Design of a CMOS PLL-based FM demodulator for real-time FM-AFM

Design of a CMOS PLL-based
FM demodulator for real-time FM-AFM
Recently, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has gained significant attention as a tool in
modern life science for investigating biological structures with nanometer resolution.
Here, the frequency modulated (FM) imaging mode offers an intrinsic speed advantage compared to the amplitude modulated scanning method, rendering FM-AFM
an ideal candidate for real-time AFM which allows for the observation of biological
processes with both high spatial and high temporal resolutions.
Figure 1 Illustration of (a) the FM-AFM experimental setup and (b) the proposed architecture for the FM-AFM driver and demodulation electronics.
The proposed Master thesis is embedded in a project which aims at the development
of an IC-based FM-AFM driving and detection system according to Figure 1. The goal
of this thesis is the development of a PLL in a 0.18 µm high-voltage CMOS technology which is used for the demodulation of the FM-modulated AFM signals. To ensure
a high practical relevance of the developed system, the project is carried out in
collaboration with AFM experts in the group of Prof. Georg Fantner at the EPFL in
What we expect: Strong motivation to learn about CMOS PLL design and FM-AFM
fundamentals. Organized and well documented research and dedication to successful work.
What we offer: Strong support in understanding AFM fundamentals and CMOS PLL
design. Excellent working environment with modern design and measurement tools
and the possibility to work on a current research topic with a renowned academic
Dipl.-Ing. Benedikt Schlecker, Email: [email protected]
Jun.-Prof. Jens Anders, Email: [email protected]
Institute of Microelectronics,
Published: 17.07.14