Atomic force microscopy (AFM) for materials characterization

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The use of high-resolution microscopic imaging is continuously increasing in engineering, medical, natural science, and other fields. In many applications, the characterization of surfaces requires spatial resolution of nanometers or lower. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), although a relatively newly developed technique, has now become a powerful technology for characterization of the surface of materials down to the atomic scale. AFM can be used to obtain nanoscale chemical, mechanical (modulus, stiffness, viscoelastic, frictional), electrical, and magnetic properties. In comparison with other microscopy techniques, AFM offers low cost, simplicity in operation, and imaging capability to atomic resolution. It is a powerful nondestructive analytical technique which can be used in air, liquid, or vacuum. This chapter discusses the effectiveness of AFM for material characterization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaterials Characterization Using Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Methods
EditorsG. Huebschen, I. Altpeter, R. Tschuncky, H-G. Herrmann
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherWoodhead Publishing
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-100040-3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • AFM
  • AFM probe
  • Material characterization
  • 3D scanning
  • Topography surface scanning


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