Goali: Control Of Broadband Acoustic-Caused Vibration At Nanoscale: An Enabling Technology For Cleanroom Metrology


This Grant Opportunity for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) project aims to create a suite of dynamics and control tools to understand and combat acoustic-caused mechanical vibrations at nanoscale in atomic force microscope (AFM), a well-known and unique instrument used for studying objects at fractions of nano-meter scale. Specifically, the objective is to eliminate the acoustic caused vibrations of the AFM probe to enhance the instrument's accuracy and efficiency. Success of this research will enable AFM to achieve sub-nanometer metrological accuracy in cleanroom environment, thereby, contributing to ensure the fabrication quality of next-generation nano-/micro-fabrication in semiconductor industry. The knowledge and techniques learned in this work can be readily used in other scanning probe applications such as scanning electronic microscope and laser annular detector. The resulting control tools for combatting acoustic-caused probe vibration will also broaden the implementations of AFM in other emerging applications; for example, it will allow researchers to combine AFM with other instruments such as optical tweezer and optical microscope to enable multi-function measurement and manipulation of live biological samples. The educational activities of the project include summer internships for students, curriculum course module development, recruitment and retention activities for under-represented students, and outreach to K-12. The project is motivated by the need for eliminating acoustic-caused mechanical vibrations to enable high level of accuracy and speed in sub-nanometer measurement and calibration in cleanroom environment. The specific research goals include: creating a data-driven, robust approach to accurately estimate and predict the noise-caused probe vibration, creating a data-driven feedforward-feedback control approach with online iterative adaptation to cancel the acoustic-caused probe vibration, analyzing the convergence and robustness of the proposed modeling and vibration estimation, and the convergence and performance of the proposed data-driven feedforward-feedback control, and experimentally implementing, testing, and validating the proposed approach. The testing and validation will take place for general-purpose AFM as well as semiconductor-AFM at both facilities -- in the laboratory at Rutgers University and in laboratory facilities at Bruker, the participating industry.
Effective start/end date9/1/178/31/20


  • National Science Foundation (NSF)


Vibrations (mechanical)
Feedforward control
Feedback control
Semiconductor materials
Optical tweezers