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Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Atomic Force Microscopy is one of the Scanning Probe Microscopic (SPM) techniques where a tip is used to scan the sample. The interaction of the sample and the tip leads to the deflection in tip, the deflection by cantilever is observed through the laser which is detected by the position sensitive photodetector.

AFM analysis provides 3D morphology images of the sample and also measures the surface roughness. The 3D morphology is identified by the XY Scanning and Z-Scanning on the sample providing the numerical value of sample height details. The tips can be made of SiC or diamond. There are different Scanning modes in AFM which are-

Contact Mode

Non-Contact Mode

Tapping Mode

In Contact mode the tip is placed very close to the sample surface. The tip is forced against the sample; in this the DC amplifier detects and measures the deflection.

In Non-Contact mode, the tip does not touch the sample. Van Der Walls force is detected and measured between sample and the tip. It is very useful as it does not contaminate the sample and the tip is also not affected much

In Tapping mode the sample properties plays a very important role. The tip touches the surface of the sample for a few moments, which avoids the dragging of tip on sample surface. The tip is not controlled by the force it is just tapped due to the interactions between the two.

There are different types of AFM modes

Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)

Piezoelectric Force Microscopy (PFM)

Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM)

Electrochemical-AFM (EC-AFM)

AFM analysis can be used for various materials like semiconductors, pharmaceutical samples, cellular biological samples, polymers, electronics etc. Sample generally used can be thin film, liquid or solid samples.

Sprint Testing Solutions provides AFM analysis with a large network of laboratories across India. Any queries or requirement regarding the test can be answered by our experts having years of experience in microscopy and property correlation


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