Calibration of silicon atomic force microscope cantilevers

Christopher T. Gibson, D. Alastair Smith, Clive J. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


We present a comparison of three different methods to calibrate the spring constant of two different types of silicon beam shaped atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilevers to determine each method's accuracy, ease of use and potential destructiveness. The majority of research in calibrating AFM cantilevers has been concerned with contact mode levers. The two types of levers we have studied are used in force modulation and tapping mode in air. Not only can these types of cantilevers have spring constants an order of magnitude greater than contact mode levers, but also their geometries can be quite different from the standard V-shape contact lever. In this work we experimentally determine the correction factors for two of the calibration methods when applied to the tapping mode cantilevers and also demonstrate that the force modulation levers can be calibrated easily and accurately using these same techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-238
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


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