A novel approach to measuring local mechanical properties via photothermal excitation of an atomic force microscope probe using an optical pump-probe inspired design

Devon A. Eichfeld, Rinu Abraham Maniyara, Joshua A. Robinson, Brian M. Foley, Bladimir Ramos-Alvarado

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Obtaining and improving measurements of mechanical properties at the nanoscale has been made possible through the continuous advancement of atomic force microscopy (AFM) techniques over the past several decades. Among these advancements include implementing multifunctional AFM probes and developing new detection schemes that enable sensitivity to local mechanical properties. In this work, we demonstrate a proof-of-concept for a detection scheme that enables a standard AFM configuration to produce qualitative local mechanical property maps through the use of an optical pump-probe scheme, alleviating a common requirement of incorporating additional piezoelectric actuators. Data from this work are presented for silicon carbide and epitaxially grown graphene on silicon carbide. Through preliminary analysis of resonant frequency maps acquired through dual-frequency resonance tracking, the local stiffness and elastic modulus can be estimated at each point. This work contributes to the field of scanning probe microscopy by providing a new opportunity for AFM systems that are not currently equipped for a mechanical mode to obtain local mechanical property data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105035
JournalAIP Advances
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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