AFM for Graphene and Other Low Dimensional Materials
The 2004 report by Novoselov and Geim on transistors made from single-layer graphitic films created overnight the field of graphene research. This single, free-standing plane of carbon atoms has proven to exhibit many unique and desirable properties: it provides a high surface area, excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, and superior mechanical strength. Graphene is an ideal two-sided surface without a bulk in between, has the highest known room-temperature carrier mobility, 25 times the thermal conductivity of silicon, a reported Young's modulus of ~1 TPa and breaking strength approaching the theoretical limit. Potentials for breakthrough technologies thus abound, including: next generation electronics (quantum computing, spintronics); energy collection and storage (photovoltaics, fuel cells, supercapacitors); nanoelectromechanical (NEMS) devices and resonators; and electrochemical sensors and lab-on-chip biosensors. This has also spurred attendant interest in other 2D materials such as MoS2 and boron nitride films.
AFM is a critical enabling technology in graphene research. Its high (sub-angstrom) resolution distinguishes with ease single atomic layers on a substrate, and is suitable for characterizing film quality, such as morphology, roughness, and uniformity. Moreover, AFM imaging requires a probe to be in physical contact with the surface, which makes it possible to determine electrical and mechanical properties simultaneously with topography. Material properties such as conductivity and permittivity, stiffness and dissipation, viscoelastic and friction responses can thus be mapped-out with nanoscale lateral precision. Long-range electrical properties such as electrostatic charge, surface potential, and magnetic fields can be probed as well by bringing the tip in close proximity of the surface during measurement.
Graphene characterization with atomic force microscopy
Roughness, morphology, uniformity
Conductivity and permittivity (sMIM, CAFM)
Surface potential (KPFM)
Stored charge (EFM)
I-V profiles (CAFM)
Magnetic force gradients (MFM)
Stiffness, Young's modulus (Force Curves, Fast Force Mapping, AM-FM)
Elastic modulus, loss modulus, loss tangent (AM-FM, Contact Resonance, Loss Tangent Imaging)
Energy dissipation (AM-FM, Contact Resonance, Loss Tangent Imaging)
Adhesion (Force Curves, Fast Force Mapping)
Thermal conductivity (SThM)
Quantum computing, spintronics
Electronic circuit components: transistors, field emitters, interconnects, supercapacitors
Resistive non-volatile memory technology
Transparent electrodes for optoelectronics, photovoltaics, and display technology
Energy collection and storage: solar cells, fuel cells, batteries
Terahertz plasmon oscillators
Sensor technologies: single-molecule sensors, electrochemical sensors, biosensors, lab-on-chip devices
Semipermeable membranes for (bio)molecular and ion transport
Nanoelectromechanical systems and mechanical resonators
Application Notes and Articles
Asylum Research Image Gallery
Measuring Nanomechanical Properties
Quantitatively maps storage modulus and loss tangent over a wide modulus range (~50 kPa - 300 GPa).
Quantitatively maps storage modulus and loss tangent over a wide modulus range (1 GPa - 300 GPa).
Describes the complete set of complementary tools for investigating nanomechanical properties.
Probing Electrical and Functional Behavior
Overview of Asylum's full range of electrical characterization techniques.
Detailed discussion of conductive AFM (CAFM) using Asylum’s exclusive ORCA modules.
Detailed discussion of piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) techniques, many exclusive to Asylum AFMs.
Scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy (sMIM) measures conductivity and permittivity at high resolution.
Explore the latest AFM tools that enable higher resolution, sensitivity and more quantitative results for analyzing 2D...
Capabilities and challenges of AFM techniques for measuring nanomechanical properties.
Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode technology and applications.
Review of recent technology advances on the Cypher AFM
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