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Characterisation of an AFM tip bluntness using indentation of soft materials

Baqain, Sameeh, Borodich, Feodor M. ORCID: and Brousseau, Emmanuel ORCID: 2022. Characterisation of an AFM tip bluntness using indentation of soft materials. Borodich, F.M. and Jin, X., eds. Contact Problems for Soft, Biological and Bioinspired Materials, Vol. 15. Biologically-Inspired Systems, Cham: pp. 221-242. (10.1007/978-3-030-85175-0_11)

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Bluntness of tips of atomic force microscopy (AFM) probes may affect the precision of AFM measurements of surface topography and accuracy of AFM nanomachining of solid surfaces. Here, various methods for characterisation of AFM tip bluntness are discussed. The results of experimental studies of AFM probe tips are presented. Both tips are considered; (i) the intact tips as received from factory and (ii) worn tips. The tip bluntness is studied in both vertical position of the probes and in working position when the AFM cantilever is inclined by 12° to the horizontal plane. It is suggested to describe the tips as power-law functions, whose exponent d is used as a characteristic of tip bluntness. It is argued that the load displacement curve of an experimental depth-sensing indentation (DSI) test may be used to extract the quantitative measure of the AFM tip bluntness. The experimental results showed that one has to be careful in selecting proper soft material (polymer) for bluntness estimations because it was observed rather often practically linear load displacement curves. This was explained by existence of a stagnation zone of polymer macromolecules in front of the AFM tip that moves downward together with the indenter.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
ISBN: 978-3-030-85174-3
ISSN: 2211-0593
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 11:08

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