Role of attractive forces in tapping tip force microscopy

Anders Kyhle, Alexis Hammer Sørensen, Jakob Bohr

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We present experimental and numerical results demonstrating the drastic influence of attractive forces on the behaviour of the atomic force microscope when operated in the resonant tapping tip mode in an ambient environment. It is often assumed that tapping is related to repulsive interaction. In contrast, we find that in general the attractive forces are the most dominant interaction in this mode of operation. We show that attractive forces in combination with the repulsive elastic type of forces cause points of instability in the parameter space constituted by: the cantilever swing amplitude, the frequency bias point, and the distance between the fixed end of the cantilever and the sample. These points of instability can result in disturbances during image acquisition on hard elastic surfaces. ©1997 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)6562-6569
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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Copyright (1997) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

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