THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NOVEL ELECTRO-MAGNETIC FORCE MICROSCOPE
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This thesis describes the development of a new type of Magnetic Force Microscope (MFM) probe based on a unique electromagnetic design. In addition the design, construction and testing of a new MFM system, complete in both hardware and software, is also described. The MFM allowed initial tests on prototypes of the new probe, and is to provide a base for future new probe integration. The microscope uses standard MFM micro-cantilever probes in static modes of imaging. A new computer hosted DSP control system, software, and its various interfaces with the MFM have been integrated into the system. The system has been tested using standard probes with various specimens and satisfactory results have been produced. A novel probe has been designed to replace the standard MFM magnetic coated tip with a field generated about a sub-micron aperture in a conducting film. The field from the new probe is modelled and its imaging capability investigated, with iterative designs analysed in this way. The practical construction and potential problems therein, of the probe are also considered. Test apertures have been manufactured, and an image of the field produced when operating is provided as support to the theoretical designs. Future methods of using the new probe are also discussed, including the examination of the probe as a magnetic write mechanism. This probe, integrated into the MFM, can provide a new method of microscopic magnetic imaging, and in addition opens a new potential method of magnetic storage that will require further research.
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