Atomic Steps with tuning-fork-based noncontact atomic force microscopy

W.H.J. Rensen, N.F. van Hulst, A.G.T. Ruiter, P.E. West

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69 Citations (Scopus)


Tuning forks as tip-sample distance detectors are a promising and versatile alternative to conventional cantilevers with optical beam deflection in noncontact atomic force microscopy (AFM). Both theory and experiments are presented to make a comparison between conventional and tuning-fork-based AFM. Measurements made o­n a Si(111) sample show that both techniques are capable of detecting monatomic steps. The measured step height of 0.33 nm is in agreement with the accepted value of 0.314 nm. According to a simple model, interaction forces of 30 pN are obtained for the tuning-fork-based setup, indicating that, at the proper experimental conditions, the sensitivity of such an instrument is competitive to conventional lever-based AFM.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1640-1642
Number of pages3
JournalApplied physics letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • METIS-128618
  • IR-23819

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