The Nanoscale World

Signal acess module

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Luci posted on Tue, Aug 23 2011 12:52 PM


please I would like to run an experiment with the Nanoscope IIIA (SW 5.31r1)  and the Signal Acess Module (SAM).

I would like to monitor the deflexion signal using the SAM and at the same time input  a potential ramp between -2V up  to 2V using the input connection of the Z piezo.

What should I do? Should I just connect the cables or is there any other trick?

Thank you,


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Hartmut replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 12:11 PM

Hi Luci,

for me this sounds, as you would not need to use a breakout box for that.

You should be able to do that nicely in the standard force spectroscopy mode (putting a ramping voltage to the z-piezo is nothing else than performing a z-ramp). If you definitively want to use volts instead of nm, you can choose units "volts" instead of "metric".


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Answered (Not Verified) replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 3:15 PM

Hi Lucy,

You have to be in Tapping Mode to be able to access Z-Mod. You can feed back on TM deflection (change feedback type) to work in contact mode (even though you have selected "tapping"). Enable z-modulation either in feedback or in other controls. It may be hidden so use the show all to see it.

If you have an extender box  your SAM has to be in between the extender and the microscope. You can get the deflection through IN0. Your +/- 2V can be directly injected through the labeled BNC on the SAM but won't be amplified, i.e. the voltage you inject is the voltage the z-piezo will see. The phase is I think 180 degrees shifted.

Have fun,


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Stefan's suggestion is probably the most straightforward method.

Note that on nanoscope 3 and 4 systems, the cantilever deflection signal (as displayed in the software) is scaled after the SAM, so you will measure a different deflection voltage on the In0 channel of the SAM to that shown in the software. From my measurements, the software deflection is approximately 1.6 times the In0 value.

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Luci replied on Mon, Aug 29 2011 10:26 AM

Dear all,

thank you for your suggestions on the experiment with the SAM. They were very helpful.


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