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Sensor for Atomic Force Microscope With Tunable Eigenfrequency

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039730D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Binnig, G: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The investigation of different samples or of different characteristics of the same sample with an atomic force microscope may require sensors with different sensitivities. A sensor with tunable sensitivity would be an advantage. As usual in an atomic force microscope, the sensor consists of a cantilever beam 1 which is rigidly mounted at one end 2. The free end carries the sensor tip 3 with which the sample 4 is investigated. The deflection that cantilever beam 1 undergoes when sensor tip 3 comes close enough to the surface of the sample 4 is detected with a tunneling tip 5. A potential applied between the conductive back 6 of cantilever 1 and tunneling tip 5 causes a tunneling current to flow.

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Sensor for Atomic Force Microscope With Tunable Eigenfrequency

The investigation of different samples or of different characteristics of the same sample with an atomic force microscope may require sensors with different sensitivities. A sensor with tunable sensitivity would be an advantage. As usual in an atomic force microscope, the sensor consists of a cantilever beam 1 which is rigidly mounted at one end 2. The free end carries the sensor tip 3 with which the sample 4 is investigated. The deflection that cantilever beam 1 undergoes when sensor tip 3 comes close enough to the surface of the sample 4 is detected with a tunneling tip 5. A potential applied between the conductive back 6 of cantilever 1 and tunneling tip 5 causes a tunneling current to flow. Placed in juxtaposition with tunneling tip 5 is a "softener" tip 7 to which a variable potential can be applied, and the distance of which from cantilever beam 1 can be separately adjusted. By controlling the potential and distance between cantilever beam 1 and "softener" tip 7, the effective spring constant of the cantilever beam can be altered and, hence, its eigenfrequency.

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