Wednesday, October 07, 2009

US Patent 7596989 - Motion dissipation coating for AFM

Conventionally scanning probe microscopes used in nanometrology must compromise between the responsivity of the probe and damaging the nanoscopic samples under investigation. As an alternative this patent from Infinitesima Limited teaches coating the scanning probe tip with a polymer which provides a biasing force to enhance the probe responsivity without damaging the samples. Claim 1 reads:

1. A probe for use in an atomic force microscope, the probe comprising:

a tip and a beam,

the tip having a tip radius of 100 nm or less,

the beam connected to the tip and having a first and second side and coated on at least one of the first and second sides with a mechanical-energy dissipating polymer,

wherein the polymer includes one or more substance selected from the group consisting of i) rubber with low cross-linking density, and ii) a block copolmer material with a majority component that is an amorphous rubber with a glass transition temperature below room temperature and a minority component that is an amorphous polymer with a glass transition temperature above room temperature.