Schneiderbauer, Maximilian and Wastl, Daniel S. and Giessibl, Franz J.
qPlus magnetic force microscopy in frequencymodulation mode with millihertz resolution.
Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology 3, pp. 174-178.
Other URL: http://www.beilstein-journals.org/bjnano/single/articleFullText.htm?vt=f&publicId=2190-4286-3-18&sn=9&bpn=singleSeries
Magnetic force microscopy (MFM) allows one to image the domain structure of ferromagnetic samples by probing the dipole forces between a magnetic probe tip and a magnetic sample. The magnetic domain structure of the sample depends on the alignment of the individual atomic magnetic moments. It is desirable to be able to image both individual atoms and domain structures with a single probe. However, the force gradients of the interactions responsible for atomic contrast and those causing domain contrast are orders of magnitude apart, ranging from up to 100 Nm⁻¹ for atomic interactions down to 0.0001 Nm⁻¹ for magnetic dipole interactions. Here, we show that this gap can be bridged with a qPlus sensor, with a stiffness of 1800 Nm⁻¹ (optimized for atomic interaction), which is sensitive enough to measure millihertz frequency contrast caused by magnetic dipole–dipole interactions. Thus we have succeeded in establishing a sensing technique that performs scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy and MFM with a single probe.