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Nanomechanical Measurements

Nanomechanical Measurements

FAFM Atomic Force Microscopy fleet


Available modes:

  • Topography: Contact and dynamic modes available. 
  • Force curves measure interaction forces between the AFM tip and the sample during approaching and withdrawing the tip. From the characteristics of these interactions, we can calculate mechanical properties such as adhesion forces, elastic moduli, indentation and detect rupture and plastic deformation events. (quantitative)
  • Peak force quantitative nanomechanical characterization is based on a map of fast force curves and shows modulus, adhesion, dissipation and deformation. (quantitative)
  • Contact resonance AFM uses the contact resonance of a mechanically excited tip that is in contact with a sample as measure for the elastic modulus. (quantitative)
  • Bimodal dual AC imaging uses tapping mode and an additional higher order cantilever resonance to identify spatial changes in mechanical properties from the phase image. (qualitative)
  • AM-FM viscoelastic mapping, based on bimodal dual AC imaging, uses a more sensitive feedback for the higher order mode and provides contrast related to storage modulus, contact stiffness and loss. (quantitative)


  • Sample up to buffer size
  • Scan range (30x30 um, 80x80 um) 
  • Z height limit (<10 ┬Ám)
  • Force Sensitivity (pm)
  • Environmental Control 
  • Glove box (Ar filled) 
  • Environmental cells for gases: humidity, nonreactive 
  • Environmental cells for liquids: aqueous buffers, ionic liquids 
  • Temperature stage (sample heating 0-250 C) 
  • Interferometric Displacement Sensor (IDS) [Cypher AFM]
  • Band Excitation Modulus
  • Force mapping
  • FPGA Scanner Control 
  • PyAE workflows


  • Local mechanical characterization of materials with stiffness in the range from kPa to hundreds of GPa
  • Adhesion studies of surfaces
  • Soft polymer and biological samples
  • Surface roughness and corrosion studies


  • Cypher AFM, MFP 3D AFM (Asylum Research) in ambient
  • Icon Dimension (Bruker) in ambient
  • Icon Dimension (Bruker) in Ar glovebox
  • Drive AFM (Nanosurf) in ambient