A cantilever-based, ultra-high vacuum, low temperature scanning probe instrument for multidimensional scanning force microscopy

Submitting author affiliation:
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), Dubendorf, Switzerland

Beilstein Arch. 2022, 202246. https://doi.org/10.3762/bxiv.2022.46.v1

Published 09 Jun 2022

This preprint has not been peer-reviewed. When a peer-reviewed version is available, this information will be updated.


Cantilever-based atomic force microscopy (AFM) performed under ambient conditions has become an important tool to characterize new material systems as well as devices. Current instruments permit robust scanning over large areas, atomic scale lateral resolution and the characterization of various sample properties using multifrequency and multimodal AFM operation modes. Research of new quantum materials and devices however, often requires low temperatures and ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. In this article, we describe a cantilever-based low temperature UHV AFM setup that allows to transfer of the versatile AFM techniques developed for ambient conditions to UHV and low temperature conditions. We demonstrate that such a cantilever-based AFM offers experimental flexibility by permitting multimodal or multifrequency operations with superior force derivative sensitivities and bandwidths. Our instrument has a sub-picometer gap stability and can simultaneously map not only vertical and lateral forces with atomic-scale resolution, but also perform rapid overview scans with the tip kept at larger tip-sample distances for robust imaging.

Keywords: atomic force microscopy; ultra-high vacuum; atomic resolution; multimodal operation; instrumentation design

How to Cite

When a peer-reviewed version of this preprint is available, this information will be updated in the information box above. If no peer-reviewed version is available, please cite this preprint using the following information:

Liu, H.; Ahmed, Z.; Vranjkovic, S.; Parschau, M.; Mandru, A.-O.; Hug, H. J. Beilstein Arch. 2022, 202246. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2022.46.v1

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