Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Electrical Engineering

Second Department

Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Palmyra Catravas




atomic force microscope, aperture, shields, imaging, signal processing


It is well known that Atomic Force Microscopy imaging is capable of yielding high resolution results with of surfaces at the nanoscale. However, despite the device capabilities and vast applications, AFM microscopy is possibly the most prone to the creation of image artifacts. AFM imaging can easily, and is often, corrupted by various external forces. The most obvious and measurable form of external interference is of course the presence of ambient noise. Most AFM manufactures attempt to counter the effects of such noise on the imaging process through use of noise-proof or noise-resistant shields that cover the microscope aperture. Without such shields however, the effects of ambient noise are distributed throughout the resultant image. Furthermore, the detection and interpretation of AFM errors is still a quite muddled procedure. The goal of this research project is to delve underneath the hood of an atomic force microscope and investigate the nature of errors caused by ambient noise on the imaging process. Through this investigation and the use of digital signal processing I hope to accurately identify the resultant artifacts left on an AFM image over a range incident signals. Having this knowledge is the first step towards several practical applications.