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Calibration of atomic‐force microscope tips
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21.The AFM and tips were purchased from Park Scientific Instruments (1171 Borregas Ave., Sunnyvale, CA 94089). The software controlling the force-spectrum routine was modified to acquire 4096 points per measurement. Note that, as delivered, the feedback circuit controlling vertical displacement of the piezoelectric tube scanner cannot be disabled. The result is that the voltage applied across the piezo differs from the imposed value by about one volt (over a range of 300 V full scale). The extra, uncontrollable voltage may be removed by grounding the appropriate “fast feedback” line of the DB25 connector joining the SFM probe module to the main control unit. We thank V. Croquette for alerting us to this peculiarity of the Park AFM.
22.Model SR 850 DSP, Stanford Research Systems, 1290-D Reamwood Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94089. Note that in order to measure quantitative power spectra using a lock-in amplifier, one must divide the apparent power by the equivalent-noise bandwidth of the lock-in.
23.The lock-in was used more out of convenience than necessity. Further amplification of the detector signal would have permitted a direct measurement of the spring deflection.
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25.In practice, the detector signal drifts slightly during the measurement. We correct for this drift by a linear subtraction that straightens the baseline. Once the instrumental drift was removed, we fit the data using a nonretarded vdW potential. This is justified because almost all of the measurable deflection occurs within 200 Å of the tip.
26.The accuracy of our force spectrum measurements was increased—at the cost of measurement speed—by using a good voltmeter to measure directly the detector signal.
27.Had our measurement of the spring constant agreed with the manufacturer’s estimate, our value for the tip radius would have increased by a factor of 4.
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33.Note that the most recent versions of the AFM have tended to incorporate integral systems to measure and control piezo displacement. For such AFM’s, this part of our calibration is obviously unnecessary.
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