Andres La Rosa

Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Applied Physics



Physical Description

1 online resource (xv, 102 p.) : ill. (chiefly col.)


Scanning probe microscopy, Acoustic imaging, Feedback control systems, Nanofluidics, Nanotechnology, Nanotribology




A remote-sensing acoustic method for implementing position control feedback in Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) is presented. The capabilities of this feedback control using the new Whispering Gallery Acoustic Sensing (WGAS) method is demonstrated in a Shear-force Scanning Probe Microscope that uses a sharp probe attached to a piezoelectric Quartz Tuning Fork (QTF) firmly mounted on the microscope's frame. As the QTF is electrically driven its mechanical response reaches the SPM frame which then acts as a resonant cavity producing acoustic modes measured with an acoustic sensor strategically placed on the SPM head. The novelty of the WGAS resides in using an SPM frame with a perimeter closely matching the intervening acoustic wavelength to act as a resonant cavity. The whispering gallery cavity constitutes an acoustic amplifier for the mechanical motion of the QTF probe. The observed monotonic behavior of the whispering gallery acoustic signal as a function of the probe sample distance is exploited here for tip-sample distance control with nanometer sensitivity, thus allowing topographic characterization as the probe is scanned across the sample's surface. This thesis includes a description of a Labview based programming for the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) card used in the automated control of the WGAS feedback microscope, a solution for improving the effective resolution of the Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) and initial results towards theoretically modeling the WGAS working principle.


Portland State University. Dept. of Physics

Persistent Identifier