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In this paper, we demonstrate high-resolution mapping of composite surfaces based on their nanomechanical properties by employing an atomic force microscope probe that can resolve high-frequency tip-sample interaction forces in tapping-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) (TM-AFM). Time-resolved force measurements are achieved by a small integrated interferometric high-bandwidth grating force sensor at the end of the cantilever beam. The probes are batch fabricated using optical lithography and are used in an AFM system with no further modification. The fabricated devices are characterized and grating-force-sensor signals and their measured spectra confirm that probes with integrated high-bandwidth force sensors can successfully resolve high-frequency tip-sample interaction forces. We utilize the capability of our probes to form images by recording the amplitude of the higher harmonics of the time-resolved tip-sample interaction forces with lock-in detection. These images show that our probes can successfully map, with high spatial resolution, the mechanical contrast due to different materials and structural differences in composite surfaces.
Date of Publication: June 2011