Asylum Research (AR) developed the user interface for the their AFM system on the Igor Pro platform. The AR AFM software is essentially open source and a capable operator have full access/control of their system. This is an amazing opportunity for researchers who tend to want more than what a consumer product can economically provide. As soon as we realized that we have well designed sandbox environment, we decided to develop the AFM into a giant magneto-resistance (GMR) sensor test system. The first order of business is to integrate a Keithley 2400 source meter (KSM) into the Igor Pro platform so that we can monitor the response of our GMR sensors. The Keithley 2400 ipf for Igor Pro is available on github.
Igor Pro is a software platform for data analysis and visualization. The tutorials are easy to follow and demonstrates its powerful and intuitive graphing capabilities. As an advanced user of Matlab, Python and LabView, it did not take long to figure out how to program Igor. Using the GPIB library, interactive command window, help browser, debugger, and tutorials, I was able to learn enough Igor to develop, test and distribute an Igor Procedure File (IPF) to control the KSM within two weeks.
Figure 1 shows the KSM control panel with an integrated GMR tester plot macro. The control panel allows the operator to set up resistance measurement, save and plot the data. The KSM control panel was designed to provide exactly enough parameters for a GMR test experiment. The IPF offers far more control over the KSM than what's available in the control panel.
Figure 1: Keithley 2400 source meter control panel and GMR test results