Applied Physics Letters

Batch fabricated sensors for magnetic force microscopy

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In this letter we describe force sensors suitable for magnetic force microscopy (MFM) made by coating silicon microcantilevers with various thin magnetic films. These MFM force sensors can be batch fabricated and their magnetic properties tailored by choosing appropriate coatings. This is demonstrated by analyzing the MFM response for magnetization patterns written on a longitudinal recording test sample. Selectable components of the sample stray field can be measured by coating the tips with high coercivity films. Tips coated with low coercivity films such as Permalloy respond to the total stray field. Sample perturbations due to the tip stray field are small for thin-film tips, allowing the imaging of low coercivity samples such as Permalloy.