ASC500 Basic Version

ASC500 Basic Version

fully digital controller for confocal microscopy

The ASC500 basic version constitutes a controller based on the same hardware as the ASC500 full version, but without any of the AFM related features such as z control and HF lock-in etc. All of those additional features can be upgraded later very easily via the purchase of upgrade codes. The ASC500 basic version is intended for use with almost any variant of confocal microscopy based on the control of a piezo scanner combined with data acquisition on several channels, and straightforward interfacing to external devices such as e.g. a spectrometer or other devices.


Size and Dimensions
chassis19" rack, 2 rack units, 9 x 45 x 40 cm³
weight10 kg
Controller Hardware
power supply100/115/230V, 50 .. 60 Hz
power consumption [W]max. 80
connectorIEC inlet
xy scan voltage output2 x -10 .. +10 , 16 (+16) bit, 5 MHz with programmable tilt correction uni-/bipolar, output limiter, slewrate control
analog ADC inputs6 x -10 .. +10 V, 18 bit, 400 kS/s ADC with programmable offset and gain compensation
analog DAC outputs4 x -10 .. +10 V, 16 bit, 200 kS/s DAC switchable 2nd order low pass 3 kHz / 100 kHz noise: 16 µVrms (10 Hz..100 kHz)
analog modulation inputs-10 .. 10 V, DC .. 50 kHz for DAC 1, DAC 2, and Z-Out
general purpose digital interface8 bit LVTTL trigger input, 8 bit LVTTL trigger output, e.g. pixel-, line-, frame-clock, for optional programmable in / out sync, counter
digital serial interface (RS232)connection to ANC300 for coarse movement
digital serial interface (NSL)connection to ANC350 for closed loop coarse movement
host computer interfaceUSB 2.0 high speed, LAN 100 Mbit
auxiliary power outlet+/-5 V (0.2 A) and +/-15 V (0.1 A)
frame view display modes2 frame views, 2 line views, easy generation of additional frames possible
frame view optionsoversampling, autosave (png, ASCII, bcrf), line subtraction line view with up to 16 subsequent lines
frame view selection toolsframe alignment, frame centering, zoom function, path mode, grid mode
Scan Generation
pixel clock [kHz]312.5
resolution20 bit (16 bit, 16x oversampling)
features (scan)slope compensation, switchable uni-/bipolar
software rotation and zoom, slew-rate controlled movement
scan speed1 pm/s .. 2 mm/s
frame ratemax. 20 Hz @ 100 x 100 pixel
Spectral Performance
spectroscopy modespoint/line/grid spectroscopy (up to 1024 x 1024 pixel)
spectroscopy typebias spectroscopy, soft spectroscopy (all GUI parameters), dI/dV with internal Lock-In
averaging25 µs up to 160 ms per data point
spectroscopy parameterscontrol loop off, signal limiter
Optical Data
oscilloscopearbitrary channel vs. time; time base 2.5 µs .. 150 ms, 32000 pixel max. trigger: amp/edge/auto/single
FFTsfor every channel, 0 .. 200 kHz range, 1 .. 128 x averaging, windowing options, scaling: magnitude/power density/power spectrum
Path Mode
path mode working principleaction executed along user defined path
path mode functionalityuser definable, spectroscopies, manual handshake, TTL handshake
Options and Upgrades
features (transfer function)ADC/DAC offset adjustment, linear transfer function programming, preamp for each ADC channel (1 .. 64 x gain)
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microscopes, controller, ASC500, hardware, front

Note: Image shows ASC500 full version; basic version is upgradeable, but does not include all features. See specifications for details.

microscopes, controller, ASC500, hardware, rear

Note: Image shows ASC500 full version; basic version is upgradeable, but does not include all features. See specifications for details.


microscopes, controller, asc500, software, scan engine

Scan Engine

The ASC500 uses a dedicated hardware with a 4 MHz scan generator to create the voltages necessary for the raster motion. Further features are:

  • software rotation of the field of view
  • slope and drift compensation
  • fully software integrated control
  • LabVIEW™ interface
microscopes, controller, asc500, software, closed loop

Closed Loop (optional)

The ASC500 now supports closed loop scanning at low temperatures as an upgrade option. With different sensors closed loop positioning ranges up to 5 mm are possible with extremely high resolution. This unique concept provides not only compensation of scan non-linearities, but also full repeatability/recovery of positions over the full coarse range with nm resolution. Switching back and forth between different hot spots on the complete sample has never been easier. The ASC500 is fully compatible with the FPS3010/FPS 19“.

microscopes, controller, ASC500, software, lithography

Lithography (optional)

The ASC500 also offers a lithography mode. Any geometrical shape composed from convex polygons and single dots can be scanned with full control over scan speeds and line spacings for each shape unit. Shape definition is done via text files for full flexibility. Furthermore, a shutter can be controlled via TTL pulses for each shape unit. Lithography can operate in both open and closed loop mode.

  • scanning of arbitrary shapes composed from polygons and dots
  • full speed control for each shape unit
  • very flexible shape definition
  • shutter controller via TTL
microscopes, controller, ASC500, software, DAC/ADC

Digital/Analog Converters (DAC/ADC)

The outstanding input and output capabilities of the ASC500 are the key to highest precision measurements. Its analog-digital converters use state-of-the-art hardware with lowest possible noise. On-board preamplifiers and switchable low-pass filtering allow for maximum signal-to-noise ratio. The high frequency in- and output section of the ASC500 allows for sophisticated measurement concepts. Additional features include:

  • oversampling and offset compensation
  • analog modulation inputs for the most important channels
  • 6 ADC inputs with 400 kS/s, 18 bit
  • 2  high frequency ADC inputs with 50 MS/s, 16 bit
  • 4 DAC outputs with 200 kS/s, 16 bit
  • software defineable transfer function
microscopes, controller, ASC500, software, data processing

Data Processing

Collection of data is the most important task in every experiment. The ASC500 was built to give the user every possibility to view, process, and save all data streams. Data can be visualized in 1D, 2D, or 3D displays. Furthermore, the ASC500 features are:

  • real-time FFT calculation
  • full control over all raw and processed data
  • global snapshot functionality: a user definable collection of data can be saved with only one mouse click
  • saving of parameters in a text file
microscopes, controller, ASC500, software, labview control

LabVIEW™ Control

The LabVIEW™ interface provides full control over all ASC500  features with the following benefits:

  • measurement automatization
  • user-defined experiments
  • easy integration with 3rd party instrumentation

The full package of LabVIEW™ drivers is included in every unit at no extra price.