Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a very high-resolution type of microscopy with the capacity of Ångström resolution on certain samples. A tip as sharp as one molecule is scanned over the surface. Forces between the tip and the surface result in deflections of the cantilever and these deflections are monitored through a laser beam. We use AFM in combination with foremost ellipsometry and QCM but also in combination with more available instruments such as ATR-FTIR to image and measure changes on a surface at a nanoscale. In many cases, we are interested in the thickness of a film or adsorbed material. We are also looking at the homogeneity of the surface.

A topography scan of an adsorbed material where both the layer thickness (here corresponding to an expected lamellar structure) and the inhomogeneity on the surface is shown.

For AFM, talk to Tobias or Mimmi!