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Transfer Function Analysis of Atomic Force Microscope Cantilevers

[+] Author Affiliations
F. J. Rubio-Sierra, R. W. Stark

University of Munich

R. Vazquez

University of California at San Diego

Paper No. IMECE2005-81156, pp. 485-491; 7 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Design Engineering, Parts A and B
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4215-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Current methods to study atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever dynamics use model simplification or are based on the non-trivial solution of the equation of motion. As an alternative method, transfer function analysis gives a more complete description of system dynamics. In this work a transfer function study of two different AFM configurations, the point force and base driven cantilever, is presented. Exact analytical expressions of the infinite dimensional transfer function are derived for cantilever deflection and slope along the cantilever. Frequency response and transfer function infinite product expansion are obtained for the case where system outputs are set at the free end of the cantilever. The frequency response reflects the full complexity of cantilever dynamics affected by the presence of an infinite number of poles and zeros. An analytical expression for all the zeros and poles of the system is obtained. From the frequency response and pole-zero investigations it is shown how cantilever actuation and output measurement affect AFM operation and cantilever dynamics modelling. Transfer function analysis of AFM cantilevers opens the possibility of model based AFM operation to increase imaging and manipulation performance.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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