Robust approach to maximize the range and accuracy of force application in atomic force microscopes with nonlinear position-sensitive detectors

E C C M Silva, K J Van Vliet
2006 Nanotechnology  
The atomic force microscope is used increasingly to investigate the mechanical properties of materials via sample displacement under an applied force. However, both the extent of forces attainable and the accuracy of those forces measurements are significantly limited by the optical lever configuration that is commonly used to infer nanoscale deflection of the cantilever. We present a robust and general approach to characterize and compensate for the nonlinearity of the position-sensitive
more » ... ion-sensitive optical device via data processing, requiring no modification of existing instrumentation. We demonstrate that application of this approach reduced the maximum systematic error on the gradient of a force-displacement response from 50% to 5%, and doubled the calibrated force application range. Finally, we outline an experimental protocol that optimizes the use of the quasi-linear range of the most commonly available optical feedback configurations and also accounts for the residual systematic error, allowing the user to benefit from the full detection range of these indirect force sensors.
doi:10.1088/0957-4484/17/21/038 fatcat:gjqyyizsljb57lozkcv3mzuwjq