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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Height drift correction in non-raster atomic force microscopy.

  • Author(s): Meyer, Travis R
  • Ziegler, Dominik
  • Brune, Christoph
  • Chen, Alex
  • Farnham, Rodrigo
  • Huynh, Nen
  • Chang, Jen-Mei
  • Bertozzi, Andrea L
  • Ashby, Paul D
  • et al.

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We propose a novel method to detect and correct drift in non-raster scanning probe microscopy. In conventional raster scanning drift is usually corrected by subtracting a fitted polynomial from each scan line, but sample tilt or large topographic features can result in severe artifacts. Our method uses self-intersecting scan paths to distinguish drift from topographic features. Observing the height differences when passing the same position at different times enables the reconstruction of a continuous function of drift. We show that a small number of self-intersections is adequate for automatic and reliable drift correction. Additionally, we introduce a fitness function which provides a quantitative measure of drift correctability for any arbitrary scan shape.

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