High-sensitivity noncontact atomic force microscope/scanning tunneling microscope (nc AFM/STM) operating at subangstrom oscillation amplitudes for atomic resolution imaging and force spectroscopy
Grimble, R. A.
Ozer, H. O.
Pethica, J. B.
Review of Scientific Instruments
American Institute of Physics
3656 - 3663
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We describe a new, highly sensitive noncontact atomic force microscope/scanning tunneling microscope (STM) operating in ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) with subangstrom oscillation amplitudes for atomic resolution imaging and force-distance spectroscopy. A novel fiber interferometer with similar to4x10(-4) A/rootHz noise level is employed to detect cantilever displacements. Subangstrom oscillation amplitude is applied to the lever at a frequency well below the resonance and changes in the oscillation amplitude due to tip-sample force interactions are measured with a lock-in amplifier. Quantitative force gradient images can be obtained simultaneously with the STM topography. Employment of subangstrom oscillation amplitudes lets us perform force-distance measurements, which reveal very short-range force interactions, consistent with the theory. Performance of the microscope is demonstrated with quantitative atomic resolution images of Si(111)(7x7) and force-distance curves showing short interaction range, all obtained with <0.25 Angstrom lever oscillation amplitude. Our technique is not limited to UHV only and operation under liquids and air is feasible. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.