Functional Nanomaterials Chair

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)

The atomic force microscope (AFM) is a user friendly tool to analyze and image surfaces. Being one of the scanning probe microcopies, AFM has applications in cell biology, materials and surface science, nanolithography and nanomanipulation. Depending on the size and the shape of the cantilever and the tip, surface topography can be measured on a scale of Å to 100 µm. The AFM instrument provided by WITec instruments has the following modes of measurement:

Contact Mode (imaging in air or liquid)

Tapping Mode (imaging in air or liquid)

Digital Pulsed Force Mode (DPFM)

Electric Force Microscopy (EFM)

Phase Imaging

Force Distance Curves


Zwei Studenten und eine Tasse Kaffee


Figure 1: (a) AFM phase image of Scandium alloyed aluminum nitride (Al1−xScxN) thin film [1], (b) and (d) AFM amplitude and topography image of Si surface treated with a pulsed laser respectively. (c) AFM topography image of porous silicon foil etched electrochemical by large area etching.

[1] Fichtner, S.; Reimer, T.; Chemnitz, S.; Lofink, F. & Wagner, B. APL Mater., 2015, 3


For more information contact:

Dr.-Ing. Sören Kaps