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Probes with piezoresistive read-out enable reproducible atomic-resolution imaging. The thermomechanical actuator* integrated “on the probe” is suitable for excitation of the cantilever in its resonance frequency actuation and a static displacement without interference to the mechanical AFM-setup. An integration of on-probe force delivery based on thermomechanical excitation makes up to seven or more eigen-modes operation possible. The piezoresistive Wheatstone bridge configuration of the read-out and the unique design enable effective temperature and actuator crosstalk compensation. Thermomechanical actuation is based on multi-layer structures composed of diverse thin film layers. Different coefficients of thermal expansion between the layers result in bending of the cantilever by means of differential extension of composite layers. In the context, the displacement of the cantilever tip can be precisely controlled by the dissipated electrical power in the embedded thin-film metallic resistor. nano analytik GmbH developed for its customers a series of small form-factor preamplifiers with high-bandwidth and low-noise performance, suitable for fast AFM applications. The preamplifier module has a small mass and can be integrated in any AFM-head in sample- and cantilever-scanning configuration.


Cantilever Data


Typical variation


Non contact, contact mode (90° to Surface)

Possible operating mode

Active / passive


Yes, thermally driven actuator


Yes, piezoresistive




W = 120 µm

+/- 5 µm

L = 350 µm

+/- 10 µm

T = 3 - 5 µm is possible

+/- 1 µm

Tip hight

4.5 µm in plane

+/- 10%

Tip position from top

3 µm

+/- 0.5 µm

Force Constant

10 - 70 N/m possible

+/- 10 N/m

Resonance Frequency

f = 30 - 110 kHz is possible

+/- 5 kHz

Possible Coatings

Upon request, reflective backside-coating of proven materials

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