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Calibration of lateral force microscopy cantilevers is essential for the measurement of nanonewton and piconewton frictional forces, which are critical to analytical applications of polymer surfaces, biological structures, and organic molecules at nanoscale lateral resolution. We have developed a compact and easy-to-use reference artifact for this calibration, the lateral electrical nanobalance (LEN), which can be made traceable to the Syst̀me International d'Unit́s. A noncontact method has been developed for measuring the lateral spring constant of these artefacts, by a combination of electrical measurements and Doppler velocimetry. Traceability is crucial to ensure that force measurements by an atomic force microscope are comparable to those made by optical tweezers and other methods. The LEN is a microelectromechanical system device fabricated by silicon-on-insulator micromachining, and therefore has extremely low mass and good immunity to vibration. © 2005 American Vacuum Society.
Author(s): Cumpson PJ, Hedley J, Clifford CA
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures
Print publication date: 01/01/2005
ISSN (print): 1071-1023
ISSN (electronic): 1520-8567
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
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