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Investigation of mechanical interactions between the tips of two scanning near-field optical microscopes

: Klein, Angela E.; Janunts, Norik; Tünnermann, Andreas; Pertsch, Thomas


Applied Physics. B 108 (2012), No.4, pp.737-741
ISSN: 0340-3793
ISSN: 0721-7269
ISSN: 0946-2171
ISSN: 1432-0649
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOF ()

We describe a method to monitor the distance between two tips of a scanning near-field optical microscope setup. The interaction between the two tips, caused by shear forces and air pressure oscillations between the tips, makes each oscillating tip perform an additional oscillation at the frequency of the other tip. The interaction is detected by analyzing one of the tuning fork signals with a lock-in amplifier locked at the oscillation frequency of the other tuning fork. The resulting signal, called crosstalk, increases sharply only when the scanning tip comes into the immediate vicinity of the stationary one. This effect allows us to prevent the tips from colliding during scanning.