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Nonlinear Detection of Ultrasonic Vibrations in an Atomic Force Microscope

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1/08/1993
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics
Number of pages4
Original languageEnglish


A new method is proposed to detect ultrasonic vibration of the samples in the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) using nonlinearity in the tip-sample interaction force curve F(z). Small amplitude ultrasonic vibration less than 0.2 nm is detected as an average displacement of a cantilever. This Ultrasonic Force Mode (UFM) of operation is advantageous in detecting ultrasonic vibration with frequencies up to the GHz range, using an AFM cantilever with a resonant frequency below 100 kHz. It was found that a strong repulsive force is acting after an ultrasonic amplitude threshold of the is crossed, with the amplitude of this threshold depending upon the average force applied to the tip.