Energy dissipation in atomic force microscopy and atomic loss processes

Hoffmann P., JEFFERY S., PETHICA J., Ozer H. Ö., ORAL A.

PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, vol.87, no.26, 2001 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 87 Issue: 26
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Doi Number: 10.1103/physrevlett.87.265502
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Atomic scale dissipation is of great interest in nanomechanics and atomic manipulation. We present dissipation measurements with a linearized, ultrasmall amplitude atomic force microscope which is capable of measuring dissipation at chosen, fixed separations. We show that the dynamic dissipation in the noncontact regime is of the order of a few 10-100 meV per cycle. This dissipation is likely due to the motion of a bistable atomic defect in the tip-surface region. In the contact regime we observe dc hysteresis associated with nanoscale plasticity. We find the hysteretic energy loss to be 1 order of magnitude higher for a silicon surface than for copper.