Istituto di Biofisica     
Mariani T., Frediani C., Ascoli C. A three-dimensional scanner for probe microscopy on the millimetre scale. In: Applied Physics A-Materials Science & Processing, vol. 66 (1) pp. S861 - S866. Springer, 1998.
High resolution is an important feature of the atomic force microscope (AFM) and other scanning probe microscopes (SPM), but their ability to measure different physical properties also makes them useful at lower magnifications. A larger scan range is required in this case, and SPM manufacturers have been developing instruments able to image areas similar to that framed by a 100 optical microscope objective. To obtain a very large scan range we tried using electrodynamic positioners, derived from audio loudspeakers, in an original configuration that uses pivoted levers to sum and amplify the displacement given by different actuators. The prototype that we built scans a volume of about mm3, and was able to take good scanning-force images on a scale that is out of the reach of other instruments, either commercial or experimental. The resolution of the prototype was of the order of ten nanometres. The advantages and limits of the instrument are briefly discussed.
DOI: 10.1007/s003390051257

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