Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Physics and Astronomy



First Advisor

Scott Crittenden


We propose Multi-Probe Ultrasonic Force Microscopy (UFM) to create and detect the motion of tip-induced surface waves and thereby study nanoscale surface dynamics. Before committing to the construction of an instrument, we investigate the theoretical feasibility of such a novel instrument to determine if the expected amplitude of induced surface waves is within the measurable range for either the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) or the Scanning Tunnelling Microscope (STM). We use the Rayleigh surface wave as our simple physical model. By applying the model to two commercial probes and four common samples, we have shown that the predicted amplitude of vibration of Rayleigh surface waves excited by normal AFM cantilevers operating in normal ranges is only measurable for soft polymer samples. However, the deduced dependence of the amplitude on the various parameters suggests the design of a custom AFM probe capable of producing sufficiently large amplitudes as to be measurable on a wide array of samples.