Atomic force microscopy (AFM)

The generalized reference lever: A simple, reliable and traceable calibration method for arbitrary normal and friction forces

No reliable calibration method has yet been developed for scanning probe friction measurements. As a result, the tribology basic science literature sits on a foundation of uncalibrated measurements that may or may not be comparable across studies. This paper aims to resolve this critical problem. Essentially, we adapt a mature and widely accepted technology, the pre-calibrated reference lever, as a means to store forces from a traceable calibration standard of fixed range (e.g. microbalance) and scale them to accommodate the load ranges (normal and lateral) of an arbitrary scanning probe. This paper presents the theory, demonstrates a simple prototype device and method of use, and validates the approach along several independent lines of analysis. As the results demonstrate, the generalized reference lever method is simple, reliable, and traceable. The concept, approach, and validation will be especially easy to grasp and implement by those who are practiced with the reference lever method of normal force calibration.
Listed In: Mechanical Engineering, Other