Atomic Force Microscope Cantilevers for Combined Thermomechanical Data Writing and Reading

King, W.P., Kenny, T.W., Goodson, K.E., Cross, G., Despont, M., Durig, U., Rothuizen, H., Binnig, G.K., and Vettiger, P., 2001, "Atomic Force Microscope Cantilevers for Combined Thermomechanical Data Writing and Reading," Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 78, pp. 1300-1302.

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Heat conduction governs the ultimate writing and reading capabilities of a thermomechanical data storage device. This work investigates transient heat conduction in a resistively heated atomic force microscope cantilever through measurement and simulation of cantilever thermal and electrical behavior. The time required to heat a single cantilever to bit-writing temperature is near 1 microsecond and the thermal data reading sensitivity DR/R is near 1x10^-4 per vertical nm. Finite-difference thermal and electrical simulation results compare well with electrical measurements during writing and reading, indicating design tradeoffs in power requirements, data writing speed, and data reading sensitivity. We present a design for a proposed cantilever that is predicted to be faster and more sensitive than the present cantilever.

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