Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a non-optical surface topographic analysis technique with high lateral (nm), vertical (Aº), and force (pN) resolution. AFM is used to obtain high-resolution nanoscale images and study local sites of micro/nanostructured coatings and surfaces.
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Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a non-optical surface topographic technique with high lateral (nm), vertical (Aº), and force (pN) resolution. It is used in testing labs for better resolution visualization of nanostructures, such as thin films, nanoparticles, microelectronics, polymers, and cellular components. AFM is also used in a laboratory to make quantitative measurements at the nanoscale and subnanoscale, including surface roughness and step-heights. Atomic Force Microscopy is built on the principles of scanning probe microscopy. AFM is used in the different modes for the qualitative mapping of mechanical properties (friction, adhesion), physical properties (size, morphology, surface texture, roughness), electrical properties (capacitance, conductivity, resistance, surface potential), and magnetic properties of material surfaces.
In AFM, a cantilever with a nanoscale tip scans across the sample surface and uses the atomic forces to map the tip-sample interaction. The most commonly used modes of AFM are contact, non-contact, and dynamic (tapping) modes.
Our testing labs carry out Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) efficiently to provide the best results to our clients based in the USA and other parts of the world. We at Infinita Lab perform not only routine tests, but also custom tests designed in our testing labs as per the client’s specific requirements.
Common Uses of AFM
Imaging the surface morphology of clay particles dispersed in a polymer matrix
Compositional mapping of polymer blends and copolymers
Characterize trenches, holes, and lines at nanometer technology node in integrated circuit technology
Measurement of nanoscale viscoelastic properties of cells, biopolymers, and tissues using Force-Distance (FD) curve of AFM in different modes
Mapping of microstructures of the biological tissues such as brain, lung, blood vessel, cartilage, and tendon, etc. with good resolution
Diagnose the effects of cytotoxic drugs on the human body
Determination of the thickness and surface roughness of a graphene layer
Determination of the microrheological properties of thin fluid films for the development of MEMS devices
Detection and characterization of microorganisms in foods
Advantages of AFM
Able to study the surface properties of both conductive and non-conductive samples
Simple sample preparation and no need for staining, labeling, or fixation
High-resolution 3D images enable the measurement of the height of the nanoparticles quantitatively
Works in multiple mediums such as ambient air, controlled environments, and liquid dispersions
Limitations of AFM
Scan range limit: Area 150×150 µm2, vertically 10-20 µm in the z-direction
The scanning speed of AFM is slow compared with other microscopic techniques
Tip convolution may result in an error in the images
Tip or sample can be damaged
Images can have an effect of cross-talk between the x, y, z axes and hysteresis of the piezoelectric material
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