Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering


Training multiple users on basic atomic force microscope (AFM) operation is expensive in both time and money. Using traditional classroom and lab instruction to train AFM users does not allow for sufficient hands-on training with the actual equipment. As in other fields and industries such as aviation and surgery, hands-on training can not be fully completed on the actual equipment. Training simulators have been developed for scenarios where the actual environment is either too expensive or too dangerous. Virtual Probe Microscope (VPM) has been developed as a training simulator for training multiple users on basic AFM operation. VPM is a Windows-based simulator that can simultaneously train a room full of users without the need of an actual AFM. Instructors can use this tool to demonstrate the exact same instruction that a user would receive in an AFM lab within the confines of a classroom, computer lab or living room for distance education students. To simulate the AFM physics, VPM uses a gaming physics engine to create a physical model of the AFM. The physics engine allows the complex behavior of the AFM to be modeled robustly and efficiently in the simulator. The interface of the simulator is a graphical user interface (GUI) that replicates the interface of one of the most popular commercial AFM models.

Copyright Owner

Matthew James Heying



OCLC Number


File Format


File Size

78 pages