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Self-Driving Capacitive Cantilevers for High-Frequency Atomic Force Microscopy

By Keith A. Brown, Benjamin A. Yang and Robert M. Westervelt


We demonstrate a simple way to actuate an atomic force microscope cantilever at high frequencies by electrically driving a thin-film capacitor on its surface. Capacitive driving directly actuates the vibrational mode of the cantilever, removing the effects of unwanted mechanical modes present in conventional driving systems and removing the need for a drive piezoelectric. Practical vibration amplitudes are attainable at drive voltages <5 V. We capacitively drive the first mechanical resonance of a tapping mode cantilever (243 kHz) and a high-frequency cantilever (1.5 MHz) with vibration amplitudes in agreement with our model of capacitive driving.Physic

Publisher: 'AIP Publishing'
Year: 2012
DOI identifier: 10.1063/1.3679684
OAI identifier:

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