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Rev Sci Instrum. 2012 Jul;83(7):073702. doi: 10.1063/1.4731656.

Scanning superconducting quantum interference device on a tip for magnetic imaging of nanoscale phenomena.

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Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


We describe a new type of scanning probe microscope based on a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) that resides on the apex of a sharp tip. The SQUID-on-tip is glued to a quartz tuning fork which allows scanning at a tip-sample separation of a few nm. The magnetic flux sensitivity of the SQUID is 1.8 μΦ(0)/√Hz and the spatial resolution is about 200 nm, which can be further improved. This combination of high sensitivity, spatial resolution, bandwidth, and the very close proximity to the sample provides a powerful tool for study of dynamic magnetic phenomena on the nanoscale. The potential of the SQUID-on-tip microscope is demonstrated by imaging of the vortex lattice and of the local ac magnetic response in superconductors.


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