Our complete products FAQ


What is the crystallographic orientation along the cantilever axis?

The cantilever is aligned parallel to the <110> direction.

Which parameters are precisely known for the determination of the resonance frequency and the force constant?

The cantilevers are made from monocrystalline silicon, therefore the resonance frequency and the force constant are very precisely determined by the geometry of the cantilever requiring no calibration. The thickness of the cantilever is measured with an interferometric microscope. Length and width are measured with an optical microscope. Resonance frequency and force constant are calculated with these measured values taking the approximate mass of the tip into account. The measurement errors and the simplifaction used in the calculation lead to the following error values for the resonance frequency and the force constant: Approximately 10% error for cantilevers 450µm in length, Approximately 20% error for cantilevers 125µm or 225µm in length.

What is exactly meant by "mean width" concerning the geometric dimensions of the cantilever?

Scetched cross-section of the cantilever

The cross section of the cantilever is trapezoidal. Therefore the cantilever has two geometrical widths, a smaller one on the tipside and a broader one on the opposite side. Thus “mean width” describes the median between those to values. E.g. the width on the tipside may be 30µm and the width on the opposite side may be 40µm resulting in a “mean width” of: (30µm+40µm)/2 = 35µm.

Does the tip radius of SuperSharpSilicon™ Tips increase over long storage times due to secondary oxidation?

Control measurements after six month of storage time have shown no increase in tip radius. The tip radius was still found to be 2nm or even better.

Is the PtIr5 coating affected by using the sensor in contact mode?

Yes, wear of the PtIr5 coating can occur if operating in contact, friction or force modulation mode leading to a dramatic reduction of the conductivity.
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