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Band Excitation Method Applicable to Scanning Probe Microscopy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryUsing adaptive band excitation, ORNL researchers invented new scanning probe microscopy (SPM) techniques that offer improved data acquisition, processing, and control. These techniques enable researchers to carry out functional imaging and manipulation down to the nanometer and atomic scale. DescriptionThe invention can be applied to all force-based scanning probe microscopy techniques, including intermittent contact atomic force microscopy, noncontact atomic force microscopy, atomic force acoustic microscopy, and piezoresponse force microscopy. It is relevant to all SPM manufacturers and can yield data about a sample’s electrical, magnetic, and mechanical energy conversion properties at the nanoscale.

The invention can also be applied to micro-electromechanical devices and other forcebased sensors. The invention uses a band excitation signal with a predefined amplitude and phase spectrum in a predefined frequency band. A probe is excited, and data are obtained by measuring the probe response in a second frequency band. The approach permits researchers to note tip-surface interactions and energy dissipation mechanisms in exceptional detail.
  • Maximizes information about tip-surface interactions
  • Obtains independent amplitude, resonant frequency, and Q-factor parameters
  • Provides characterization of the complete behavior of a system
  • Works with a membrane-based sensor, a resonant detection chemical sensor, or a resonant detection biological sensor
  • Can be adapted to work with a frictional force or an atomic force microscope
Applications and Industries
  • SPM equipment manufacturers
  • Cantilever based sensor platform and microelectromechanical systems
  • Other SPM techniques, such as intermittent contact atomic force microscopy, noncontact atomic force microscopy, atomic force acoustic microscopy, and piezoresponse force microscopy
More InformationInventors:
Stephen Jesse and Sergei V. Kalinin
Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,775,086
Band excitation method applicable to scanning probe microscopy
Methods and apparatus are described for scanning probe microscopy. A method includes generating a band excitation (BE) signal having finite and predefined amplitude and phase spectrum in at least a first predefined frequency band; exciting a probe using the band excitation signal; obtaining data by measuring a response of the probe in at least a second predefined frequency band; and extracting at least one relevant dynamic parameter of the response of the probe in a predefined range including analyzing the obtained data. The BE signal can be synthesized prior to imaging (static band excitation), or adjusted at each pixel or spectroscopy step to accommodate changes in sample properties (adaptive band excitation). An apparatus includes a band excitation signal generator; a probe coupled to the band excitation signal generator; a detector coupled to the probe; and a relevant dynamic parameter extractor component coupled to the detector, the relevant dynamic parameter extractor including a processor that performs a mathematical transform selected from the group consisting of an integral transform and a discrete transform.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 08/17/2010
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
UT-B ID 200601703DevelopmentAvailable10/20/201012/15/2010

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To: Jennifer Tonzello Caldwell<>