Unlocking higher harmonics in atomic force microscopy with gentle interactions
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In dynamic atomic force microscopy, nanoscale properties are encoded in the higher harmonics. Nevertheless, when gentle interactions and minimal invasiveness are required, these harmonics are typically undetectable. Here, we propose to externally drive an arbitrary number of exact higher harmonics above the noise level. In this way, multiple contrast channels that are sensitive to compositional variations are made accessible. Numerical integration of the equation of motion shows that the external introduction of exact harmonic frequencies does not compromise the fundamental frequency. Thermal fluctuations are also considered within the detection bandwidth of interest and discussed in terms of higher-harmonic phase contrast in the presence and absence of an external excitation of higher harmonics. Higher harmonic phase shifts further provide the means to directly decouple the true topography from that induced by compositional heterogeneity.
CitationSantos, S. [et al.]. Unlocking higher harmonics in atomic force microscopy with gentle interactions. "Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology", 11 Març 2014, vol. 5, p. 268-277.