Publication
Nanotechnology
Paper

Wear-less floating contact imaging of polymer surfaces

View publication

Abstract

An atomic force microscopy (AFM) technique is described combining two operating modes that previously were mutually exclusive: gentle imaging of delicate surfaces requiring slow dynamic AFM techniques, and passive feedback contact mode AFM enabling ultra-fast imaging. A high-frequency force modulation is used to excite resonant modes in the MHz range of a highly compliant cantilever force sensor with a spring constant of 0.1 Nm-1. The high-order mode acts as a stiff system for modulating the tip-sample distance and a vibration amplitude of 1nm is sufficient to overcome the adhesion interaction. The soft cantilever provides a force-controlled support for the vibrating tip, enabling high-speed intermittent contact force microscopy without feedback control of the cantilever bending. Using this technique, we were able to image delicate polymer surfaces and to completely suppress the formation of the ripple wear patterns that are commonly observed in contact AFM. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Date

09 Apr 2010

Publication

Nanotechnology