Sensor for Atomic Force Microscope With Tunable Eigenfrequency
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
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.