© 2015 Meier et al.We describe an atomic force microscope (AFM) for the characterization of self-sensing tunneling magnetoresistive (TMR) cantilevers. Furthermore, we achieve a large scan-range with a nested scanner design of two independent piezo scanners: a small high resolution scanner with a scan range of 5 × 5 × 5 μm3 is mounted on a large-area scanner with a scan range of 800 × 800 × 35 μm3. In order to characterize TMR sensors on AFM cantilevers as deflection sensors, the AFM is equipped with a laser beam deflection setup to measure the deflection of the cantilevers independently. The instrument is based on a commercial AFM controller and capable to perform large-area scanning directly without stitching of images. Images obtained on different samples such as calibration standard, optical grating, EPROM chip, self-assembled monolayers and atomic step-edges of gold demonstrate the high stability of the nested scanner design and the performance of self-sensing TMR cantilevers.
Meier, T., Förste, A., Tavassolizadeh, A., Rott, K., Meyners, D., Gröger, R., … Hölscher, H. (2015). A scanning probe microscope for magnetoresistive cantilevers utilizing a nested scanner design for large-area scans. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, 6(1), 451–461. https://doi.org/10.3762/bjnano.6.46