Prof. Dr. Georg Fantner
École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, IBI/IMT-Laboratory for Bio- and Nano-Instrumentation


High speed atomic force microscopy – A microengineering approach to improving nanocharacterization


High quality surface metrology is key in many research and technological applications. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has proven to be extremely powerful and versatile for many research questions, but the slow image acquisition rate has been a major drawback. Improving the imaging speed of AFM requires a wholistic approach making use of advancements in microfabrication, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, optics and controls engineering. In this talk I will discuss the current bottlenecks and how micro-engineering can help to reach the next order of magnitude imaging speed increase. I will also discuss how this speed increase enables new research in structural biology and DNA-nanotechnology.


Prof. Fantner has received his master’s degree from the Technical University of Graz, Austria in 2003, and his PhD from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2006. After a Post-doc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology he came to EPFL in 2010 where he was appointed jointly in the institute for Microengineering (IMT) and the institute for Bioengineering (IBI).
His research is focused on measurement technology for biology and nanotechnology. He holds numerous patents and has founded two award winning nanotechnology companies. Prof. Fantner has received the ERC starting grant and ERC consolidator grant, and is editor for Microscopy and Microanalysis (Cambridge press), and editorial board member for Scientific Reports.