Rui Xu, Yi Liu, Zhimu Yang, Qinmeng Jiang, Yanhui Zhang, Jianli Wang

Application of calibrated and reusable probes on a home-made scanning probe microscope platform

  • Instrumentation

The replacement of an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) probe is inevitable due to blunting or contamination of its tip during usage. The fabrication of AFM probes is a complex and costly process, and the mechanical properties of these probes need to be calibrated due to material defects before use, making this procedure intricate. Taking inspiration from the Wollaston probe, we have developed a T-shaped tungsten probe and installed it into a home-made scanning probe microscope. The normal stiffness coefficient of this probe can be determined by gradually eroding the tip and altering the probe mass, resulting in a change in resonance frequency. We assess the reliability of this probe by comparing its scanning topography with that of a commercially available AFM. Furthermore, we investigate the wear resistance of the probe and demonstrate the effectiveness of re-corrosion sharpening after passivation, which yields scanning results equivalent to those obtained with a new probe.

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