Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM): Principles, Modes of Operation and Limitations


Hongshun Yang (Editor)
Food Science and Technology Programme, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
National University of Singapore (Suzhou) Research Institute, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, Jiangsu, P.R. China

Series: Chemistry Research and Applications
BISAC: SCI013000

With the wide application of nanotechnology in scientific research as well as in industrial product development, it is urgent to develop appropriate tools for investigating and manipulating molecules, especially macromolecules at the nanoscale level. Different microscopes are typical equipment. Due to the high resolution, being maximally close to samples’ original status and the low requirement of sample preparation, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been applied as a nanotechnology tool since it was invented in 1986. As this equipment utilizes the force between the sample and scanning tip rather than the light signal as used by many other microscopes, samples with different optical properties can be investigated with AFM without limitations.

AFM has many modes including contact mode and non-contact mode, which can be applied for achieving different purposes depending on the samples’ properties and final purposes. Recent force spectroscopy can measure the interaction forces of the tip-sample, which is a function of distance between the tip and the sample, thus called a force-distance curve. Force spectroscopy can also be conducted with static or dynamic modes, which has been widely applied in many fields, especially in biophysics for measuring mechanical properties of living organisms or cells.

This book focuses on the research on AFM principles, modes of operation and limitation and they are discussed with detailed examples in various fields, ranging from inorganic materials in physics to organic materials in food science, biomedical science, chemistry and others. Plentiful information about techniques and approaches for the characterization and analysis of material morphology and mechanical information is discussed in this book. With the aid of these modern microscopes, researchers could identify the structure of macromolecules at nanoscale. In this book, some examples of material morphology and physical properties, especially mechanical properties, are provided for further reference.

With the basis of results via microscopic analysis, the relationship between structure and property could be built upon for further analysis. In this process, AFM analysis is a critical step for revealing the fundamentals of macromolecules and the corresponding functions and applications. In this book, the selection of techniques for morphology analysis, detailed methods for specimen preparation and potential artifacts for instrument analysis are provided. In addition to instrument analysis, critical thinking and profound knowledge are also necessary for performing AFM analysis and result interpretation. Thus, a large amount of references were cited in the book for interests to gain more detailed information.

The chapters of this book were compiled by professionals from different countries and various disciplines. With the exception of the techniques for problem solving, critical thinking was emphasized for each topic. Contributors of this book provided readers with updated information in each research area as well as many vivid examples. Furthermore, they compared the advantages and limitations of currently available techniques for macromolecular characterization and production, making this book an extremely useful addition to the current instrumental analyses of materials. The featured readers could be academic professionals in material science and engineering, nanoscience and technology, macromolecular science, food science, biomaterials, natural product processing and chemistry, biomedical science, and microscopy, etc. Industry colleagues and professionals will also benefit from this book. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Application of Atomic Force Microscopy in Food-Related Macromolecules
(Xiao Feng, Shaojuan Lai, Meng Li, Caili Fu, Fusheng Chen, and Hongshun Yang, Food Science and Technology Programme, Department of
Chemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore and others)

Chapter 2. Applications of Atomic Force Microscopy for Cellulosic Materials
(Baran Arslan and Nehal I. Abu-Lail, Gene and Linda School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, US)

Chapter 3. Dynamic Magnetic Characterizations at the Nanoscale: A New Mode for AFM Imaging with Magnetic Sample Modulation (MSM-AFM)
(Lauren E. Englade-Franklin, Wilson K. Serem, Stephanie L. Daniels, and Jayne C. Garno, Department of Chemistry, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA)

Chapter 4. Force-Feedback High-Speed Atomic Force Microscope
(Byung I. Kim and Ryan D. Boehm, Department of Physics, Boise State University, Boise, ID, USA)
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Chapter 5. Morphological Study of Thermoplastic-Based Nanocomposites Using Atomic Force Microscopy
(Ana M. Díez-Pascual, Institute of Polymer Science and Technology (ICTP-CSIC), Madrid, Spain)

Chapter 6. Characterisation of Tendons at Different Length Scales Using Atomic Force Microscopy and Polarised Light Microscopy May Provide Insight into Tendon Disease
(J. M. R. Tilley, A. J. Carr and J. T. Czernuszka, Department of Materials, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK and others)

Chapter 7. Application of AFM and Corrosion in Al-Fe Aerospace Alloy Treated to Laser Surface Remelting
(Moisés Meza Pariona and Amanda Guimarães, Post-Graduate in Engineering and Materials Science, State University of Ponta Grossa (UEPG), Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil)

Chapter 8. Characterization of Surface Structures Induced by Laser, Plasma, Thermal Treatment, Metallization, and Grafting
(P. Slepička, J. Siegel, O. Lyutakov, N. Slepičková Kasálková and V. Švorčík, Department of Solid State Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, Czech Republic)

Chapter 9. Atomic Force Microscopy Investigations of Articular Cartilage
(Chrystal Quisenberry and Nehal I. Abu-Lail, Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA)

Chapter 10. DNA Preparation For AFM Imaging in Air: Differences in Physical Parameters
(Danielle P. Cavalcanti, Daniela L. Gonçalves, Brunno R. Pedrosa, Marcelo Zogovich and Lilian T. Costa, Laboratório de Biologia, Diretoria de Metrologia Aplicada às Ciências da Vida, Instituto Nacional de Metrologia, Qualidade e Tecnologia, Inmetro, RJ, Brazil and others)

Chapter 11. Atomic Force Microscopy-Based Study on Morphological and Biomechanical Properties of Cell Membranes
(Hua Jin, Jiang Pi, Fen Yang, Haihua Bai and Jiye Cai, Department of Chemistry, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China)

Chapter 12. Investigation of Resistive Switching in the Nanocomposite Zirconia Films by Tunneling Atomic Force Microscopy
(D. O. Filatov, D. A. Antonov, O. N. Gorshkov, A. P. Kasatkin, D. A. Pavlov, V. N. Trushin, I. A. Antonov, M. E. Shenina, Physical Technical Research Institute, N. I. Lobachevskii University of Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, and others)


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