ABSTRACT Self-sensing and –actuating probes optimized for conventional tapping mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) are described. 32-kHz quartz tuning forks with a chemically etched and focus ion beam (FIB) sharpened (curvature radii are 5-10 nm) tungsten tip are stable at air and liquid nitrogen atmosphere and at a wide range of temperatures. If driven at constant frequency, the scan speed of such sensors can be up to 3 Hz. AFM was performed on polymer samples in order to study the stability and applicability of these sensor for investigation of soft materials with high dynamical tendencies.
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