Applied Physics Letters

A Fabry-Perot interferometer for micrometer-sized cantilevers

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We have developed a Fabry-Perot interferometer detecting the deflection of micrometer-sized cantilevers and other micromechanical devices, at a working distance of 0.8 mm. At 1 MHz, a noise floor of 1 fmHz is obtained. The detector is mounted on a piezo motor for three-axis alignment. The angular alignment is not critical. The interferometer can be operated in vacuum, air, and liquid. It is particularly suited for scanning force microscopy with small cantilevers, or with larger cantilevers simultaneously monitoring vertical and lateral forces. © 2005 American Institute of Physics.