on my own. However my model doesn't look really good as the parts don't really fit together. </p><p>Sir, may I ask for some details of the schematics and for the individual parts (especially their dimensions).</p><p>My email is huutienvt98@gmail.com</p><p>Thank you very much!</p>
<p>Replied!</p>
<p>Hello Dr. Hwu,</p><p>I am a undergraduate physics major and I am intersted in building a DIY AFM. Would you mind sharing some of your designs and schenimatics with me? Any help at all would be grealy appreciated!</p><p>My email adress is: bodinen@berea.edu</p>
<p>Replied!</p>
<p>sure!</p>
<p>Hi Dr. Hwu,</p><p>This AFM described here would be quite useful in the exploration at the cross section of biology and quantum physics. Work is beginning at the Bicurious hackerspace in Sunnyvale, CA, USA. I can also see an AFM inspiring other biotech work the sister biohackerspace Counter Culture Labs in Oakland, CA, USA. I am interested in the schematics, electronics, software, insight, and any other reference materials in order to begin to build an AFM. We would appreciate the sharing of what you are able as we would be happy to share any results of the work we are pursuing in these hackerspaces with you. </p><p>My email: gsi11135 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com</p><p>Thank you and your students!</p><p>Joseph</p>
<p>Done!</p>
<p>Dear Professor Hwu,</p><p>This is a great work!!It is a good way to learn the schematic of the AFM and I try it by myself. But I meet some challenge in adjust the light path and the calibration.Any reference material about the location of the lasers and readout and the calibration of your design would be great!</p><p>My email is: candroidyang@gmail.com</p><p>Thanks and best wishes!</p>
<p>Hi! You can use DVD tracks for calibration, the distance between two tracks is 740nm. You can count how many tracks you scan then you can calculate the XY scanning range.</p>
<p>Dear Professor Hwu, </p><p>This is really great and inspiring work. Its amazing to see how far the capability of relatively common (and inexpensive) components has come. I am trying to replicate the design and any reference materials you have would be greatly appreciated. </p><p>My email is: tristans04@gmail.com </p><p>Thanks a lot.</p>
<p>Sure!</p>
<p>Dear Dr. Hwu,</p><p>Thank you for the inspiring project! I would really appreciate some detailed information on this experiment so I can interface with an optical pick-up myself for displacement measurements.</p><p> my email is:</p><p>thomas.mcmenamin(at)yahoo.com</p><p>Kind Regards,</p><p>Thomas Mcmenamin</p>
<p>I'll send you some reference....</p>
<p>Dear Dr. Hwu,</p><p>your project seems really awsome. I am interested in the schematics, electronics &amp; software to try it by myself. It would be awsome if you could forward some informations to me.</p><p>My email: jan-la(at)web.de</p><p>Thank you very much.</p><p>Greetings from Germany</p>
<p>Sure, sent!</p>
<p>Dear Dr. Hwu,</p><p>Your project is wonderful. I also would like to do it myself for scientific education and research. Would you please send some more details of schematic, electronics &amp; software used to control your AFM ?</p><p>Thank you for your guidance.</p><p>email_id: kiyo.yasuda(at)gmail.com</p>
<p>Hi Kiyo, the mail is sent.</p>
<p>Hi respected professor,</p><p>The project gives a very good idealization of AFM. I have an interest to make it for my lab . Can you please some more details ?? my email address is naveedullah1984@gmail.com</p>
<p>Sure! Sent!</p>
<p>Hi Kiyo, the mail is sent.</p>
<p>Dear Dr Hwu,</p><p>I am quite interested in your DIY afm, and I also want to try it by myself. So can you send me the detail information? electronic schematic and so on. Thank you.</p><p>lin.kang@mines.sdsmt.edu</p>
<p>Dear Dr Hwu,</p><p>Your project is simply the best. I want to make it for my college project.</p><p>Would you please send me the electronic schematics , software, etc on my </p><p>Email: v_thakre.1996@rediffmail.com</p><p>It will be very helpful. Thanks in advance.</p><p>Regards,</p><p>Saurabh</p>
<p>Hi Saurabh, thank you! I've send you some reference material already.</p>
<p>Dear Dr Hwu,</p><p>I am quite interested in your DIY afm, and I also want to try it by myself. So can you send me the detail information? electronic schematic and so on. Thank you.</p><div>lin.kang@mines.sdsmt.edu</div>
<p>Dear Professor Hwu,</p><p>Thank you for sharing such amazing things. I am thinking about to build such an AFM by myself. Could you please send me detailed information about the electronics, schematics, code, mechanical parts,etc.?</p><p>My email address is chiwing7777@gmail.com</p><p>It will be very helpful. </p><p>Thank you!! </p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: Research Scientist En-Te Hwu E-mail: whoand@gmail.com Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=129035139&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic
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