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Self-Sensing Cantilevers for Microscopy
Implement your AFM cantilever ideas even in small batch fabrications
SCL-Sensor.Tech develops and manufactures silicon piezo-resistive self-sensing cantilevers. This type of all-electrical cantilever allows completely new applications in the fields of AFM, nanoprobing, force measurement and other sensing applications.
Self-sensing cantilevers are equipped with a full piezo-resistive Wheatstone bridge that directly measures the cantilever signal electrically, removing the space-consuming requirement for an optical readout. Two variable resistors are on the cantilever and two on the chip. The cantilever chip is bonded onto a small PCB with a small connector for a quick and highly reproducible cantilever exchange. The sensor signal is read out and amplified by a small pre-amplifier PCB. This enables an easy and seamless integration with various instruments (e.g., SEM, TEM and many other measurement systems). The self-sensing cantilevers are available with a variety of resonance frequencies and spring constants.
Intuitive handling with self-sensing cantilever technology
- Silicon piezo-resistive self-sensing cantilevers enable complete new applications in the fields of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), nanoprobing, torque-magnetometry, or other sensing applications such as gas dynamics and media properties.
- These cantilevers exhibit an integrated piezo-resistive Wheatstone bridge which directly measures the cantilever deflection electrically. This readout technique removes the space-consuming optical laser readout needed before.
- Self-sensing technology enables an easy and seamless integration with various instruments (e.g. SEM, TEM, but also many other measurement systems). The cantilever chip is bonded onto a small PCB with a small connector for a quick cantilever exchange.
- Standard SCL self-sensing cantilevers exhibit a tip with a tip radius smaller than 15 nm and are available with a variety of resonance frequencies and spring constants. Tipless and long-life SCD-tip cantilevers are available, too.
“Our group at the University of Warwick uses SCL-Sensor.Tech piezo-resistive self-sensing cantilevers to measure the magnetic torque of ~50 micrometer-sized samples of novel metallic and magnetic materials. From torque measurements, we can obtain information about the magnetic, electronic, or superconducting properties of the sample. These experiments are conducted at low temperatures down to 0.5 K and high magnetic fields, thus requiring high standards of manufacturing and quality of all involved cantilever components. SCL-Sensor.Tech microcantilevers work very reliably and can be easily integrated in our existing laboratory infrastructure, by using a standard ac transport measurement technique to determine the piezo crystal’s resistance. The PCB-bonded cantilevers are easy to handle and their robust lever allows for a simple and easy mounting of the sample while at the same time maintaining a good sensitivity to changes in the magnetic torque. We are very happy with the QD UKI customer service for their pre-sale technical support and their reactions to feedback regarding customisation of the cantilevers to highly specific sample environments.” Dr. Kathrin Götze, University of Warwick