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This paper demonstrates an acoustic sensor that can resolve atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip blunting with a frequency sensitivity of 0.007%. The AFM tip is fabricated on a thin film piezoelectric aluminum nitride (AlN) membrane that is excited as a film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR). We demonstrate that cutting 0.98 μm off of the tip apex results in a resonance frequency change of 0.4MHz at 6.387GHz. This work demonstrates the potential for in-situ monitoring of AFM tip wear.
Date of Conference: 23-27 Jan. 2011