Compositional mapping of surfaces in atomic force microscopy by excitation of the second normal mode of the microcantilever

Rodríguez, Tomás R.; García, Ricardo
January 2004
Applied Physics Letters;1/19/2004, Vol. 84 Issue 3, p449
Academic Journal
We propose a method for mapping the composition of a surface by using an amplitude modulation atomic force microscope operated without tip-surface mechanical contact. The method consists in exciting the first two modes of the microcantilever. The nonlinear dynamics of the tip motion, the coupling of its first two modes, and the sensitivity of the second mode to long-range attractive forces allows us to use this mode to probe compositional changes while the signal from the first mode is used to image the sample surface. We demonstrate that the second mode has a sensitivity to surface force variations below 10[sup -11] N. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.


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