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Nano Science and Technology Institute 2005 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference & Trade Show
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Video Rate Atomic Force Microscopy

A.D.L. Humphris, D.J. Catto and J.K. Hobbs
Infinitesima Ltd., UK

high speed, AFM, SPM, video rate

In this paper the limitations of conventional approaches to scanning probe microscopy will be considered and new methods that over come these problems will be introduced. A video rate atomic force microscope will be presented that utilises a novel feedback system and micro resonant scanner which is capable of imaging a 3µm x 3µm area in less than 40 milliseconds, this is approximately 1000 time faster than conventional methods. The ability of the video rate atomic force microscope to follow molecular process with nanometre resolution at the millisecond time scale will be demonstrated through the real time visualisation of the crystallisation of a molten polymer surface. The high frame rate of the microscope also reduces the effect of the external environment and enables the user to explore the surface of the sample with nanometre resolution in real time. The presentation will also consider some of the devise and wide ranging applications that have been limited by the slow image acquisition rates of conventional atomic force microscopy, such as large area inspection and nanolithography.

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