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Nanosurf's team of application scientists is always working on creating new interesting measurements for the benefit of the users of Nanosurf atomic force microscopes. The application notes we publish are written and edited by our global team of AFM Experts to provide you with example results in an easy to ready format and enough theoretical context to help novice users understand more complex measurement methods.


Nanomechanical indentation measurements with force spectroscopy

In the realm of nanomechanical measurements, AFM is especially suited to working with soft materials due to its piconewton force resolution and sub-nanometer vertical displacement accuracy. One of the most popular AFM-based mechanical measurements is through force curves, also known as force spectroscopy. To perform these single point measurements, the cantilever approaches towards and retracts from the surface, contacting the surface up to a pre-defined force. The cantilever deflection is measured as a function of z-actuator movement. These force curves contain a wealth of information that can be modelled by various contact mechanics models to extract useful properties such as elastic modulus, stiffness, and adhesion. Force spectroscopy can be conducted in either air or liquid environments.

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