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Rev Sci Instrum. 2019 Jan;90(1):013703. doi: 10.1063/1.5061831.

Calibration of the oscillation amplitude of electrically excited scanning probe microscopy sensors.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, McGill University, Montréal, Québec H3A 2T8, Canada.

Abstract

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is an analytical surface characterization tool which can reveal a sample's topography with high spatial resolution while simultaneously probing tip-sample interactions. Local measurement of chemical properties with high-resolution has gained much popularity in recent years with advances in dynamic AFM methodologies. A calibration factor is required to convert the electrical readout to a mechanical oscillation amplitude in order to extract quantitative information about the surface. We propose a new calibration technique for the oscillation amplitude of electrically driven probes using the principle of energy balance. Our technique relies on the measurement of the energy input to maintain the oscillation amplitude constant. With the measurement of the energy input to the probe, a mechanical oscillation amplitude is calculated and a calibration factor to convert the electrical readout in volts to a mechanical oscillation amplitude in Ångströms is obtained. We demonstrate the application of the new technique with a quartz tuning fork including the qPlus configuration, while the same principle can be applied to other piezoelectric resonators such as length extension resonators or piezoelectric cantilevers. The calibration factor obtained by this technique is found to be in agreement with using the thermal noise spectrum method for capsulated and decapsulated tuning forks and tuning forks in the qPlus configuration.

PMID:
30709205
DOI:
10.1063/1.5061831

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