Skip to Main Content
Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.368707
The detection sensitivity of an atomic force microscope with optical beam deflection for small cantilevers is characterized experimentally and theoretically. An adjustable aperture is used to optimize the detection sensitivity for cantilevers of different length. With the aperture, the signal-to-noise ratio of cantilever deflection measurements is increased by a factor of 1.5 to nearly 3. A theoretical model is set up that generally describes the optical beam deflection detection in an atomic force microscope. This model is based on diffraction theory and includes the particular functional shape of the cantilever. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.