AFM /Atomic Force Microscopy

Atomic force microscopy (AFM), a type of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), is a well-established technique which offers imaging on the nanometer scale, based on the force interaction (van der Waals, electrical, magnetic, thermal etc) between a tip and a sample surface.

Multimode AFM is quite versatile and permits to gather information about any type of sample including metals, semiconductors, polymers, ceramics, composites, glass, and biological samples. Beyond the topography, many material properties can be determined including friction, electrical forces, capacitance, magnetic forces, conductivity, viscoelasticity, surface potential, and resistance.

A typical AFM consists of a cantilever with a small tip (probe) at the free end, a laser, a 4-quadrant photodiode and a scanner. It has a feedback loop using the laser deflection to control the force and tip position. A laser beam is reflected from the back of the cantilever that includes the tip. As the tip interacts with the surface, the laser position on the photodetector is used in the feedback loop to track the surface for imaging and measuring.

The facility includes 2 AFMs.

Tool

Bruker Multimode 3D Nanoscope

Applications

Surface analysis, roughness analysis, cross-sectional profile analysis, magnetic force microscopy (MFM), size distributions, phase imaging mode.

Modes

Contact, Tapping, Magnetic Force Microscopy, non-contact mode

Scanners

Scan range: from 90x90x8 μm to 125x125x10 μm (noise level 0.35Å RMS).

Resolution

1Å in z-axis. Image analysis 4096 x 4096 pixels

Probes

Silicon cantilever type (TAP-300G), Silicon tip on nitride lever (SNL-10), Antimony doped silicon (RTESP), GaN probes, etc.

Sample Holders

Two round stubs up 1 and 2 cm in diameter

Other Capabilities

Contact mode in gases and liquids, AC mode in gases and liquids, Phase Imaging mode, Lateral Force (Friction) Mode, Magnetic Force Microscopy Mode (MFM), tapping mode phase imaging, electrostatic force microscopy, kelvin probe microscopy, Force spectroscopy, PiezoResponse Microscopy

Analysis Software

NanoScope Software 6.13

Additional Information

Prof. Dimitrios Gournis, dgourni@uoi.gr

Tool

Multimode AFM with Controller Nanoscope IIIa (Digital Instruments)

Applications

Surface imaging and topographical analysis, cross-sectional profiles, roughness measurements

Modes

Contact, Tapping , Non-contact mode

Scanners

2 piezoelectric scanners:
a normal for 125x125μm2 max scan size and a high precision for 5x5μm2 max scan size

Resolution

1Å in z-axis, 10nm in x- and y-axis

Probes

Etched Si probes for Tapping mode, SiN probes for Contact mode

Sample Holders

Round stubs suitable for samples up to 1cm in diameter

Other Capabilities

Lateral Force Microscopy, Magnetic Force Microscopy

Analysis Software

Nanoscope Software v4.32r3

Additional Information

Katerina Tsagaraki, ktsag@physics.uoc.gr

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