Effect of step function-like perturbation on intermittent contact mode sensors: A response analysis

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The dynamics of the intermittent contact mode (ICM) probe was investigated. In the experimental study we applied a step function signal to the Z piezo drive and recorded the amplitude signal of the probe while the probe was engaged with the surface. Transient overshoots appear at the edges of the steps. These transients are absent from the control contact force measurements, that is, they are proper to the ICM operation. The phenomenon was investigated by numerical calculations, focused on the effect of change of the drive frequency and the quality factor. We concluded, that the low value of the quality factor results in small transients and short settling time, which are necessary for fast atomic force microscopic operation. Simultaneously, the interaction force increases. Our calculations indicate that the tip-sample force can be lowered by setting the drive frequency slightly below the resonance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-127
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number1-2 SPEC.
Publication statusPublished - Mar 31 2003



  • Fast scanning atomic force microscopy
  • Intermittent contact mode
  • Numerical simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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