Cryogenic environments increase the Q-factor of an AFM dramatically, which can amount to an enhanced sensitivity if correctly implemented. This typically requires the operator to understand how the resonator’s properties (amplitude, phase, resonance frequency) change in both magnitude and polarity, the pitfalls that can occur, and how they are manifest in the measurement. While an increase in sensitivity seems desirable, things that were literally ‘in the noise’ in ambient conditions can become formidable at low temperatures.
Ryan Murdick earned a Ph.D. in physics in 2009 from Michigan State University where he investigated interfacial dynamics via Ultrafast Electron Diffraction in the group of Chong-Yu Ruan. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington and University of Colorado in the Nano-Optics group headed by Markus Raschke. He has since worked for several years in industry for companies including RHK Technology and Molecular Vista, before joining Montana Instruments in 2017 as a Product Development Scientist.