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Atomic Force Microscopes for the Study of Protein Motion

T.E. Schaeffer*, M. Viani, D.A. Walters, B. Drake, and P.K. Hansma

Department of Physics
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
This is an abstract for a talk to be given at the Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology. There will be a link from here to the full article when it is available on the web.
Thermal motion of the cantilever is a fundamental limit for resolving processes with the atomic force microscope. Smaller cantilevers reduce this thermal noise in a given measurement bandwidth and allow low-noise and high-speed measurements. We have developed a series of atomic force microscopes for small cantilevers with optical lever detection and a focused spot size of 1.6 µm. These atomic force microscopes can operate cantilevers with lengths below 5 µm and thicknesses below 200 nm, cantilevers an order of magnitude smaller than what is currently available. We plan to apply these new microscopes to the study of proteins, Nature's nanomachines.

This work was supported by a training grant of the University of California, and by grant number NSF-DMR9622169 from the Materials Research Division of the National Science Foundation.

*Corresponding Address:
Tilman E. Schaeffer, Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, ph: 805-893-3999, fax: 805-893-8315, email:
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