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An AFM tip replacement system compatible with all ambient media and operation modalities

Vikrant, KS and Jayanth, GR (2019) An AFM tip replacement system compatible with all ambient media and operation modalities. In: ULTRAMICROSCOPY, 196 . pp. 136-141.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ultramic.2018.10.007


Replacement of an atomic force microscope (AFM) probe is an unavoidable aspect of the instrument's use, since its tip gets blunted or contaminated with use. Here, we propose a technique to replace only the tip of the AFM probe. Significantly, the technique is compatible with all the conventional modalities and media in which AFM is operated. The proposed technique employs a paraffin wax micro-particle as an integrated adhesive microgripper. By suitably controlling the phase of this material, it is employed to pick up and detach tips, and to grip them firmly while interacting with samples. The strategy has been experimentally demonstrated to work under conditions that are most likely to affect the microgripper integrity, namely, during contact mode imaging and in water. Despite this, the obtained images are shown to be identical to that obtained in air and with conventional probes. Further, reliability studies on the microgripper revealed that its lifetime is significantly higher than that of the probe-tip. Finally, the gripper has also been demonstrated to enable detachment of the AFM tip.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belong to ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Keywords: Atomic force microscopy; Replaceable tips; Paraffin wax-based microgripper; Contact mode imaging
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Instrumentation Appiled Physics
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2018 07:06
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2018 07:06
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/61277

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