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Dual resonance excitation system for the contact mode of atomic force microscopy

: Kopycinska-Müller, M.; Striegler, A.; Schlegel, R.; Kuzeyeva, N.; Köhler, B.; Wolter, K.-J.


Review of scientific instruments 83 (2012), No.4, Art. 043703
ISSN: 0034-6748
ISSN: 1089-7623
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZFP, Institutsteil Dresden ( IKTS-MD) ()

We propose an improved system that enables simultaneous excitation and measurements of at least two resonance frequency spectra of a vibrating atomic force microscopy (AFM) cantilever. With the dual resonance excitation system it is not only possible to excite the cantilever vibrations in different frequency ranges but also to control the excitation amplitude for the individual modes. This system can be used to excite the resonance frequencies of a cantilever that is either free of the tip-sample interactions or engaged in contact with the sample surface. The atomic force acoustic microscopy and principally similar methods utilize resonance frequencies of the AFM cantilever vibrating while in contact with the sample surface to determine its local elastic modulus. As such calculation demands values of at least two resonance frequencies, two or three subsequent measurements of the contact resonance spectra are necessary. Our approach shortens the measurement time by a fac tor of two and limits the influence of the AFM tip wear on the values of the tip-sample contact stiffness. In addition, it allows for in situ observation of processes transpiring within the AFM tip or the sample during non-elastic interaction, such as tip fracture.