MADISON, Wis., Oct. 28, 2010 — Mad City Labs Inc.’s MadPLL is a fully integrated instrument package that allows the user to create an inexpensive, high-resolution resonant scanning probe microscope using the company’s nanopositioning systems. It can create an instant closed-loop atomic force microscope/near-field scanning optical microscope at a fraction of the cost of commercial systems. It is designed for tuning forks and Akiyama probes and is fully compatible with Mad City Labs’ high-resolution closed-loop nanopositioning systems, making it easy for users to build a scanning probe microscope with a flexibility that the company says cannot be achieved with other commercial systems. The instrument package includes a digital phase-locked loop (PLL) controller, dedicated software, a sensor amplifier board and a resonant probe mounting board. Proprietary software includes automated features such as parasitic capacitance control, resonant frequency detection and quality factor calculation. The integrated Z-axis proportional integral control loop is compatible with the company’s closed-loop nanopositioning systems. The system is self-contained and requires no external signals. Additional options are available for multiaxis closed-loop nanopositioning control. The seamless integration of hardware combined with the built-in automated control means that the user can concentrate on getting results, not on tweaking parameters. The PLL controller operates in three modes: self-oscillation, PLL-driven and lock-in direct digital synthesizer-driven. The probe can be controlled in constant excitation or constant signal mode. Measured outputs from the controller include changes in frequency, amplitude or phase shift. Applications include research and teaching laboratories.