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Compact Scanning and Vertical Drive Apparatus for a Scanning Probe Microscope

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123220D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 97K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Brown, RE: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is apparatus for holding a scanning probe microscope, for moving the probe along a horizontal scanning pattern to traverse a sample surface being inspected, and for moving the probe in a vertical direction into and out of engagement with the sample surface.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Compact Scanning and Vertical Drive Apparatus for a Scanning Probe
Microscope

   Disclosed is apparatus for holding a scanning probe
microscope, for moving the probe along a horizontal scanning pattern
to traverse a sample surface being inspected, and for moving the
probe in a vertical direction into and out of engagement with the
sample surface.

   The figure is a partly exploded isometric view of the
apparatus.  The horizontal scanning motion occurs as a pair of
scanning drive piezoelectric actuators 10 are expanded and
contracted.  Each actuator 10 extends between a mounting block 12
forming part of a base 14 and a scanning frame 16.  The horizontal
movement provided by each actuator 10 is measured by means of a
capacitive sensor 18.  Each capacitive sensor 18 includes a first
portion 20 attached to the scanning frame 16 and a second portion 22
attached to the base 14.  Movement of the actuator 10 opposite each
capacitive sensor 18 causes a variation in the gap between the sensor
portions 20, 22, resulting in a sensor output indicating that such
movement has occurred.  This method for providing scanning movement
of a probe 24 is further described in reference [1].

   Vertical movement of the probe 24 includes a coarse vertical
movement into and out of engagement with the sample surface (not
shown), a fine vertical movement controlling engagement of the probe
24 with the sample surface, and a fine vibrating movement used to
detect minute features of the sample surface.  The coarse vertical
movement occurs in response to rotation of a leadscrew (not shown) by
a vertical drive motor 26 held by a motor mounting block 28 attached
to the scanning frame 16.  The leadscrew engages an internally
threaded hole 30 within a vertical stage 32.  The vertical stage 32
includes a pair of linear bearing sections 34 moving between linear
bearing sections 36 of the motor mounting block 28.  Crossed rollers
(not shown), with rotational axes extending in directions
perpendicular to one another, roll within the grooves of linear
bearing sections 34, 36 to permit only vertical motion of the
vertical stage 32.

   The probe 24 is attached through a cantilever spring (not
shown) to an "L"-shaped holder 38, which is in turn attached to a
piezoelectric actuator 40 forming part of a probe adapter assembly
42.  This piezoelectric actuator 40 is driven to provide the probe
vibration required for scannin...