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
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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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