Compact Interferometric Atomic Force Sensor
Original Publication Date: 1989-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
An atomic force microscope (AFM), as described by G. Binnig et al. in Phys . Rev . Letters, 56, 9, pp. 930-933 (March 1986), is combined with sensitive interferometric signal detection. The measurement head consists of a micromechanical Si lever 2 with a sharp end tip arranged in close proximity to the surface of sample 1. Lever 2 is firmly attached to the lower surface of a glass block 3 which contains beam splitter 3a for an optical beam 9 entering its top surface. The top surface of lever 2 and the neighboring surface area on the lower surface of glass block 3 are covered with metal layers 2a and 2b forming the plates of a capacitor to apply an electrostatic bending force to lever 2; layer 2b is provided with an opening in the optical path of optical beam 9.