2. Friction force microscope probes that fabricated by micromachining technology

Friction force microscope probes that fabricated by micromachining technology

  • School of Engineering/Graduate School of Engineering
  • Micro-Nano Mechanical Science and Engineering

Kenji Fukuzawa [Professor]


Outline of Seeds

We've developed micro-probes with an innovative structure that makes it possible to make precise friction and load measurements with friction force microscopes (a type of scanning probe microscope). Through the utilization of micromachining technology, weve been able to create a probe structure with parts that respond independently to two different forces. This makes it possible to take quantitative measurements of both friction and load, which is difficult for conventional friction force microscopes.

Novelty and originality of this research

The use of micromachining technology has made it possible for us to create a completely new probe structure. For conventional probes, it is not easy to precisely differentiate between friction and load, but our probe makes this possible while at the same time simplifying the calibration of frictional force. The new structure also increases force detection sensitivity more than ten times over past designs. Finally, by integrating a microstructure for detection of frictional force into the probe, weve made it possible to install our probes into commercial atomic force microscope devices.

Application and research area for Industry collaboration

Measuring micro-/nano-scale tribology characteristics; evaluating component distribution in composite materials by measuring frictional characteristics and more; evaluating the characteristics of functional surfaces by measuring frictional distribution.

Key Takeaway

The aim of our research is to develop technology that stabilizes relative motion in boundary lubrication and other nano-regions while also creating functional tribo-surfaces, measuring the mechanical characteristics of nm-thick films (pico-displacement, nano-force measurements), and carrying out molecular dynamics simulations in order to analyze the behavior of nm-thick lubricant films and more.


Surface measurements, micromachines, probe microscopy


  • Measurement techniques of micro-dynamic phenomena for nanotribology
  • Distribution measurements and control technologies for nm-thick lubricant film
  • Innovative sensing device design/fabrication techniques using MEMS technology
  • Micro/nano-mecatronic devices, molecular simulation technologies for DNA and other biodevices


  • Cleanroom (Class 10,000)
  • Scanning probe microscope
  • Optical surface analyzer (OSA)
  • Scanning ellipsometer

Monographs, Papers and Articles

  • Dual-Axis Micro-Mechanical Probe for Independent Detection of Lateral and Vertical Forces, K. Fukuzawa, S. TeradaM. Shikida, H. Amakawa H. Zhang, Y. Mitsuya, Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 89, pp. 173120-1- 3 (2006)
  • Mechanical Design and Force Calibration of Dual-Axis Micro-Mechanical Probe for Friction Force Microscopy, K. Fukuzawa, S. Terada, M. Shikida, H. Amakawa, H. Zhang, Y. Mitsuya, Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 10, pp. 034308-1-6 (2007)
  • Lateral-Deflection-Controlled Friction Force Microscopy, Kenji Fukuzawa, Satoshi Hamaoka, Mitsuhiro Shikida, Shintaro Itoh, Hedong Zhang, Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 116, p. 084311(6pages) (2014)