Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

(Kopie 2)

The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is based on the distance dependency of atomic interaction forces. The main component of an AFM is a leaf spring, onto the underside of which a nanoscopic tip is mounted. In an ideal scenario, the extremity consists of a single atom. The system consisting of a leaf spring and tip is referred to as a cantilever. On an atomic scale, various attractive or repulsive forces now act on the cantilever, e.g. Pauli interaction, Van der Waals forces or Coulomb interaction, which result in the bending of the leaf spring. The deflection can be determined by means of a laser beam focussed on the top, which reflects of a dual field detector. Based on the deviation from the zero signal, with a suitable calibration direct conclusions can be drawn regarding the height information, and thus a height image is produced when scanning over the sample.

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