Characteristic tip substrate capacitance studied using force spectroscopy method of atomic force microscopy

Research paper by Reynier I. Revilla

Indexed on: 22 Jan '16Published on: 22 Jan '16Published in: Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect


The characteristic tip_substrate capacitance is crucial for understanding the localized electrical properties in atomic force microscopy (AFM). Since it is highly dependent on tip geometrical features, estimation of the tip_substrate characteristic capacitance for a given probe is very complex, involving empirical measurements and numerical simulations. In this paper we propose a facile approach to study the tip_substrate characteristic capacitance using AFM force spectroscopy technique. In this scheme, an analytical expression is considered to model the tip_sample interaction, in which the coefficients are directly dependent on the tip_substrate capacitance. This method avoids any complex simulation involving irregular shape of AFM tips. Additionally, it considerably reduces amount of experimental data needed for the calculation compared with other techniques. The work presented here also corroborates that for tip_sample separation lower than 200 nm, the parallel plate_capacitor approximation is not very appropriate to describe the tip_substrate capacitive interaction, but an intermediate approximation between a sphere_plane and a cone_plane geometry seems to be more appropriate.