Acoustic Microscopy with Resolution in the Nm-Range

  • U. Rabe
  • K. Janser
  • W. Arnold
Part of the Acoustical Imaging book series (ACIM, volume 22)


In conventional Acoustic Microscopy1 (SAM) a focused acoustic beam is scanned over the sample surface and the lateral resolution is given by the focal spot diameter. According to Abbe’s principle this is determined by the wavelength which in practice limits the resolution of SAM to about 1 μm because of the high absorption at high acoustic frequencies. The idea of near-field microscopy is to guide the acoustic wave towards the sample by a structure, e.g. a pin or a pin hole, with dimensions smaller than the acoustic wavelength. When the sample is placed in the near field radiated from the pin, a resolution can be achieved determined by the pin diameter and not by the acoustic wavelength. Fig. 1 shows an example of SAM working in transmission at a frequency of 35 MHz2. With the pin probe a lateral resolution of 10 μm was achieved, while with the lens, the resolution was only 50 urn. Other examples of near-field acoustic microscopes based on this principle can be found in the literature3,4;5.


Scan Tunneling Microscopy Vibration Amplitude Acoustical Image Acoustic Microscopy Surface Vibration 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Rabe
    • 1
  • K. Janser
    • 1
  • W. Arnold
    • 1
  1. 1.Fraunhofer-Institute for Nondestructive TestingSaarbrückenGermany

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