cantilever (rus. кантилевер) — common term used in scanning probe microscopy of the micromechanical probe design.

Description

A cantilever is a massive rectangular base with dimensions of ca. 1.5×3.5×0.5 mm with a projecting beam (the actual cantilever) with a width of about 0.03 mm and a length of 0.1 to 0.5 mm. One side of the beam is a mirror (sometimes a thin layer of aluminium is sprayed on it to enhance the reflected laser signal), which allows using an optical system to control the cantilever bend. A needle on the opposite free end of the beam interacts with the measured sample. The shape of the needle can vary considerably depending on the method of manufacture. The needle tip radius of industrial cantilevers ranges from 5 to 90 nm; for laboratory cantilevers it starts from 1 nm.

Typically, the entire structure, except for the needle, is a single silicon crystal. Cantilevers are also made of silicon nitride (Si3N4) or polymers. The production process is similar to the production of silicon electronics and includes dry or liquid-phase etching of the substrate.

Illustrations

Schematic diagram showing operation of an atomic force microscope. Cantilever is marked grey.
Schematic diagram showing operation of an atomic force microscope. Cantilever is marked grey.

Authors

  • Zotov Andrey V.
  • Saranin Alexander A.

Source

  1. Cantilever // Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantilever#In_microelectromechanical_systems (reference date: 12.12.2011).

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