Atomic Force Microscopy laboratory

The Atomic Force Microscopy laboratory of CIMAINA has been settled in 1999.
Since its foundation, the laboratory has been active in the investigation of physico-chemical properties of systems and interfaces at the nanometre scale.
The development and implementation of original protocols based on AFM represents a distinctive element for the laboratory. The efforts of CIMAINA scientists are therefore dedicated to the continuous upgrade of the characterization capabilities of their AFM workstations. Original characterization protocols allowing the
simultaneous acquisitions of maps of topography and of different physical-chemical surface properties (friction and adhesion, elasticity, electric impedance,…) have been developed, together with dedicated
data processing protocols.

The laboratory is equipped with an atomic force microscope (AFM), from Bruker. The instrument, upgraded to the latest version, provides nanometer resolution in ambient conditions.

Multimode 8
for the highest resolution imaging and mapping. The workstation
includes custom and commercial modules for fluid imaging, nanoscale
impedance spectroscopy, nanomechanical and friction tests, nanoscale
oxidation patterning, magnetic imaging, probe calibration.

Stylus profilometer KLA Tencor P6
In addition to AFM instruments, a stylus profilometer equipped with
low-force capacitance sensor provides fast characterization of surface
morphology, via the acquisition of single topographic profiles, as well
as pseudo 3D topographic maps. The main characteristics are: vertical
resolution < 1nm, lateral resolution = 1um, stylus force: 0.5-50mg,
max scan length = 150mm.

Development of Atomic Force Microscopy techniques for the study of nanostructured systems and interfaces

  1. Statistical analysis of surface morphology of thin films and nanostructures;
  2. Metrology of nanometer-sized objects (proteins and nanoparticles);
  3. Nanotribological and nanomechanical characterization of interfaces;
  4. Force-spectroscopy;
  5. Scanning electric impedance microscopy;
  6. Calibration of AFM probes;
  7. Production and calibration of colloidal probes for AFM (diameters 2-100 μm);
  8. Conductive AFM.

Referent: Francesca Borghi