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Three-electrode self-actuating self-sensing quartz cantilever: Design, analysis, and experimental verification

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5 Author(s)
Chen, C.Julian ; Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA ; Schwarz, Alex ; Wiesendanger, Roland ; Horn, Oliver
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Your organization might have access to this article on the publisher's site. To check, click on this link:http://dx.doi.org/+10.1063/1.3407507 

We present a novel quartz cantilever for frequency-modulation atomic force microscopy (FM-AFM) which has three electrodes: an actuating electrode, a sensing electrode, and a ground electrode. By applying an ac signal on the actuating electrode, the cantilever is set to vibrate. If the frequency of actuation voltage closely matches one of the characteristic frequencies of the cantilever, a sharp resonance should be observed. The vibration of the cantilever in turn generates a current on the sensing electrode. The arrangement of the electrodes is such that the cross-talk capacitance between the actuating electrode and the sensing electrode is less than 10-16 F, thus the direct coupling is negligible. To verify the principle, a number of samples were made. Direct measurements with a Nanosurf easyPPL controller and detector showed that for each cantilever, one or more vibrational modes can be excited and detected. Using classical theory of elasticity, it is shown that such novel cantilevers with proper dimensions can provide optimized performance and sensitivity in FM-AFM with very simple electronics.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:81 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

May 2010

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