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Nanomaterials 2018, 8(8), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8080616

Toward Accurate Quantitative Elasticity Mapping of Rigid Nanomaterials by Atomic Force Microscopy: Effect of Acquisition Frequency, Loading Force, and Tip Geometry

DFM A/S (Danish National Metrology Institute), Kogle Alle 5, 2970 Hørsholm, Denmark
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Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 12 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nano Mechanical Testing of Materials and Devices)
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Abstract

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has emerged as a popular tool for the mechanical mapping of soft nanomaterials due to its high spatial and force resolution. Its applications in rigid nanomaterials, however, have been underexplored. In this work, we studied elasticity mapping of common rigid materials by AFM, with a focus on factors that affect the accuracy of elasticity measurements. We demonstrated the advantages in speed and noise level by using high frequency mechanical mapping compared to the classical force volume mapping. We studied loading force dependency, and observed a consistent pattern on all materials, where measured elasticity increased with loading force before stabilizing. Tip radius was found to have a major impact on the accuracy of measured elasticity. The blunt tip with 200 nm radius measured elasticity with deviation from nominal values up to 13% in different materials, in contrast to 122% by the sharp tip with 40 nm radius. Plastic deformation is believed to be the major reason for this difference. Sharp tips, however, still hold advantages in resolution and imaging capability for nanomaterials. View Full-Text
Keywords: elasticity mapping; rigid nanomaterials; atomic force microscopy; acquisition frequency; loading force; tip radius elasticity mapping; rigid nanomaterials; atomic force microscopy; acquisition frequency; loading force; tip radius
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Zeng, G.; Dirscherl, K.; Garnæs, J. Toward Accurate Quantitative Elasticity Mapping of Rigid Nanomaterials by Atomic Force Microscopy: Effect of Acquisition Frequency, Loading Force, and Tip Geometry. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 616.

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