The unique ability of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to image, manipulate and characterize materials at nanoscale has made it remarkable tool in nanotechnology. In dynamic AFM, acquisition and processing of the photodetector signal originating from probe-sample interaction is a critical step in data analysis and measurements. However, details of such interaction including its nonlinearity and dynamics of the sample surface are limited due to the ultimately bounded bandwidth and limited time scales of data processing electronics of standard AFM. Similarly, transient details of the AFM probe’s cantilever signal are lost due to averaging of data by techniques which correlate the frequency spectrum of the captured data with a temporally invariant physical system. Here, we introduce a fundamentally new approach for dynamic AFM data acquisition and imaging based on applying the wavelet transform on the data stream from the photodetector. This approach provides the opportunity for exploration of transient response of the cantilever, analysis and imaging of the dynamics of amplitude and phase of the signals captured from the photodetector. Furthermore, it can be used for the control of AFM which would yield increased imaging speed. Hence the proposed method opens a pathway for high-speed transient force microscopy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge funding from the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge the funding support from Invest N. Ireland (RD0714186) for AM.
© 2021 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
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