We report on a modification of a commercial scanning force microscope (Omicron UHV AFM/STM) operated in noncontact mode (NC-AFM) at room temperature in ultrahigh vacuum yielding a decrease in the spectral noise density from 2757 to 272 fm/ Hz. The major part of the noise reduction is achieved by an exchange of the originally installed light emitting diode by a laser diode placed outside the vacuum, where the light is coupled into the ultrahigh vacuum chamber via an optical fiber. The setup is further improved by the use of preamplifiers having a bandpass characteristics tailored to the cantilever resonance frequency. The enhanced signal to noise ratio is demonstrated by a comparison of atomic resolution images on CeO2 (111) obtained before and after the modification.
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