A large-sample atomic force microscope observing in both air and liquid.


A large-sample atomic force microscope (AFM) that allows high resolution observation in both air and liquid has been developed. With a unique beam tracking method, laser beam is capable of reflecting off the same spot on the AFM cantilever throughout raster scan over the entire scan area, either operating in air or in liquid environment. Incorporating the stand-alone AFM probe unit with an automated large sample stage, wide-scan-range imaging can be realized with high resolution and slight distortion. In addition, an image stitching method is utilized to build a broad merged image with range up to millimeters while keeping nanometer order resolution. By using a large-volume liquid bath, large and massive sample can be observed in liquid with this AFM system. Several typical experiments have been carried out to demonstrate the imaging ability and stability of this AFM. Topographic structures of gold pattern on a glass substrate are scanned at two different places on the same specimen surface. The porosity of a sheet of filter paper is then characterized in both air and water. Finally, larger-area AFM image of anodic aluminum oxide template in oxalic acid is on spot obtained by merging several individually scanned images together. Experiments show that this AFM system can offer high resolution and wide range AFM images even for large samples with remarkable capabilities in various environments.

DOI: 10.1002/jemt.20994

Cite this paper

@article{Fu2011ALA, title={A large-sample atomic force microscope observing in both air and liquid.}, author={Xia Fu and Dongxian Zhang and Haijun Zhang and Zhigang Xie}, journal={Microscopy research and technique}, year={2011}, volume={74 11}, pages={1058-61} }