In our research, we put a strong focus on improving the performance of mechatronic imaging and measurement systems. Here, mechatronics and feedback control are very important domains, bearing a huge innovation potential to enhance system performance of scanning-based imaging and metrology systems, e.g. scanning probe microscopy and laser metrology, as well as in compensation-based measurement applications, such as adaptive optics. Key elements of this application driven fundamental research area are the combination of measurement science and metrology systems, precision motion control, as well as perfectly timed data acquisition, signal processing, and automation.
In nanotechnology, being a key technology for the twenty-first century, it is crucial to have systems that provide full insight and control down to the molecular level, where in particular atomic force microscopes (AFM) have proven their potential. Our research aims towards improving the usability, accuracy, and speed of AFM systems with mechatronic system design, control engineering methods, and system theoretic insights. Besides imaging on the molecular level in real-time, our AFM development aims at the quantitative measurement, e.g., of topographical, mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties in materials- and life-science applications.
Next to the development of scanning laser microscopy, LiDAR systems, and optical 3D precision metrology systems, another example of mechatronic imaging systems is adaptive optics with applications in astronomy, optical free-space communication, biomedical imaging, and lithography systems by improving the imaging and system performance in terms of resolution, bandwidth, range, and stability.
This research field also aims at the integration of precision measurement systems with larger scale robotics, which we envision to convert these sensors into fully automated in-process measurement systems for quantitative measurements in industrial series production, as well as small-scale lithography and automated manipulation of nanometer sized particles for rapid prototyping applications at highest resolution.