Quantitative force measurements in liquid using frequency modulation atomic force microscopy

Uchihashi, Takayuki; Higgins, Michael J.; Yasuda, Satoshi; Jarvis, Suzanne P.; Akita, Seiji; Nakayama, Yoshikazu; Sader, John E.
October 2004
Applied Physics Letters;10/18/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 16, p3575
Academic Journal
The measurement of short-range forces with the atomic force microscope (AFM) typically requires implementation of dynamic techniques to maintain sensitivity and stability. While frequency modulation atomic force microscopy (FM-AFM) is used widely for high-resolution imaging and quantitative force measurements in vacuum, quantitative force measurements using FM-AFM in liquids have proven elusive. Here we demonstrate that the formalism derived for operation in vacuum can also be used in liquids, provided certain modifications are implemented. To facilitate comparison with previous measurements taken using surface forces apparatus, we choose a model system (octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane) that is known to exhibit short-ranged structural ordering when confined between two surfaces. Force measurements obtained are found to be in excellent agreement with previously reported results. This study therefore establishes FM-AFM as a powerful tool for the quantitative measurement of forces in liquid.


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