Investigation of nanoscale phenomena by AFM

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a quantitative three-dimensional high-resolution microscopy technique, belonging to the family of Scanning Probe Techniques, whose predecessor, the scanning tunneling microscope (STM), was developed by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer in the early 1980s at IBM Research – Zurich, and earned them the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1986.The AFM is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring, and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.

The AFM lab was settled in 1999 at the Department of Physics of UNIMI; since then, the research activity of the AFM group has developed along two parallel tracks, closely interwoven: the development and implementation of AFM-based techniques and protocols, and their application to the investigation of nanoscale systems. The activity of the AFM group is well integrated within the interdisciplinary environment of CIMAINA the frame of nano(bio) sciences and technologies.

Related research lines:

Development of advanced atomic force microscopy characterization techniques

The development and implementation of original protocols based on Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for the characterization of nanoscale surface properties represents an important research activity of CIMAINA. This task is strategic for a centre like CIMAINA that aims competing at international level in the field of nanoscience with the leading research groups.
So far, characterization protocols allowing the simultaneous acquisitions of maps of topography and of different physical-chemical surface properties (friction and adhesion, elastic properties, electric impedance) have been developed or implemented. Beside AFM commercial sharp tips, custom micrometer-sized spherical probes (2-100 um) can be produced in-house according to the requirements. Dedicated data processing protocols have been developed to extract statistically meaningful and accurate information from the raw AFM data.

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 (bio)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)

Referent: Alessandro Podestà

Participants: Francesca Borghi, Matteo Chighizola, Massimiliano Galluzzi, Luca Puricelli

Last publications show all

Standardized Nanomechanical Atomic Force Microscopy Procedure (SNAP) for Measuring Soft and Biological Samples

Schillers, Hermann; Rianna, Carmela; Schaepe, Jens; Luque, Tomas; Doschke, Holger; Waelte, Mike; Jose Uriarte, Juan; Campillo, Noelia; Michanetzis, Georgios P. A.; Bobrowska, Justyna; Dumitru, Andra; Herruzo, Elena T.; Bovio, Simone; Parot, Pierre; Galluzzi, Massimiliano; Podesta, Alessandro; Puricelli, Luca; Scheuring, Simon; Missirlis, Yannis; Garcia, Ricardo; Odorico, Michael; Teulon, Jean-Marie; Lafont, Frank; Lekka, Malgorzata; Rico, Felix; Rigato, Annafrancesca; Pellequer, Jean-Luc; Oberleithner, Hans; Navajas, Daniel; Radmacher, Manfred: Sci Rep 7 (2017) 5117 [DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-05383-0]

Nanomechanical and topographical imaging of living cells by atomic force microscopy with colloidal probes

Puricelli, Luca; Galluzzi, Massimiliano; Schulte, Carsten; Podesta, Alessandro; Milani, Paolo: Rev. Sci. Instrum. 86 (2015) 033705 [DOI: 10.1063/1.4915896]

Adhesive-free colloidal probes for nanoscale force measurements: Production and characterization

Indrieri, M.; Podesta, A.; Bongiorno, G.; Marchesi, D.; Milani, P.: Rev. Sci. Instrum. 82 (2011) 023708 [DOI: 10.1063/1.3553499]

Related grants:

Phys2BioMed – Biomechanics in health and disease: advanced physical tools for innovative early diagnosis

EU – European Union (EU H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018 – ETN) (from 2019-01-01 to 2022-12-31)

EDIT – Novel precision technological platforms to promote non-invasive early diagnosis, eradication and prevention of cancer relapse: proof of concept in the bladder carcinoma

EU – European Union (FET-OPEN 2017) (from 2018-10-01 to 2022-09-30)