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This invention offers a system to provide high-speed scanning based on AFM techniques. One possible embodiment of the system features a flexure-based scanner driven by an electromagnetic shear-mode actuator. To achieve high scan rates, the flexure mechanism is driven at its resonant frequency. The actuator configuration relies on a stacked-coil design, which allows for the same type of coil to be used for actuation of both the fast-scan axis and the vertical surface-following axis.

The mechanical design for the scanner includes a novel, two degree of freedom (DOF) method that allows each DOF to operate independently.