General information about self-sensing cantilevers

Self-Sensing Cantilever


SCL-Sensor.Tech's main business is the fabrication, marketing and sales of silicon piezo-resistive self-sensing cantilevers. This type of all-electrical cantilever allows completely new applications in the fields of AFM, nanoprobing, force measurement and other sensing applications.


Self-sensing cantilevers are equipped with a full piezo-resistive Wheatstone bridge that directly measures the cantilever signal electrically, which removes the space-consuming requirement for an optical readout. Two variable resistors are on the cantilever and two on the chip. The cantilever chip is bonded onto a small PCB with a small connector for a quick and highly reproducible cantilever exchange. The sensor signal is readout and amplified by a small pre-amplifier PCB. This enables an easy and seamless integration with various instruments, e.g. SEM, TEM and many other measurement systems. The self-sensing cantilevers are available with a variety of resonance frequencies and spring constants.


SCL offers PRS (Piezo-Resistive Sensing) cantilever probes without a thermal actuator and PRSA (Piezo-Resistive Sensing & Active) cantilever probes with a thermal actuator.


We recommend to handle cantilever Si chips with plastic tweezers and cantilevers on PCB with a steel tweezers. Initiates file downloadCantilever Handling Guide PDF

Silicon tip radius: <15nm

Cantilever length: 70...300 m

Frequencies: 30...1300 kHz

Stiffness: 1...400 N/m

Applications: AFM, nanoprobing, force measurement, ...


Tip: tipless

Cantilever length : 100...450 m

Frequency: 14...550 kHz

Stiffness: 0.5...170 N/m

Applications: torque magnetometry (e.g. in a PPMS), gas/media properties, force measurement, experimental tip mounting,...


SCD-tip radius: <10 nm

Cantilever length: 100...450 m

Frequency: 14...550 kHz

Stiffness: 0.5...170 N/m

Applications: AFM, nanoindentation, ...


With this starter kit you will be ready for conducting experiments with self-sensing cantilevers.

Content: pre-amplifier, cantilevers and connection cables

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Our self-sensing add-on kit enables you to work with self-sensing cantilevers on a Keysight 5x00 AFM series. This combines the benefits of a conventional bio AFM with the advantages of a laser-free deflection detection using SCLs self-sensing cantilevers.

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Accessory parts to connect self-sensing cantilevers and their readout sensing signals for further data processing (e.g. AFM controller, lock-in amplifier, etc.).