Thursday, October 16, 2008

US Patent 7434445 - Power spectrum analysis of microcantilevers

Microfabricated cantilevers are an important component of Atomic Force Microscopes as well as many MEMS sensors. This patent from Asylum Research teaches an apparatus for providing a more sensitive calibration of the cantilever using a power spectrum detector to detect shifts in resonance frequency. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus for determining cantilever parameters, comprising:

means for measuring a drag force acting on a cantilever by monitoring a deflection of the cantilever;

means for determining a power spectrum of the cantilever;

means for measuring motion of a base of the cantilever; and

means for determining one or more characteristics of the cantilever based on the motion of the base, the power spectrum, and the cantilever deflection.