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Phase-plane dynamics of an atomic force microscope cantilever.

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Aug1-13, 09:49 AM
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A sinusoidally driven and undisturbed cantilever of an atomic force microscope (AFM) oscillates ideally in a sinusoidal fashion but the motion of the cantilever (time-domain trajectory) can become more complicated when it is disturbed by the inter-atomic forces as the cantilever taps on the sample surface. The cantilever dynamics can be better understood in the phase-plane. An undisturbed cantilever shows elliptical trajectories in the phase-plane around a center. On the other hand, a disturbed cantilever can show nonlinear effects like period-doubling, bifurcation and chaos.

I'd like to know what can be said about the phase-plane trajectory in terms of the attractor, basin of attraction or the possibility of chaos as shown in the attachement containing my experimental data? In the beginning the phase-plane trajectories circle around a center and as the signal size increases, these trajectories also grow in size and the center transforms into a set of two centers.

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Aug2-13, 01:28 PM
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I already know the papers by Raman and Jamitzky but they've done experiments aimed at observing chaos in AFM and I've a different experiment where I'm not forcing the cantilever motion to be chaotic but observing breakdown of the cantilever trajectory in time-domain and the phase-plane trajectory shows a specific attractor which doesn't seem to be a chaotic one but still is markedly different from that of a harmonic oscillator.

I think time series analysis of the given experimental data can be helpful but my question was how to understand the attractor from a purly dynamical point of view?

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