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Multiprobe and scanning probe microscope

Imported: 23 Feb '17 | Published: 22 Oct '02

Nobuhiro Shimizu, Hiroshi Takahashi, Yoshiharu Shirakawabe, Chiaki Yasumuro, Tadashi Arai

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A multiprobe device is provided for a scanning probe instrument and has a plurality of individually-selectable probe members for conducting scanning probe operations. The multiprobe has a plurality of cantilever probes supported by a support member. Each of the cantilevers is individually-selectable for use in conducting scanning probe operations, and each has a different resonance frequency from the others. In a preferred embodiment, portions of the respective cantilevers that are brought into contact with a sample to conduct scanning probe operations are arranged in a substantially linear configuration. A given one of the cantilevers is selected by vibrating the multiprobe at the resonance frequency of the given cantilever.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an enlarged plan view of a major part of an embodiment of a multiprobe according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a characteristics diagram showing resonance frequency characteristics of the multiprobe shown in FIG.

1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged plan view of a major part of another embodiment of a multiprobe according to the invention.

FIG. 4 is a characteristics diagram showing resonance frequency characteristics of the multiprobe shown in FIG.

3.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged plan view of a major part of still another embodiment of a multiprobe according to the invention.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged plan view of a major part of the multiprobe in FIG. 1 showing a more specific configuration of the same.

FIG. 7 is a circuit diagram of an example of a circuit configuration for measuring a sample utilizing the multiprobe shown in FIG.

6.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged plan view of a major part of the multiprobe shown in FIG. 7 showing a more specific configuration of the same.

FIG. 9 is a block diagram of an example of a configuration of a scanning probe microscope utilizing the multiprobe shown in FIG.

6.

Claims

1. A multiprobe comprising: a support body; and a plurality of cantilevers provided on the support body each being selectable for use as a scanning probe of a scanning probe microscope, the plurality of cantilevers each having a different resonance frequency from the others; wherein portions of the respective plurality of cantilevers which are brought into contact with a sample to conduct scanning probe measurements are arranged in a substantially linear configuration.

2. In a scanning probe microscope; a multiprobe according to claim 1 for measuring a sample, wherein the frequency of vibrations applied to the multiprobe is set so that only one of the plurality of cantilevers is involved in the measurement.

3. A multiprobe according to claim 1; wherein peaks of resonance of the cantilevers are different to a sufficient degree so that an operating point can be fixed at which only one of the cantilevers can be used to conduct scanning probe measurements.

4. A multiprobe comprising: a support body; a plurality of cantilevers provided on the support body each being selectable for use as a scanning probe of a scanning probe microscope, the plurality of cantilevers each having a different resonance frequency different from the others, portions of the respective plurality of cantilevers which are brought into contact with a sample to conduct scanning probe measurements being arranged in a substantially linear configurations; and a sensor for detecting distortion incorporated in each of the cantilevers to allow a self-detecting configuration.

5. A multiprobe according to claim 4; wherein the sensors all have the same configuration.

6. In a scanning probe microscope; a multiprobe according to claim 4 for measuring a sample, wherein the frequency of vibrations applied to the multiprobe is set so that only one of the plurality of cantilevers is involved in the measurement.

7. In a scanning probe microscope according to claim 6; wherein the sensor of a cantilever uninvolved in the measurement serves as a reference for eliminating distortion detected by the sensor of the cantilever involved in the measurement, so as to improve a signal-to-noise ratio of the measurement.

8. A multiprobe according to claim 4; further comprising a reference cantilever having therein a reference sensor having characteristics similar to those of the sensors incorporated in the plurality of cantilevers.

9. In a scanning probe microscope; a multiprobe according to claim 8 for measuring a sample, wherein the frequency of vibrations applied to the multiprobe is set so that only one of the plurality of cantilevers is involved in the measurement.

10. In a scanning probe microscope according to claim 9; wherein the reference sensor incorporated in the reference cantilever serves as a reference for eliminating distortion detected by the sensor of the cantilever involved in the measurement, so as to improve a signal-to-noise ratio of the measurement.

11. A multiprobe according to claim 1; wherein each of the cantilevers comprises an elongated member extending from the support body.

12. A multiprobe according to claim 1; wherein the portion of the respective cantilevers that is brought into contact with a sample comprises a needle formed on the respective cantilevers.

13. A multiprobe according to claim 12; wherein one end of the cantilevers is attached to the support body and the needle is formed proximate a distal end of the cantilevers opposite the support body.

14. A multiprobe according to claim 1; wherein the support body has a leading surface from which the plurality of cantilevers extend, each of the cantilevers has a first portion having a first length in a direction extending outward from the support body and a first width in a direction parallel to the leading surface of the support body, and one or more of the cantilevers has a second portion having a second width larger than the first width.

15. A multiprobe according to claim 14; wherein the second portion is formed at the support body end of the cantilevers.

16. A multiprobe according to claim 14, wherein the resonance frequency of cantilevers having the second portion is larger than that of cantilevers not having the second portion.

17. A multiprobe according to claim 14; wherein a plurality of the cantilevers have the second portion, and the second portion has a different length in each cantilever.

18. A multiprobe according to claim 1; wherein the resonance frequency of the respective cantilevers depends upon a length of the first portion thereof such that cantilevers having a shorter first portion have a smaller resonance frequency.

19. A multiprobe according to claim 1; wherein a spring constant of the respective cantilevers depends upon a length of the first portion thereof such that cantilevers having a shorter first portion have a larger spring constant.

20. A multiprobe according to claim 1; wherein the cantilevers have distal ends having needles arranged along a straight line parallel to a leading edge of the support body.

21. A multiprobe which is a probe device for a scanning probe instrument and has a plurality of individually-selectable probe members for conducting scanning probe operations, comprising: a support member; and a plurality of cantilevers supported by the support member each being individually-selectable for use in conducting scanning probe operations, each of the cantilevers having a different resonance frequency from the other cantilevers.

22. A multiprobe according to claim 21; wherein portions of the respective cantilevers brought into contact with a sample to conduct scanning probe operations are arranged in a substantially linear configuration.

23. A scanning probe microscope comprising: a multiprobe according to claim 21 for measuring a sample; means for controlling relative movement between the multiprobe and the sample; means for vibrating the multiprobe at a resonance frequency of one of the cantilevers to select the one cantilever for conducting measurements of the sample; means for detecting displacement of the selected the cantilever while the cantilever is scanned across the surface of the sample and converting the detected displacement into an electrical signal; and means for converting the electrical signal into an image signal representing a surface of the sample.

24. A scanning probe microscope according to claim 23; further comprising a sensor provided on each of the cantilevers to detect deflection of the cantilevers.

25. A scanning probe microscope according to claim 24; wherein the sensor of a non-selected cantilever serves as a reference for eliminating distortion detected by the sensor of the cantilever involved in the measurement, so as to improve a signal-to-noise ratio of the measurement.

26. A multiprobe according to claim 21; wherein peaks of resonance of the cantilevers differ only to a sufficient degree such that only one of the cantilevers can be used to conduct scanning probe measurements.

27. A multiprobe according to claim 21; further comprising a sensor provided on each of the cantilevers to detect deflection of the cantilevers.