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Direct actuation of cantilever in aqueous solutions by electrostatic force using high-frequency electric fields

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4 Author(s)
Umeda, Ken-ichi ; Department of Electronic Science and Engineering, Kyoto University, Katsura, Nishikyo, Kyoto 615-8510, Japan ; Kobayashi, Kei ; Matsushige, Kazumi ; Yamada, Hirofumi

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We recently developed a method to directly actuate a cantilever in aqueous solutions by electrostatic force [K.-I. Umeda etal, Appl. Phys. Express 3, 065205 (2010)]. However, the cantilever was actuated by surface stress in a low frequency regime. We solved this problem by applying amplitude-modulated high-frequency electric fields, which actuates the cantilever solely by electrostatic force. The time variations of the self-oscillation frequency of a cantilever and the Au(111) surface images by frequency-modulation atomic force microscopy using acoustic, photothermal, and the improved electrostatic actuation methods were compared, which demonstrates the advantages of the last method such as stability and simplicity in instrumentation.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:101 ,  Issue: 12 )