Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME)

AFM Tutorial

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) or scanning force microscopy (SFM) is a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), with demonstrated resolution on the order of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit. Using an atomic force microscope (AFM), it is possible to measure a roughness of a sample surface at a high resolution, to distinguish a sample based on its mechanical properties (for example, hardness and roughness). Vast of aims can be obtained with AFM's multiple working mode:

  • Scan modes
  • Contact mode
  • Non-contact mode
  • Intermittent-Contact mode
  • Tapping mode

Machine Configuration

  • N9425A Series 4500 AFM/SPM
  • N9512A AFM scanner, 30um, 630nm-Series 4500
  • N9740A AFM/LFM detector and cantilever holder -Series 4500
  • N9601A AFM/SPM Controller -Series 4500 or 5100
  • N9600-80003 LCD Monitor flat-panel 19 inch
  • 8120-1395 Agilent qualified, OPT-903 18-AWG 3-COND 96-IN-LG
  • OEM Software
  • PicoScan Controller 2100 Series
  • Computer

AFM Step by Step Instruction

  1. Load Tip on the tip mount, make sure one thirds of the trip inside the copper clip.
  2. Amount the scanner and fasten two back screws (finger tight).
  3. Plug the power cable on the left slot on the hood
  4. Put the opaque glass block into the detector slot, adjust the laser, make sure it falls on one of the four cantilevers.
  5. Take out the glass block and insert the detector.Make the signal around -2.5, and the amplitude at least 100.
  6. Carefully load the sample, and manually approach the sample plat as close as possible.
  7. Use the software: Picoscan
Set up:
Servo Gain (I&P):0.5
Servo range: Max
Force set point: 0
Motor speed: approaching 10nm
             withdrawing 50nm
Scan range for this scanner: 37um*37um
Scan resolution: 512*512