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More Quantitative Piezoresponse Force Microscopy Using the Cypher IDS

Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM) is the most powerful technique for nanoscale characterization of piezoelectric and ferroelectric materials. However, instrumental artifacts have made it very difficult to achieve accurate, reproducible measurements of the piezoelectric coupling coefficient (e.g. d33). Recent work has shown that the primary contribution to these errors comes from electrostatic interactions between the sample and cantilever that can excite resonance modes of the cantilever. Unfortunately, almost all AFMs use optical beam detection (OBD) that measures the cantilever angle instead of the true tip displacement. Therefore, the measured PFM response is a complex mix of actual piezoelectric response and these excited cantilever resonances. The Cypher IDS instead uses interferometric detection to measure the actual tip displacement, eliminating this electrostatic artifact. This enables the Cypher IDS, for the first time, to make PFM measurements more accurately and with greatly improved reproducibility. 

Read the application note to learn:

  • Introduction to PFM
  • Methods for improving PFM sensitivity
  • The origin of electrostatic artifacts in PFM and how to identify them
  • How the Cypher IDS eliminates these artifacts by measuring true tip displacement instead of cantilever angle
  • Review of published results using the Cypher IDS to make more quantitative PFM measurements

Download the Application Note
PDF preview of Quantitative Piezoresponse Force Microscopy of Scandium-Doped Aluminum Nitride using the Cypher IDS AFM, with Applications to Acoustic Resonator RF Filters