2. Four-point atomic force microscope probe

Four-point atomic force microscope probe

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

Yang Ju [Prof.]


Outline of Seeds

The four-probe potential drop method is a well-known technique for measuring conductivity, while atomic force microscopes are widely used to evaluate local surface shape. Our team has combined the two to overcome the fact that until now, the four-probe potential drop method has not been able not take local measurements, while atomic force microscopes have not been able to measure conductivity. In short, we are using a four-point atomic force microscope probe to measure both surface shape and electrical conductivity in a localized area as well as the distribution of these characteristics.

Our four-point atomic force microscope probe includes (1) a probe device that consists of a microstructure with four independent conductive electrodes, (2) a cantilever featuring four conductive circuits with fixed probes and capable of detecting deflection using the optical lever method, and (3) a support component that fixes the probes and cantilever in place, equipped with four conductive circuits

Novelty and originality of this research

We offer an innovative micro-technique that adds the ability to measure conductivity and distribution within a few microns to the existing ability of atomic force microscopes to measure surface shape. Conductivity is one of the critical basic properties that determines the functionality of a substance. As nanotechnologies have evolved in recent years, there is pressing need to be able to measure electrical characteristics in micro-areas across a variety of fields, including for the purpose of identifying the action mechanisms of biological tissue. However, no one has yet established electrical conductivity measuring and imaging techniques for these micro-areas. Our team has responded to the demand for further advances in nanotechnology by making these nano-scale electrical conductivity measurements and imaging a reality.


Atomic force microscope, four-probe method, probe, manufacturing industry, nanotech, superconductor/insertion technologies, nano-measurement

Monographs, Papers and Articles

  • Y. Ju (B.-F. Ju and M. Saka) Microscopic Four-Point Atomic Force Microscope Probe Technique for Local Electrical Conductivity Measurement. Review of Scientific Instruments 76, 086101-1-3, 2005