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Functional Atomic Force Microscopy

Understanding the complex interplay between fields and materials at the nanoscale requires the use of novel scanning probe imaging and spectroscopy techniques via combined development of state-of-the-art instrumentation, controls, and advanced analysis methods.

In the FAFM group we combine the potential of our unique capabilities portfolio with the enhanced impact of correlative studies, where they can be combined and integrated for wider and deeper functional studies of nanoscale materials.

Signature Facilities

     Advanced AFM

     Joule-Thomson STM

  • ION-TOF NCS, AFM/FIB-ToF-SIMS consists of a high resolution time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (TOF-SIMS) including a 30keV BiMn cluster ion gun, 20keV Ar gas cluster source for dual-beam depth profiling and 3D analysis, dual-source O and Cs ion guns for low energy sputtering and thermal ionization and on-axis FIB tomography for very rough samples with a Ga ion source. The FIB-TOF-SIMS/SPM is capable of surface spectroscopy, surface imaging and depth profiling with co-registered in-situ SPM characterization. The coregistered SPM characterization includes non-contact mode analysis using MFM magnetic force microscopy, EFM electrostatic force microscopy, Kelvin probe microscopy; and in contact mode for topography, nanomechanical properties and conductivity. 
  • Time-resolved capabilities have been recently developed for ToF-SIMS. This enabled direct operando studies of ionic dynamics and chemical reactivity in a wide range of materials systems under the action of external stimuli, including electric fields, light illumination, and temperature gradients. The details and capabilities of the technique are demonstrated in number of journal publications by Liu, Ievlev, and Ovchinnikova et al. (Advanced Functional Materials 31, no. 8 (2021): 2008777; Advanced Science 7, no. 19 (2020): 2001176; ACS nano 15, no. 5 (2021): 9017-9026) and is a part of approved US patent (US20210257205A1).”
  • Anasys Instruments NanoIR2-s (will not be available Spring 2022 cycle) is equipped with a 4-chip QCL laser and is capable of simultaneously providing AFM topographic imaging with nanometer-scale resolution infrared spectroscopy and IR imaging with sub-100nm spatial resolution, IR-SNOM with sub-20nm resolution. The instrument consists of an atomic force microscope designed for seamless integration with scattering Scanning Near Field Optical Microscopy (s-SNOM) and Atomic Force Microscopy Infrared (AFM-IR) techniques. In addition to nanoscale IR spectroscopy, the instrument can measure contact resonance frequencies of an AFM cantilever using the Lorentz Contact Resonance technique (LCR) in order to map variations in the sample’s mechanical properties; and provide local thermal properties via the nanoTA technique, for quantitative measurements of thermal transition temperatures at nanoscale spatial resolution.