Evanescent Wave Atomic Force Microscopy

This invention is a method to measure the separation between the surface of a solid and the probe in a Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM), e.g., an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM).  The detection is non-destructive and easy to implement.  For example. in a conventional AFM measurement, the separation between the probe and the sample must be inferred from an examination of the forces. The invention allows the separation to be measured independently and without corruption by thermal drift.  Possible applications include automation of tip approach to the surface, even at distances where there is no surface force; scanning at a constant height above the sample, force-separation measurement, with true measurement of separation; and imaging in highly absorbing liquids.
Patent Information:
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
US Utility *United States 10/889,331 7,234,343 7/12/2004 6/26/2007 Abandoned
For Information, Contact:
Li Chen
Licensing Associate
Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties, Inc.
(540) 443-9217
William Ducker
Spencer Clark
John Walz