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Australian Government: National Measurement InstituteAustralian Government: National Measurement Institute
National Measurement Institute

Indicative Project

Integration of scanning and interferometry system components in an ultra-accurate atomic force

Background Info

​Nanotechnology relies on our ability to characterise, understand and manipulate matter at the nanometre scale. The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is an enabling tool for all of these
fundamental tasks.

NMI’s scanning probe microscopy laboratory develops and maintains unique state-of-the-art AFM instrumentation and methodology for measurements of dimensions of nanoscale objects that are traceable to the SI metre. This traceability ensures that measurements are comparable to each other
and give industry and researchers confidence in the accuracy of the results.

The requirements for ultimate accuracy of nanoscale measurements place very high demands on the performance of the AFM instrumentation, and NMI is developing unique solutions to meet these demands, including an ultra-stable metrological Scanning Probe Microscope (mSPM).

Project Description

​Develop flexible real-time communication between system components of NMI’s metrological scanning
probe microscope (mSPM).

Specifically, integrate the AFM controller and its functionality for scanning and force sensing with the
interferometric position measurement implemented as all-digital phasemeters on a real-time FPGA platform by establishing accurate and reliable signal synchronisation.

Utilise this synchronisation functionality to generate mSPM data sets that lend themselves to automated post-processing.

Examples of Relevant Sudent Courses

Electrical Engineering, ICT, Nanotechnology, Physics, Science, Software Engineering

Student Level

3rd Year, Honours, Masters


3 months to 1 year


Lindfield (NSW)



Desirable Skills

Programming and software development skills; experience with LabVIEW, LabVIEW RT, LabVIEW FPGA.


Bakir Babic

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