Scattering contrast in GHz frequency ultrasound subsurface atomic force microscopy for detection of deeply buried features
While Atomic Force Microscopy is mostly used to investigate surface properties, people have almost since its invention sought to apply its high resolution capability to image also structures buried within samples. One of the earliest techniques for this was based on using ultrasound excitations to visualize local differences in effective tip-sample stiffness caused by the presence of buried structures with different visco-elasticity from their surroundings. While the use of ultrasound has often triggered discussions on the contribution of diffraction or scattering of acoustic waves in visualizing buried structures, no conclusive papers on this topic have been published. Here we demonstrate and discuss how such acoustical effects can be unambiguously recognized and can be used with Atomic Force Microscopy to visualize deeply buried structures.