Probing deep interaction potentials with white-noise-driven atomic force microscope cantilevers

D. O. Koralek, W. F. Heinz, M. D. Antonik, A. Baik, J. H. Hoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perturbations to the thermally driven motion of an atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever can be used to probe tip-sample interactions. One limitation of such thermal-noise-based measurements is that they fail for large attractive interactions with force gradients that exceed the stiffness of the cantilever. In such cases, the AFM tip jumps to the surface and is trapped there for long periods of time. Here, we describe an approach to overcome this limitation by driving the AFM cantilever with white noise, essentially simulating high temperatures. Effective temperatures of several thousand Kelvin are easily obtained. We show that this approach allows the AFM tip to "thermally" sample interactions that would otherwise capture the tip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2952-2954
Number of pages3
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Probing deep interaction potentials with white-noise-driven atomic force microscope cantilevers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this