A Hybrid Control Approach to Nanopositioning

  • Tomas Tuma
  • Abu Sebastian
  • John Lygeros
  • Angeliki Pantazi


Precise position control on the nanometer and subnanometer scale, referred to as nanopositioning, is a key enabler for nanoscale science and engineering. In nanopositioning, feedback control is essential to meet the stringent requirements on accuracy, stability, and repeatability in the presence of model uncertainties and environmental disturbances. In this chapter, we review a new hybrid control approach to nanopositioning which is based on the combination of a continuous-time control law with impulsive modifications of the controller states. By using impulsive control, the limitations of conventional linear controllers can be overcome, such as the inherent trade-off between closed-loop bandwidth and resolution. We review the related literature, present an in-depth analysis of the stability and performance characteristics of impulsive control, and verify the theoretical conclusions experimentally using a custom-built atomic force microscope.


Tracking Error Reference Signal Feedback Controller Control Architecture Impulsive Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Urs Egger and Walter Häberle for their support with the mechanical and electronic hardware used in the experiments. Special thanks go to Haris Pozidis and Evangelos Eleftheriou for their support of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomas Tuma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Abu Sebastian
    • 1
  • John Lygeros
    • 2
  • Angeliki Pantazi
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM Research - ZurichRüschlikonSwitzerland
  2. 2.ETH ZurichZürichSwitzerland

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