Updated!! A Low Cost Educational Atomic Force Microscope 教育型原子力顯微鏡

Picture of Updated!! A Low Cost Educational Atomic Force Microscope 教育型原子力顯微鏡

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. 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 in German National Metrology Institute

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Step 1: Materials and tools 材料與工具

Picture of 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


3.Quick-dry adhesive



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)。

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

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

Picture of 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: Step 4: Assembling the AFM head 組裝光路頭

Picture of 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。