A Calibration Method for the Higher Modes of a Micro-mechanical Cantilever

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Micro-mechanical cantilevers are increasingly being used as a characterisation tool in both material and biological sciences. New non-destructive applications are being developed that rely on the information encoded within the cantilever’s higher oscillatory modes, such as AFM techniques that measure non-topographic properties of a sample. However, these methods require the spring constants of the cantilever at higher modes to be known in order to quantify their results. Here, we show how to calibrate the micro-mechanical cantilever and find the effective spring constant of any mode. The method is uncomplicated to implement, using only properties of the cantilever and the fundamental mode that are straightforward to measure.
Original languageEnglish
Article number223101
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number22
Early online date30 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


  • MEMS
  • AFM
  • Atomic Force Microscope
  • Cantilevers
  • Calibration
  • Higher Modes
  • Multifrequency
  • Non-Topography


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