Modeling time-resolved interaction force mode AFM imaging
Oral, Hasan Giray
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Intermittent contact mode atomic force microscopy has been widely employed for simultaneous topography imaging and material characterization. The work in the literature includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. Regular AFM cantilevers are generally used in these methods, yet these cantilevers come with certain limitations. These limitations result from the very nature of cantilever probes. They are passive force sensors with insufficient damping. This prevents having active and complete control on tip-sample forces, causing sample damage and inaccurate topography measurement. Ideally, an AFM probe should offer high bandwidth to resolve interaction forces, active control capability for small interaction force and stable operation, and sufficient damping to avoid transient ringing which causes undesired forces on the sample. Force sensing integrated readout and active tip (FIRAT) probe offers these properties. A special imaging mode, time-resolved interaction force (TRIF) mode imaging can be performed using FIRAT probe for simultaneous topography and material property imaging. The accuracy of topography measurement of samples with variations in elastic and adhesive properties is investigated via numerical simulations and experiments. Results indicate that employing FIRAT probe's active tip control (ATC) capability during TRIF mode imaging provides significant level of control over the tip-sample forces. This improves the accuracy of topography measurement during simultaneous material property imaging, compared to conventional methods. Moreover, Active tip control (ATC) preserves constant contact time during force control for stable contact while preventing loss of material property information such as elasticity and adhesive forces.