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Review of Scientific Instruments

Issue 6 • Date Jun 2000

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 60
  • Issue Table of Contents

    Page(s): toc1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Investigation of integrated diffractive/refractive microlens microfabricated by focused ion beam

    Page(s): 2263 - 2266
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    Integrated diffractive/refractive microlens with dual focus point is introduced in detail in the view of design, microfabrication, and testing. Two manufacturing methods—milling and deposition directly by focused ion beam technology is discussed and compared. It was shown by testing results that the deposition method is more suitable to form the refractive spherical/aspherical lens and milling is suitable for microfabrication of diffractive optical elements. Focusing spot size (full width at half maximum) are 0.55 and 0.87 μm (λ=638 nm) for refractive and diffractive lens, respectively, with NA 0.35 and 0.5. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Simultaneous strain–temperature measurement using fluorescence from Yb-doped silica fiber

    Page(s): 2267 - 2269
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    The effect of strain upon both the fluorescence intensity ratio and the fluorescence decay-time–temperature-sensing techniques has been studied using Yb-doped fiber. The measured variation with strain of the former method is consistent with no strain sensitivity, while the latter method demonstrates a linear dependence on strain. A single optical sensor element using both these fluorescence techniques thereby offers an attractive way of providing temperature compensation in a simultaneous strain and temperature monitoring system. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Reflectance and transmittance measurements of anisotropically scattering samples in focusing Coblentz spheres

    Page(s): 2270 - 2278
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    A procedure for obtaining the correct hemispherical reflectance and transmittance of anisotropically scattering samples in focusing Coblentz spheres are presented. Consideration is taken not only to the angle-dependent detector efficiency and to multiple reflections between sample and detector, but a separation of the scattered light into a low and a high angle fraction is also introduced. To validate the formalism, the correction procedure is applied to six samples with different scattering characteristics in the visible and near-infrared region. The agreement with results from a double beam spectrophotometer, equipped with an integrating sphere, was found to be good. Without making the separation into high and low angle scattering, it was not possible to reach agreement between the results from the Coblentz and integrating spheres, and errors of the order of 10% could be obtained. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Novel method to measure bulk absorption in optically transparent materials

    Page(s): 2279 - 2282
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    A novel method to measure low absorption of pulsed laser radiation by materials with high optical transparency is demonstrated. The absorbed energy generates a temperature gradient and thus a refractive index profile. A probe laser beam is deflected by the refractive index profile and its deflection is a measure of pure volume absorption without interference from surface effects. Numerical calculations were carried out to estimate the sensitivity of the discussed laser induced deflection (LID) arrangement and to optimize the path of the probe beam in relation to the irradiated field within the sample. The experimental results agree sufficiently with numerical calculations by finite element method combined with raytracing procedures. Because the transparency is not measured directly a calibration is necessary. To provide this, a sample with known bulk absorption coefficient and thermal properties was used. In order to compensate probe beam fluctuations in air outside the sample, a double beam arrangement was designed. The LID method is applied to investigate fused silica with high ultraviolet (UV) transparency under KrF excimer laser irradiation (λ=248 nm). A He/Ne laser serves as probe beam source. Using sample dimensions of 20×20×10 mm3 and UV beam cross sections of 5×5 mm2 absorbed power down to 1 mW is detected. At typical irradiation conditions (50 s-1, 300 mJ/cm2), this value corresponds with an absorption coefficient of around 2.5×10-4cm-1. The limitation of the absorption measurement depends on the input power of the pump laser. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • A simple instrument for ultraviolet-visible absorption spectrophotometry in high temperature molten salt media

    Page(s): 2283 - 2287
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    An inexpensive (≪US$5000) spectrophotometer of simple design was constructed from commercially available components for absorption spectroscopic studies in molten chloride salts. The spectrometer consists of a replaceable fused silica cell of 9×9 mm square exterior cross-section housed in a temperature-controlled ceramic tubular furnace of 13 mm inner diameter. Light communication to and from the cell occurs via a pair of 1 mm core silica-on-silica optical fibers from diametrically opposite sides. The light source is a pulsed xenon flash lamp and detection is accomplished by a photodiode array spectrometer card housed in a personal computer. The system has been operated up to temperatures of 950 °C. The effective spectral range is 280–650 nm at 900 °C; higher wavelengths can be accessed at lower operating temperatures. A spectral snapshot can be acquired in as little as 1 ms. With 1 s integration time, the intrinsic system noise level is ∼2×10-4 absorbance units. The system is compact and energy efficient. Applications of the system are demonstrated with spectral studies of some metal chloride systems in an equimolar sodium and potassium chloride eutectic. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Efficient discharge pumping of a copper vapor laser using a cylindrical grid electrode

    Page(s): 2288 - 2291
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    Experimental investigation of laser output characteristics of an elemental copper vapor laser using a cylindrical grid electrode has been carried out. The grid electrode, which is placed at the inside of a cathode and separated 2 cm away from a cathode, is used for increasing the output power by improving the discharge characteristics. When the grid electrode is coupled with a peaking capacitor, it is observed that the peak voltage (voltage hold-off) in the pulsed discharge wave forms increases by about 20%. Also, the initial part of the discharge current pulse is reduced. The laser average output power increased from 16 to 21 W. Additionally, when applying dc voltage (0–100 V) to the grid electrode, the output power increased by around 6%. The effect of employing the grid electrode and the mechanisms responsible for the improved characteristics are discussed. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Alignment system for crossed parabolic x-ray mirrors

    Page(s): 2292 - 2295
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    We describe the implementation of a crossed graded parabolic x-ray mirror system that is suitable for incorporation into both conventional and high resolution x-ray diffraction systems. A novel optical alignment system has been devised that permits independent adjustment of the positions and the angular settings of the mirrors. This alignment system is simple and inexpensive to construct, yet is mechanically stable and easy to use. The crossed mirror system has been successfully introduced into both protein crystallography and high resolution x-ray diffraction systems. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Reducing tilt errors in moiré linear encoders using phase-modulated grating

    Page(s): 2296 - 2300
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    A new hardware compensation method reducing displacement measurement errors, caused by tilt of the index scale in a moiré linear encoder, has been developed. In conventional moiré linear encoders, the detectors are aligned perpendicular to the line of the moiré fringes and this structure is very sensitive to an unwanted tilt of the gratings. In this article, a newly designed grating, called a phase-modulated grating, is developed to compensate for nonorthogonal errors. By using the phase-modulated grating instead of a conventional index, it is possible to reduce nonorthogonal errors of the moiré linear encoder. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Construction and testing of an 11.4 GHz dielectric structure based traveling wave accelerator

    Page(s): 2301 - 2304
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    We report on the design, numerical modeling, and experimental testing of a cylindrical dielectric loaded traveling wave structure for charged particle beam acceleration. This type of structure has similar accelerating properties to disk-loaded metal slow wave structures but with some distinct advantages in terms of simplicity of fabrication and suppression of parasitic wakefield effects. Efficient coupling of external rf power to the cylindrical dielectric waveguide is a technical challenge, particularly with structures of very high dielectric constant Є. We have designed and constructed an X-band structure loaded with a permittivity Є=20 dielectric to be powered by an external rf power source. We have attained high efficiency broadband rf coupling by using a combination of a tapered dielectric end section and a carefully adjusted coupling slot. Bench testing using a network analyzer has demonstrated a power coupling efficiency in excess of 95% with bandwidth of 30 MHz, thus providing a necessary basis for construction of an accelerator using this device. We have also simulated the parameters of this structure using a finite difference time domain electromagnetic solver. Within the limits of the approximations used, the results are in reasonable agreement with the bench measurements. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Pulse radiolysis of liquid water using picosecond electron pulses produced by a table-top terawatt laser system

    Page(s): 2305 - 2308
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    A laser based electron generator is shown, for the first time, to produce sufficient charge to conduct time resolved investigations of radiation induced chemical events. Electron pulses generated by focussing terawatt laser pulses into a supersonic helium gas jet are used to ionize liquid water. The decay of the hydrated electrons produced by the ionizing electron pulses is monitored with 0.3 μs time resolution. Hydrated electron concentrations as high as 22 μM were generated. The results show that terawatt lasers offer both an alternative to linear accelerators and a means to achieve subpicosecond time resolution for pulse radiolysis studies. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Fast impedance spectroscopy: General aspects and performance study for single ion channel measurements

    Page(s): 2309 - 2320
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    In the present work, we propose a novel technical approach in time domain impedance spectroscopy enabling both enhanced time and current resolution by an improved data analysis and hardware setup. We introduce nonstationary time-to-frequency conversion methods such as short-time Fourier transform and wavelet transform resulting in an improved time resolution. The combination of a time domain impedance spectrometer with a patch-clamp amplifier enables the resolution of gigaohm impedance at low perturbation signal amplitudes. A fast impedance spectroscopy (FIS) setup is presented which is optimized for biophysical application of single ion channel measurements in supported biomembranes. The applicability and performance of the technique is first evaluated by simulations. It is then verified by measurements on model circuits which exhibit the characteristic key properties of single ion channel measurements. Here, FIS improves the time resolution by about three orders of magnitude down to milliseconds. The general aspects derived in this work are also valid in other fields, where the spectral information of a perturbation applied on a system and its response is analyzed, e.g., mechanical impedance spectroscopy and microrheology. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Design and optimization of a corona discharge ionization source for ion mobility spectrometry

    Page(s): 2321 - 2328
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    In this work the possibility of using corona discharge as an ionization source in ion mobility spectrometry has been investigated. The results for both positive and negative polarity in air are consistent with the Townsend formula which states that I/V is a linear function of V. The distribution profile of the corona ions has also been investigated and compared with that of the 63Ni ionization source. Generally, the total ion current obtained from the corona ionization source was greater than that of the 63Ni source by about an order of magnitude, which results in a better sensitivity and a higher signal-to-noise ratio. The positive and negative spectra of air were recorded and the positive spectra of acetone and dimethylmethyl-phosphonate were compared with that of 63Ni. In the negative mode, a number of new peaks, apart from those of reactant ions, were observed which are mainly due to nitrogen oxides, formed by corona discharge. This problem was minimized by increasing the interdistance of the electrodes. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Characterization of neutral density profile in a wide range of pressure of cylindrical pulsed gas jets

    Page(s): 2329 - 2333
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    The neutral density profile of cylindrical gas jets is measured with a Mach–Zehnder interferometer under a wide range of backing pressures. The sensitivity of this diagnostic together with the mathematical treatment of the data allows us to measure neutral densities for argon gas as low as 1017cm-3 for a 5 mm diam gas jet. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Doppler-free two-photon excitation of Lyman-α fluorescence for the diagnostics of magnetically confined fusion plasmas

    Page(s): 2334 - 2352
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    Doppler-free two-photon excitation of hydrogen Lyman-α fluorescence is investigated as a possible laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) technique for the diagnosis of magnetically confined fusion (MCF) plasmas. A formal analysis is presented of the underlying atomic and plasma physics as well as of various practical aspects, such as parameter optimization and experimental precision. The latter is analyzed with regard to the photon noise and to the sensitivity of the fluorescence signals to the plasma and laser parameters. The diagnostic potential of the LIF technique described relies on its high spectral resolution. Thus, the absorption lines of the hydrogen isotopes H, D, and T are clearly separated from each other and can serve for isotope-selective density measurements. In addition, using a tunable laser system with small bandwidth, various plasma parameters can be inferred from the spectral line shapes, such as the neutrals’ temperatures or the effective charge number Zeff. The polarization of the fluorescence can, under favorable circumstances, be exploited for magnetic field measurements. The photon statistics impose neutral densities above 1014m-3 and thus make the diagnostic suitable primarily for the plasma edge. However, previous work has shown that it is applicable even in the plasma bulk of large machines if a neutral beam is used that generates sufficient neutral densities by charge exchange with the plasma ions. Variations or insufficient knowledge of the neutrals’ temperatures are found to seriously affect the precision of absolute isotope density measurements. They are rather uncritical, however, for the determination of the H/D/T density ratios, which are of prime importance for the burn control of large MCF devices. A notable sensitivity is also found to variations of the laser frequency detuning, which shou- ld be known and stable to better than 100 MHz. The perspectives demonstrated in the present study and the success of a first experiment on the plasma generator PSI 1 at IPP Berlin are considered to be sufficient motivation for testing the diagnostic on a tokamak or other MCF device. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Development of a novel fast frequency modulation scheme for the Joint European Torus multichannel reflectometer

    Page(s): 2353 - 2359
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    A novel frequency modulation scheme has been developed for the multichannel reflectometer used to measure density profiles and density fluctuations on the Joint European Torus (JET) tokamak. This reflectometer normally uses slow frequency sweeping (6 ms), combined with fixed-frequency operation, to measure the group delay, as well as plasma fluctuations, at ten different microwave frequencies. The novel scheme uses continuous frequency modulation on a time scale much shorter (1/65 μs) than that of plasma fluctuations, the main aim being to make the group delay measurement more robust against plasma fluctuations. This article discusses the theoretical background of the scheme, gives a detailed description of the system, and presents results from plasma measurements. Although the implementation used suffered from an excessive power-dependent group delay distortion (resulting in a positional error of 10 cm), the main objectives have been achieved. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Measurements of poloidal rotation velocity using charge exchange spectroscopy in a large helical device

    Page(s): 2360 - 2366
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    Absolute measurements of poloidal rotation velocity with the accuracy up to 1 km/s (2 pm in wavelength) were done using charge exchange spectroscopy in a large helical device. Radial profiles of the absolute Doppler shift of charge exchange emission with a beam are obtained from spectra measured with four sets of optical fiber arrays that view downward and upward at the poloidal cross section with and without neutral beam injection. By arranging the optical fiber from four arrays close to each other at the entrance slit, the apparent Doppler shift due to aberrations of the spectrometer and due to interference of the cold component (the charge exchange between He-like oxygen and thermal neutrals 8 pm from the charge exchange emission with a beam) can be eliminated from the measurements. The measured poloidal rotation velocity is 1–3 km/s in the electron diamagnetic direction at half of the plasma minor radius. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Calibration of a multiple microchannel plate detectors system by α-induced secondary electrons

    Page(s): 2367 - 2370
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    α particles emitted from an 241Am radioactive source at energies of 5.4 MeV generate bursts of about ten electrons when passing through an aluminized Mylar foil. Besides the typical surface barrier electrons, the energy spectra of the secondary electrons clearly reveal two additional peaks. One at 66 eV is ascribed to aluminum LVV Auger electrons and another at 10.5 eV is attributed to the decay of aluminum volume plasmons. The well-resolved angular and energy distributions of these secondary electrons are used to calibrate the relative detection efficiencies of a large set of individual detectors of a complex multicoincidence system. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • A proposed new microstructure for gas radiation detectors: The microhole and strip plate

    Page(s): 2371 - 2376
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    A new type of microstructure device for a gas radiation detector is proposed. This microstructure, the microhole and strip plate structure, merges the structures of a gas electron multiplier and a microstrip plate in one single plate. This design allows two-multiplication stages and a separation of the sensitive and the detection regions, with full optical positive feedback suppression. Simulations for gas gain and electron transparency of the microstructure are presented. Different applications are discussed. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Nitrogen-filled tube as a sensor of ionizing radiation

    Page(s): 2377 - 2379
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    The influence of secondary electrons released by gamma radiation from the cathode of a nitrogen-filled tube, on probability of electrical breakdown and memory curve, has been investigated. The results show that the nitrogen-filled tube is sensitive to gamma radiation only at longer afterglow periods in the case of overvoltage values grater than 50%. For shorter afterglow periods, the lower values of overvoltages can be used to separate the contribution of gamma rays. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Miniature photoconducting capacitor array as a source for tunable THz radiation

    Page(s): 2380 - 2385
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    The prospects of a miniature photoconducting capacitor array as a source for THz radiation are discussed. The device consists of an alternately biased capacitor array built on a semiconductor substrate and illuminated by a short laser pulse. The laser pulse creates a propagating plasma front inside the crystal volume by side illumination, and triggers the discharging of the capacitor by shorting out the photoconducting material between each capacitor plate. The sequential discharge of the capacitor array inside the expending plasma region can be considered as an interaction between a static wave and a superluminous ionizing front. In the present article we have demonstrated production of two cycle pulses with a center frequency of up to 1.5 THz. The device combines elements from the well-known “frozen-wave” generator and from the photoconducting switches array. The underlying physics of this radiation mechanism is very similar to the dc-to-ac conversion mechanism inside a gas-filled capacitor array which generates coherent microwave radiation. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Characterization of a microfocused circularly polarized x-ray probe

    Page(s): 2386 - 2390
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    We report on the development of a circularly polarized x-ray microprobe in the intermediate energy range from 5 to 10 keV. In this experiment linearly polarized synchrotron radiation was circularly polarized by means of a Bragg-diffracting diamond phase retarder and subsequently focused down to a spot size of about 4×2 μm2 by a Fresnel zone plate. The properties of the microprobe were characterized, and the technique was applied to the two-dimensional mapping of magnetic domains in HoFe2. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Quantitative measurement of sliding friction dynamics at mesoscopic scales: The lateral force apparatus

    Page(s): 2391 - 2402
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    We describe an apparatus designed to quantitatively measure friction dynamics at the mesoscopic scale. This lateral force apparatus, LFA, uses double parallel leaf springs in leaf-spring units as force transducers and two focus error detection optical heads, optical heads, to measure deflections. The design of the leaf-spring units is new. Normal spring constants are in the range of 20–4000 N/m, and lateral spring constants are 7–1000 N/m. The optical heads combine a 10 nm sensitivity with a useful range of about 100 μm. The proven range of normal forces is 400 nN–150 mN. The leaf-spring units transduce friction and normal forces independently. Absolute values of normal and friction forces are calibrated. Typical errors are less than 10%. The calibration is partly in situ, for the sensitivity of the optical heads, and partly ex situ for the normal and lateral spring constants of the leaf-spring units. There is minimal coupling between the deflection measurements in the lateral and normal directions. This coupling is also calibrated in situ. It is typically 1% and can be as low as 0.25%. This means that the displacements of the tip can be measured accurately in the sliding direction and normal to the surface. Together, these characteristics make the LFA, well suited for quantitative study of friction dynamics at mesoscopic scales. Furthermore the design of the leaf-spring unit allows exchange of tips which may be fabricated (e.g., etched) from wire material (d≈0.4 mm) and can have customized shapes, e.g., polished flat squares. The ability of the LFA to study friction dynamics is briefly illustrated by results of stick-slip measurements on soft polymer surfaces. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Nanoscale elasticity measurement with in situ tip shape estimation in atomic force microscopy

    Page(s): 2403 - 2408
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    For a quantitative evaluation of nanoscale elasticity, atomic force microscopy, and related methods measure the contact stiffness (or force gradient) between the tip and sample surface. In these methods the key parameter is the contact radius, since the contact stiffness is changed not only by the elasticity of the sample but also by the contact radius. However, the contact radius is very uncertain and it makes the precision of measurements questionable. In this work, we propose a novel in situ method to estimate the tip shape and the contact radius at the nanoscale contact of the tip and sample. Because the measured resonance frequency sometimes does not depend so sensitively on the contact force as expected from the parabolic tip model, we introduced a more general model of an axial symmetric body and derived an equation for the contact stiffness. Then, the parameters in the model are unambiguously determined from a contact force dependence of the cantilever resonance frequency. We verified that this method is able to provide an accurate prediction of the cantilever thickness, the tip shape, and the effective elasticity of soft and rigid samples. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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  • Controlled-atmosphere chamber for atomic force microscopy investigations

    Page(s): 2409 - 2413
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    The present work describes a simple chamber suitable for morphological investigations by implementing the atomic force microscopy (AFM) in controlled experiments. The novelty of our application stems from proposing an open system located in between the expensive, ultra-high-vacuum instruments and those working in air conditions, both available on the market. The former are in fact designed to obtain a detailed inspection of the samples and to develop particular geometries on them, by means of nanolithography or nanomanipulation, while the latter are designed for and used in all the situations in which the environmental conditions do not cause artifacts, problems, or formation of spurious particles on the samples during imaging. We have developed an ad hoc system based on a high-vacuum chamber (up to 10-6 Torr), which allows us to work under controlled-atmosphere conditions. The system, therefore, can be used with most of the samples which suffer from higher pressures, and exploits all the benefits arising from a controlled environment. We have equipped the chamber with an AFM and a sample-holder/mover. An external X–Y–Z motion controller, completely automated, allows the easy positioning of the sample under the sensing cantilever and the consequent relative approach. Experiments with the proposed system are presented, in which the control of environmental conditions during AFM measurements has been investigated with satisfactory results. © 2000 American Institute of Physics. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Review of Scientific Instruments, published by the American Institute of Physics, is devoted to scientific instruments, apparatus, and techniques.

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Editor
Albert T. Macrander
Argonne National Laboratory