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Proceedings Paper

Independent measurements of force and position in atomic force microscopy
Author(s): Allison B. Churnside; Gavin M. King; Thomas T. Perkins
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Paper Abstract

Historically, precise vertical control of an atomic force microscope (AFM) tip while it is disengaged from the surface has been an unsolved problem. By separately scattering a pair of lasers off the tip and a fiducial mark in the sample, we locally measured and thereby actively controlled tip and sample position in three dimensions, achieving atomic-scale (0.1 nm) precision at ambient conditions. We also measured cantilever deflection (force) using the standard optical-lever- arm geometry. Both detection techniques were used to determine the vertical location of the surface (z = 0) relative to the AFM tip assembly. The difference in these vertical determinations was 0.0 ± 0.3 nm (mean ± S.D.; N = 86). This agreement allowed us to establish an optically based reference frame to measure the vertical position of the tip relative to the surface. This reference frame is insensitive to long-term mechanical drift of the AFM assembly and complementary to the cantilever deflection sensing, which measures force. We expect this dual z-detection to be useful in a broad array of applications that demand precise tip-sample control, including tip-based nanofabrication and single-molecule force spectroscopy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2009
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7405, Instrumentation, Metrology, and Standards for Nanomanufacturing III, 74050H (21 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.826567
Show Author Affiliations
Allison B. Churnside, JILA, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Gavin M. King, JILA, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Thomas T. Perkins, JILA, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7405:
Instrumentation, Metrology, and Standards for Nanomanufacturing III
Michael T. Postek; John A. Allgair, Editor(s)

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