SPM in ambient conditions
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in contact or dynamic modes for topographic characterization in parallel with other surface properties: conductivity (C-AFM), electrostatic force (EFM), surface potential (KPFM), magnetostatic force (MFM), capacitance (SCM), spreading resistance (SSRM), piezoelectric response (PFM). This class also includes scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) in air or in an electrolyte with variable potential (ECSTM).
Particular dynamic AFM mode in which a phase-lock-loop keeps the tip sample interaction in a force regime in which real contact does not occur, providing therefore the maximum resolution with the minimum sample damage. It can be performed in liquid and in UHV. It is often combined simultaneously with STM using the so called ‘tunning-fork’ piezoelectric sensors.
SPM lithography for the creation of chemical guiding patterns for directed self-assembly of molecules, polymers and nano-objects.
AFM in ambient conditions and in non-contact mode can create chemical patterns on a surface with sub-10 nm resolution. For example, the surface can be locally oxidized to change its interaction force with other entities. The modified surface can selectively change the attraction to nanoentities, to create for example single lines or molecules or guiding patterns for directed self-assembly of block co-polymers.