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Journal Articles Nanoscale Year : 2020

Optomechanical Resonating Probe for Very High Speed Sensing of Atomic Forces

Colin Mismer
  • Function : Author
Benjamin Walter
  • Function : Author


Atomic force spectroscopy and microscopy (AFM) are invaluable tools to characterize nanostructures and biological systems. Most experiments, including state-of-the-art images of molecular bonds, are achieved by driving probes at their mechanical resonance. This resonance reaches the MHz for the fastest AFM micro-cantilevers, with typical motion amplitude of a few nanometres. Next-generation investigations of molecular scale dynamics, including faster force imaging and higher-resolution spectroscopy of dissipative interactions, require more bandwidth and vibration amplitudes below interatomic distance, for non-perturbative short-range tip-matter interactions. Probe frequency is a key parameter to improve bandwidth while reducing Brownian motion, allowing large signal-to-noise for exquisite resolution. Optomechanical resonators reach motion detection at 10^(-18) m.(Hz)^(-1/2), while coupling light to bulk vibration modes whose frequencies largely surpass those of cantilevers. Here we introduce an optically operated resonating optomechanical atomic force probe of frequency 2 decades above the fastest functional AFM cantilevers while Brownian motion is 4 orders below. Based on a Silicon-On-Insulator technology, the probe demonstrates high-speed sensing of contact and non-contact interactions with sub-picometre driven motion, breaking open current locks for faster and finer atomic force spectroscopy.
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Dates and versions

hal-01908683 , version 1 (21-07-2022)



Pierre Etienne Allain, Lucien Schwab, Colin Mismer, Marc Gély, Estelle Mairiaux, et al.. Optomechanical Resonating Probe for Very High Speed Sensing of Atomic Forces. Nanoscale, 2020, 12 (5), pp.2939-2945. ⟨10.1039/C9NR09690F⟩. ⟨hal-01908683⟩
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