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Chapter 1: Atomic Force Microscopy as a Nanoanalytical Tool

: Adhikari, R.; Henning, S.; Michler, G.H.


Thomas, S.:
Spectroscopic methods for nanomaterials characterization
New York: Elsevier Science, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-323-46146-7
ISBN: 978-0-323-46140-5
Book Article
Fraunhofer IMWS ()

Atomic force microscopy (AFM), also commonly known as scanning force microscopy, has evolved as an extremely useful tool for the study of the structure and properties of nanostructured systems including nanoparticles (NPs), composites, and soft matters such as polymers and biological tissues. In particular, AFM serves as an excellent complement to electron microscopic techniques, on one hand, and represents a unique tool to study the physical and functional properties of heterogeneous systems on the nanoscale on the other. The aim of this chapter is to elucidate the contribution of AFM to the structural characterization of nanomaterials with an introduction to the principles of the basic AFM techniques and sample preparation methods. A comparison with electron microscopy will also be presented, selecting some illustrative examples of imaging of NPs, soft matter, and composites. We demonstrate that AFM can conveniently be used not only to image the morphology of the materials with nanometer resolution but also to gain insight into the manipulation of the NPs in a controlled manner.