A novel self-sensing technique for tapping-mode atomic force microscopy

Ruppert, Michael G.; Moheimani, S. O. Reza
December 2013
Review of Scientific Instruments;Dec2013, Vol. 84 Issue 12, p125006
Academic Journal
This work proposes a novel self-sensing tapping-mode atomic force microscopy operation utilizing charge measurement. A microcantilever coated with a single piezoelectric layer is simultaneously used for actuation and deflection sensing. The cantilever can be batch fabricated with existing micro electro mechanical system processes. The setup enables the omission of the optical beam deflection technique which is commonly used to measure the cantilever oscillation amplitude. Due to the high amount of capacitive feedthrough in the measured charge signal, a feedforward control technique is employed to increase the dynamic range from less than 1 dB to approximately 35 dB. Experiments show that the conditioned charge signal achieves excellent signal-to-noise ratio and can therefore be used as a feedback signal for atomic force microscopy imaging.


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