Single- and Multi-Frequency Detection of Surface Displacements via Scanning Probe Microscopy

Konstantin Romanyuk, Sergey Yu Luchkin, Maxim Ivanov, Arseny Kalinin, Andrei L. Kholkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) provides a novel opportunity to detect picometer-level displacements induced by an electric field applied through a conducting tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM). Recently, it was discovered that superb vertical sensitivity provided by PFM is high enough to monitor electric-field-induced ionic displacements in solids, the technique being referred to as electrochemical strain microscopy (ESM). ESM has been implemented only in multi-frequency detection modes such as dual AC resonance tracking (DART) and band excitation, where the response is recorded within a finite frequency range, typically around the first contact resonance. In this paper, we analyze and compare signal-to-noise ratios of the conventional single-frequency method with multi-frequency regimes of measuring surface displacements. Single-frequency detection ESM is demonstrated using a commercial AFM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • band excitation
  • electrochemical strain microscopy
  • multi-frequency detection
  • piezoresponse force microscopy
  • resonance amplification
  • signal-to-noise ratio


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