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by Keyword: Tuning fork


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Botaya, Luis, Otero, Jorge, González, Laura, Coromina, Xavier, Gomila, Gabriel, Puig-Vidal, Manel, (2015). Quartz tuning fork-based conductive atomic force microscope with glue-free solid metallic tips Sensors and Actuators A: Physical , 232, 259-266

Abstract Here, we devise a conductive Atomic Force Microscope (C-AFM) based on quartz tuning forks (QTFs) and metallic tips capable of simultaneously imaging the topography and conductance of a sample with nanoscale spatial resolution. The system is based on a header design which allows the metallic tip to be placed in tight and stable mechanical contact with the QTF without the need to use any glue. This allows electrical measurements to be taken with an electrically excited QTF with the two prongs free. The amplitude oscillation of the QTF is used to control the tip-sample distance and to acquire the topographic images. Meanwhile, the metallic tip is connected to a current–voltage amplifier circuit to measure the tip-sample field emission/tunneling current and to produce the conductive images. This method allows decoupled electrical measurement of the topography and electrical properties of the sample. The results we obtain from calibration samples demonstrate the feasibility of this measurement method and the adequacy of the performance of the system.

Keywords: AFM, Conductive AFM, Quartz tuning fork


Hofer, M., Adamsmaier, S., van Zanten, T. S., Chtcheglova, L. A., Manzo, C., Duman, M., Mayer, B., Ebner, A., Moertelmaier, M., Kada, G., Garcia-Parajo, M. F., Hinterdorfer, P., Kienberger, F., (2010). Molecular recognition imaging using tuning fork-based transverse dynamic force microscopy Ultramicroscopy , 110, (6), 605-611

We demonstrate simultaneous transverse dynamic force microscopy and molecular recognition imaging using tuning forks as piezoelectric sensors. Tapered aluminum-coated glass fibers were chemically functionalized with biotin and anti-lysozyme molecules and attached to one of the prongs of a 32 kHz tuning fork. The lateral oscillation amplitude of the tuning fork was used as feedback signal for topographical imaging of avidin aggregates and lysozyme molecules on mica substrate. The phase difference between the excitation and detection signals of the tuning fork provided molecular recognition between avidin/biotin or lysozyme/anti-lysozyme. Aggregates of avidin and lysozyme molecules appeared as features with heights of 1-4 nm in the topographic images, consistent with single molecule atomic force microscopy imaging. Recognition events between avidin/biotin or lysozyme/anti-lysozyme were detected in the phase image at high signal-to-noise ratio with phase shifts of 1-2 degrees. Because tapered glass fibers and shear-force microscopy based on tuning forks are commonly used for near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM), these results open the door to the exciting possibility of combining optical, topographic and biochemical recognition at the nanometer scale in a single measurement and in liquid conditions.

Keywords: Tuning fork, Atomic force microscopy, Shear-force microscopy, Molecular recognition, Avidin-biotin