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AFM - Atomic Force Microscopy

Contact: Dr.rer.nat A. Aretz
e-mail: aretz@gfe.rwth-aachen.de
phone: +49-241-80-24346


Atomic force microscopes (Atomic Force Microscope, AFM) probe the surface of a specimen with a sharp tip, a couple of microns long and often less than 100 Å in diameter. The tip is located at the free end of a cantilever 100 to 200 µm long. Forces between the tip and the sample surface cause the cantilever to bend, or deflect.
A detector measures the cantilever deflection as the tip is scanned over the sample. The measured cantilever deflections allow a computer to generate a map of surface topography. Producing three-dimensional images mean depth and height characteristics can be quantified with high precision.

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