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.

Satyam Ladva

Technical Sales Engineer
+44 (0)1372 378822
satyam@qd-uki.co.uk

Options

Self-Sensing Cantilevers with Silicon Tip

SCL-Sensor.Tech_Si-Tip

This is considered the standard type of self-sensing cantilever. It exhibits a sharp tip made of silicon with a tip radius of <15 nm. Normally, the cantilever is delivered on our cantilever PCB (CL-PCB) with a small 10 pin connector on its lower side. On request you can order only the Si chip without PCB and connector for bonding on your own PCB holder.

This cantilever type can come with or without an integrated heater. PRSA (Piezo-Resistive Sensing & Active) cantilever probes are equipped with an additional thermal actuator (heater structure) on the cantilever. PRS (Piezo-Resistive Sensing) cantilever probes provide the sensing Wheatstone bridge (without a thermal actuator).

 

PRSA-L300-F50/80-Si-PCB/CHP Probe Specifications

 

(Available in two specification ranges with a medium frequency of 50 kHz or 80 kHz depending on cantilever thickness.)

SCL-Sensor.Tech_Si-Tip

Common (for both types)
Silicon tip radius (rtip) < 15 nm
Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 305 µm, w = 110 µm
Sensitivity (s) 1-2 µV/nm
Applications AFM, nanoprobing, force measurement in-situ SEM or TEM, etc.
PRSA-L300-F50-Si-PCB
Resonant frequency (fR) 30…65 kHz
Stiffness (k) 1…15 N/m
PRSA-L300-F80-Si-PCB
Resonant frequency (fR) 65…95 kHz
Stiffness (k) 15…56 N/m

 

PRSA-L100-F400-Si-PCB Probe Specifications

SCL-Sensor.Tech_L100

Silicon tip radius (rtip) < 15 nm
Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 110 µm, w = 48 µm
Sensitivity (s) 2 µV/nm
Applications AFM, nanoprobing, force measurement in-situ SEM or TEM, etc.
Resonant frequency (fR) 250…550 kHz
Stiffness (k) 14…170 N/m

 

PRS-L70-F900-Si-PCB/CHP Probe Specifications

Silicon tip radius (rtip) < 15 nm
Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 70…85 µm, w = 30 µm
Sensitivity (s) 3 µV/nm
Applications Tapping mode AFM, nanoprobing, force measurement in-situ SEM or TEM, etc.
Resonant frequency (fR) 500…1300 kHz
Stiffness (k) 35…400 N/m

Self-Sensing Tipless Cantilevers

SCL-Sensor.Tech_Tipless

These are self-sensing cantilevers without a tip (tipless, TL). This cantilever type is especially suitable for torque magnetometry, force sensing, gas property measurements, and many more applications. The free place where normally the AFM tip is located can be used to accept your own tip, glue a sample, or other uses. Normally, the cantilever is delivered on our cantilever PCB (CL-PCB) with a small 10 pin connector on its lower side. On request you can order only the Si chip without PCB and connector for bonding on your own PCB holder.

This cantilever type can come with or without an integrated heater. PRSA (Piezo-Resistive Sensing & Active) cantilever probes are equipped with an additional thermal actuator (heater structure) on the cantilever. PRS (Piezo-Resistive Sensing) cantilever probes provide the sensing Wheatstone bridge (without a thermal actuator).

 

PRSA-L300-F50/80-TL-PCB/CHP Probe Specifications

 

(Available in two specification ranges with a medium frequency of 50 kHz or 80 kHz depending on cantilever thickness.)

SCL-Sensor.Tech_L300-TL

Common (for both types)
Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 300 µm, w = 110 µm
Sensitivity (s) 1…2 µV/nm
Applications Torque magnetometry, force sensing, gas properties, mounting of special tips.
PRSA-L300-F50-Si-PCB
Resonant frequency (fR) 30…65 kHz
Stiffness (k) 1…15 N/m
PRSA-L300-F80-Si-PCB
Resonant frequency (fR) 65…95 kHz
Stiffness (k) 15…56 N/m

 

PRSA-L100-F400-TL-PCB/CHP Probe Specifications

SCL-Sensor.Tech_L100-TL

Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 110 µm, w = 48 µm
Sensitivity (s) 1…3 µV/nm
Applications Torque magnetometry, force sensing, gas properties, mounting of special tips.
Resonant frequency (fR) 250…550 kHz
Stiffness (k) 14…170 N/m

 

PRSA-L450-F30-TL-PCB/CHP Probe Specifications

SCL-Sensor.Tech_L450-TL

Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 450 µm, w = 100 µm
Sensitivity (s) 1…2 µV/nm
Applications Torque magnetometry, force sensing, gas properties, mounting of special tips.
Resonant frequency (fR) 14…48 kHz
Stiffness (k) 0.5…24 N/m

Self-Sensing Cantilevers with Single Crystal Diamond (SCD) Tip

These are self-sensing cantilevers with a hard, sharp, long-life single crystal diamond tip (SCD). The cantilever is delivered on our cantilever PCB (CL-PCB) with a small 10 pin connector on its bottom side.

This cantilever type can come with or without an integrated heater. PRSA (Piezo-Resistive Sensing & Active) cantilever probes are equipped with an additional thermal actuator (heater structure) on the cantilever. PRS (Piezo-Resistive Sensing) cantilever probes provide the sensing Wheatstone bridge (without a thermal actuator).

 

PRSA 300×100µm SCD Probe Specifications

(Available in two specification ranges with a medium frequency of 50 kHz or 80 kHz depending on cantilever thickness.)

Silicon tip radius (rtip) < 15 nm
Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 300 µm, w = 110 µm
Sensitivity (s) 1-2 µV/nm
Applications AFM, nanoindentation, scratching,
imaging of high aspect ratio sample features,
force measurement in-situ SEM or TEM
Resonant frequency (fR) 30…65 kHz
Stiffness (k) 1…15 N/m

 

PRSA 100×48µm SCD Probe Specifications

SCL-Sensor.Tech_SCD-L100

Silicon tip radius (rtip) < 15 nm
Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 110 µm, w = 48 µm
Sensitivity (s) 2 µV/nm
Applications AFM, nanoindentation, scratching,
imaging of high aspect ratio sample features,
force measurement in-situ SEM or TEM
Resonant frequency (fR) 250…550 kHz
Stiffness (k) 14…170 N/m

 

PRS 450×100µm SCD Probe Specifications

SCL-Sensor.Tech_SCD-L450

Silicon tip radius (rtip) < 15 nm
Cantilever length, width (l/w) l = 450 µm, w = 100 µm
Sensitivity (s) 1…2 µV/nm
Applications AFM, nanoindentation, scratching,
imaging of high aspect ratio sample features,
force measurement in-situ SEM or TEM
Resonant frequency (fR) 14…48 kHz
Stiffness (k) 0.5…24 N/m

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