Membrane-Based Scanning Force Microscopy

David Hälg, Thomas Gisler, Yeghishe Tsaturyan, Letizia Catalini, Urs Grob, Marc Dominik Krass, Martin Héritier, Hinrich Mattiat, Ann Katrin Thamm, Romana Schirhagl, Eric C. Langman, Albert Schliesser, Christian L. Degen, Alexander Eichler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


We report the development of a scanning force microscope based on an ultrasensitive silicon nitride membrane optomechanical transducer. Our development is made possible by inverting the standard microscope geometry - in our instrument, the substrate is vibrating and the scanning tip is at rest. We present topography images of samples placed on the membrane surface. Our measurements demonstrate that the membrane retains an excellent force sensitivity when loaded with samples and in the presence of a scanning tip. We discuss the prospects and limitations of our instrument as a quantum-limited force sensor and imaging tool.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL021001
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2021


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