Increasing the SNR of electrical AFM methods by active mechanical Q-control

D. Kohl*, C. Kerschner, P. Mesquida, G. Schitter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paperpeer-review


This paper investigates the benefit of active mechanical Q-control for electrical surface potential measurements in atomic force microscopy. The effective quality-factor of the electrically stimulated cantilever oscillation is additionally increased mechanically at the same frequency with an active analog Q-controller, while in lift-mode. It is shown experimentally that the cantilever oscillation amplitude and therefore the measurement sensitivity is improved by a factor of 15. By spectral noise analysis around the resonance frequency of the cantilever, an increase of the signal-to-noise ratio from 2.5dB to 23dB is achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-312
Number of pages6
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019
Event8th IFAC Symposium on Mechatronic Systems, MECHATRONICS 2019 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 4 Sept 20196 Sept 2019


  • AFM
  • Electric measurement modes
  • Q-control
  • SNR


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