Journal of Applied Physics

Magnetic force microscopy with batch-fabricated force sensors

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In this paper the properties of force sensors suitable for magnetic force microscopy (MFM) made by coating silicon microcantilevers with various thin magnetic films are analyzed. These MFM force sensors are batch fabricated and their magnetic properties controlled by choosing appropriate coatings. Theoretical calculations show that thin-film MFM tips have a significantly reduced stray field, a good signal-to-noise ratio, and yield improved resolution when compared to etched wire tips. The sample perturbation due to the tip stray field is small, allowing the imaging of low-coercivity samples such as Permalloy.