Dynamic Force Sensor for In Situ Studies of Nanometer Size Contacts with Controllable Gap Potential
Nanometer size mechanical devices, which utilize dynamic force interaction, such as friction, may provide basis for new generation of electromechanical applications with superior speed and energy effectiveness compared to conventional semiconductor electronics. Experimental verification of theoretical model systems for friction force on nanoscale is difficult since the interaction is sensitive to exact chemical composition of interacting materials as well as precise definition of the contact geometry. In this work we address the geometrical and electrostatic aspect of dynamic shear force interaction between two nanometer size objects. An atomic force microscope (AFM) tip is attached to a quartz tuning fork (TF) in a way, which minimizes the added mass to the TF prongs and allows accurate control of the contact potential. The nanogap to the mating electrode is established by in-situ piezoelectric manipulator in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The TF oscillation signal recorded at various gap distances shows distinct dependency on applied electrostatic potential.
R. Popļausks et al., "Dynamic Force Sensor for In Situ Studies of Nanometer Size Contacts with Controllable Gap Potential", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 222, pp. 166-169, 2011