Fabrication and analysis of cylindrical resin AFM microcantilevers

Cheneler, D.; Bowen, J.; Leigh, S. J.; Purssell, C. P.; Billson, D. R.; Hutchins, D. A. and Ward, M. C. L. (2011). Fabrication and analysis of cylindrical resin AFM microcantilevers. Ultramicroscopy, 111(8) pp. 1214–1223.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultramic.2011.03.009


In this paper a new method of fabricating cylindrical resin microcantilevers using the Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) technique of Micro-stereolithography (MSL) is described. The method is rapid and commercially viable, allowing the fabrication of atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilevers which exhibit much larger spring constants than those currently commercial available. This allows for experimentation in a force regime orders of magnitude higher than currently possible using the AFM. This makes these cantilevers ideally suited for AFM-based depth sensing indentation. Due to their geometry, the assumptions used in the standard Euler-Bernoulli beam theory usually used to analyse AFM cantilevers may no longer be valid. Therefore approximate analytical solutions based on Timoshenko beam theory have been derived for the stiffness and resonant frequency of these cantilevers. Prototypes of the cantilevers have been fabricated and tested. Results show good agreement between experiment and theory.

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