Multiple-fibre interferometry setup for probe sample interaction measurements in atomic force microscopy

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) often relies on the assumption that cantilever bending can be described by simple beam theory and that the displacement of the tip can be evaluated from the cantilever angle. Some more advanced metrological instruments use free-space or fibre interferometers for measuring the position of the cantilever apex directly, thereby simplifying the metrology traceability chain. The next logical development, covering measurements of both the cantilever apex position and its deformation due to lateral forces acting during different AFM measurement regimes, is presented in this paper. It is based on using a set of closely packed fibre interferometers that can be used to determine localised bending of the cantilever at different positions along the cantilever. This can be used for detection of cantilever deformation beyond classical beam theory, and can yield both better understanding of sources of uncertainty in individual AFM force-distance measurements and more accurate scanning in constant height mode in high-speed AFM applications.
Measurement Science and Technology. 2020, vol. 31, issue 9, p. 1-11.
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