Thermal noise is caused by random thermal excitations that result in positional fluctuations of the cantilever, thereby setting a lower limit on the force resolution of an atomic force microscope (AFM). However, thermal noise can also be utilized for measurement purposes. Here, the authors present three different approaches to exploit the information contained in the cantilever thermal motion (frequency shift, Brownian motion, and thermal mean square displacement) and some results concerning the characterization of the AFM system in the thermal driving regime. (C) 2010 American Vacuum Society.
- atomic force microscopy
- brownian motion