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Home > Press > New technology aiming to improve trueness in the piezoelectric microscopy characterization of ceramic materials

Side view of the two types of AFM probes used. The one at the right is a ultra-
long tip which diminish the electrostatic interaction between the cantilever and the sample.
Compared to the standard tip-which is images at the right side, the taller tip provides a
cleaner piezoresponse signal in order to acquire the piezoelectric response of the material.
Side view of the two types of AFM probes used. The one at the right is a ultra- long tip which diminish the electrostatic interaction between the cantilever and the sample. Compared to the standard tip-which is images at the right side, the taller tip provides a cleaner piezoresponse signal in order to acquire the piezoelectric response of the material.

Abstract:
A team of researchers from ICMAB has proved that unconventional AFM probes are suitable
to acquire a trueness piezoelectric signal in Piezoresponse Force Microscopy. The work
entitles “Diminish electrostatic in piezoresponse force microscopy through longer or
ultra-stiff tips” published in the prestigious scientific journal Applied Surface
Science( https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1WNqWcXa~oZkP )

New technology aiming to improve trueness in the piezoelectric microscopy characterization of ceramic materials

Barcelona, Spain | Posted on January 26th, 2018

Piezoresponse Force Microscopy is a strongly used characterization technique in the world
of piezoelectrics. Each year almost 300 manuscripts included this technique in their
research, while piezoelectric community publishes more than 5000 papers yearly.

In this work researchers test almost every single AFM conductive probe available in the
market using a novel method that quantifies the electrostatic contribution in their
measurements. The method relies into solving the mathematical expression called
“correlation function” that describes the mathematical operations that a lock-in amplifier
performs to acquire the signals. After the theoretical description, the same sample is studies
with different AFM tips available in the market, through the use of two distinct type of tests.

In the first test, the researchers increment the piezoelectric signal, while maintaining
constant the electrostatic contribution. By doing this, the mount of signal coming from
piezoelectricity increases, and hence, the changes in the final results a dramatically different.
From this test, it is found that longer tips provide the cleaner signal from the overall set of
probes used. These results are confirmed through the use of independent experiments that
corroborates the first results.

The implementation of this solution to the worldwide scientific community is immediate and
can be used in absolutely any AFM manufacturer, which expands the importance and
implications of this research.

####

Contacts:
Andres Gomez
ICMAB-CSIC, Campus UAB
Phone: 677602367
Fax: 677602367

Copyright © Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

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