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Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a powerful instrument for studying and exploring the nanoworld . AFM can obtain ultrahigh-resolution images at the subnanoscale level. However, AFM has a very significant drawback of slow imaging speed, which is due to its working principle. A conventional AFM conducts a raster scan of an entire area to generate a topography image. Therefore, the frame rate is low, making it impossible for observation of biological and physical processes that are dynamic in nature with a lifespan of a few minutes or even seconds, such as the structural change of cells, carbon nanotube shape change, and so forth ?. In addition, for AFM-based nanomanipulations and nanomeasurement, the low frame rate makes it difficult to achieve a real-time visual guide manipulation , . Operators usually have to wait for finishing imaging to visualize the manipulating results. Therefore, there is an increasing demand on a fast-imaging AFM system that can capture a continuous phenomenon occurring in seconds.
Date of Publication: March 2013