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1.  Effect of the tip state during qPlus noncontact atomic force microscopy of Si(100) at 5 K: Probing the probe 
Background: Noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) now regularly produces atomic-resolution images on a wide range of surfaces, and has demonstrated the capability for atomic manipulation solely using chemical forces. Nonetheless, the role of the tip apex in both imaging and manipulation remains poorly understood and is an active area of research both experimentally and theoretically. Recent work employing specially functionalised tips has provided additional impetus to elucidating the role of the tip apex in the observed contrast.
Results: We present an analysis of the influence of the tip apex during imaging of the Si(100) substrate in ultra-high vacuum (UHV) at 5 K using a qPlus sensor for noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM). Data demonstrating stable imaging with a range of tip apexes, each with a characteristic imaging signature, have been acquired. By imaging at close to zero applied bias we eliminate the influence of tunnel current on the force between tip and surface, and also the tunnel-current-induced excitation of silicon dimers, which is a key issue in scanning probe studies of Si(100).
Conclusion: A wide range of novel imaging mechanisms are demonstrated on the Si(100) surface, which can only be explained by variations in the precise structural configuration at the apex of the tip. Such images provide a valuable resource for theoreticians working on the development of realistic tip structures for NC-AFM simulations. Force spectroscopy measurements show that the tip termination critically affects both the short-range force and dissipated energy.
PMCID: PMC3304327  PMID: 22428093
force spectroscopy; image contrast; noncontact AFM; qPlus; Si(001); Si(100); tip (apex) structure
2.  Probing three-dimensional surface force fields with atomic resolution: Measurement strategies, limitations, and artifact reduction 
Noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) is being increasingly used to measure the interaction force between an atomically sharp probe tip and surfaces of interest, as a function of the three spatial dimensions, with picometer and piconewton accuracy. Since the results of such measurements may be affected by piezo nonlinearities, thermal and electronic drift, tip asymmetries, and elastic deformation of the tip apex, these effects need to be considered during image interpretation.
In this paper, we analyze their impact on the acquired data, compare different methods to record atomic-resolution surface force fields, and determine the approaches that suffer the least from the associated artifacts. The related discussion underscores the idea that since force fields recorded by using NC-AFM always reflect the properties of both the sample and the probe tip, efforts to reduce unwanted effects of the tip on recorded data are indispensable for the extraction of detailed information about the atomic-scale properties of the surface.
PMCID: PMC3458610  PMID: 23019560
atomic force microscopy; force spectroscopy; NC-AFM; three-dimensional atomic force microscopy; tip asymmetry; tip elasticity
3.  A measurement of the hysteresis loop in force-spectroscopy curves using a tuning-fork atomic force microscope 
Measurements of the frequency shift versus distance in noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) allow measurements of the force gradient between the oscillating tip and a surface (force-spectroscopy measurements). When nonconservative forces act between the tip apex and the surface the oscillation amplitude is damped. The dissipation is caused by bistabilities in the potential energy surface of the tip–sample system, and the process can be understood as a hysteresis of forces between approach and retraction of the tip. In this paper, we present the direct measurement of the whole hysteresis loop in force-spectroscopy curves at 77 K on the PTCDA/Ag/Si(111) √3 × √3 surface by means of a tuning-fork-based NC-AFM with an oscillation amplitude smaller than the distance range of the hysteresis loop. The hysteresis effect is caused by the making and breaking of a bond between PTCDA molecules on the surface and a PTCDA molecule at the tip. The corresponding energy loss was determined to be 0.57 eV by evaluation of the force–distance curves upon approach and retraction. Furthermore, a second dissipation process was identified through the damping of the oscillation while the molecule on the tip is in contact with the surface. This dissipation process occurs mainly during the retraction of the tip. It reaches a maximum value of about 0.22 eV/cycle.
PMCID: PMC3323909  PMID: 22496993
atomic force microscopy; energy dissipation; force spectroscopy; hysteresis loop; PTCDA/Ag/Si(111) √3 × √3
4.  High-resolution dynamic atomic force microscopy in liquids with different feedback architectures 
The recent achievement of atomic resolution with dynamic atomic force microscopy (dAFM) [Fukuma et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 2005, 87, 034101], where quality factors of the oscillating probe are inherently low, challenges some accepted beliefs concerning sensitivity and resolution in dAFM imaging modes. Through analysis and experiment we study the performance metrics for high-resolution imaging with dAFM in liquid media with amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM) and drive-amplitude modulation (DAM) imaging modes. We find that while the quality factors of dAFM probes may deviate by several orders of magnitude between vacuum and liquid media, their sensitivity to tip–sample forces can be remarkable similar. Furthermore, the reduction in noncontact forces and quality factors in liquids diminishes the role of feedback control in achieving high-resolution images. The theoretical findings are supported by atomic-resolution images of mica in water acquired with AM, FM and DAM under similar operating conditions.
PMCID: PMC3596120  PMID: 23503468
atomic force microscopy; dAFM; high-resolution; liquids
5.  A 3-D Force and Moment Motor for Small-Scale Biomechanics Experiments 
IEEE sensors journal  2009;9(12):1924-1932.
The inability to identify 3-D force and moment components for actuators and sensors is a major limiting factor in the study of 3-D force interactions with small-scale biological structures. While recent advances have been made in the measurement of stimulating forces using load cells and atomic-force microscopy in experimental preparations of biological structures such as mammalian temporal bones, these techniques have mostly been limited to one or two dimensions. In this paper, a method is described for stimulating biological structures using a small magnet (2 mg Sm2Co17) and a nearby current-conducting coil (46 gauge, 50 turns), that allows the 3-D Lorentz forces and moments acting on the magnet to be calculated. To make these calculations possible, the dimensions and placements of the magnet and coil are accurately determined (within 10 μm for in vitro preparations) using high-resolution micro-CT imaging. This noncontact force motor method has been used to study the mechanics of the malleus-incus complex in the mammalian middle ear in addition to basilar membrane mechanics and fluid flow inside the cochlea, and it can also be applied to the study of other biomechanical structures.
PMCID: PMC2838498  PMID: 20234800
Cochlea; coil; electromagnetic; force; magnet; micro-computed tomography (micro-CT); middle ear; moment
6.  Modeling noncontact atomic force microscopy resolution on corrugated surfaces 
Key developments in NC-AFM have generally involved atomically flat crystalline surfaces. However, many surfaces of technological interest are not atomically flat. We discuss the experimental difficulties in obtaining high-resolution images of rough surfaces, with amorphous SiO2 as a specific case. We develop a quasi-1-D minimal model for noncontact atomic force microscopy, based on van der Waals interactions between a spherical tip and the surface, explicitly accounting for the corrugated substrate (modeled as a sinusoid). The model results show an attenuation of the topographic contours by ~30% for tip distances within 5 Å of the surface. Results also indicate a deviation from the Hamaker force law for a sphere interacting with a flat surface.
PMCID: PMC3323912  PMID: 22496996
graphene; model; noncontact atomic force microscopy; SiO2; van der Waals
7.  High-resolution noncontact AFM and Kelvin probe force microscopy investigations of self-assembled photovoltaic donor–acceptor dyads 
Self-assembled donor–acceptor dyads are used as model nanostructured heterojunctions for local investigations by noncontact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM) and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM). With the aim to probe the photo-induced charge carrier generation, thin films deposited on transparent indium tin oxide substrates are investigated in dark conditions and upon illumination. The topographic and contact potential difference (CPD) images taken under dark conditions are analysed in view of the results of complementary transmission electron microscopy (TEM) experiments. After in situ annealing, it is shown that the dyads with longer donor blocks essentially lead to standing acceptor–donor lamellae, where the acceptor and donor groups are π-stacked in an edge-on configuration. The existence of strong CPD and surface photo-voltage (SPV) contrasts shows that structural variations occur within the bulk of the edge-on stacks. SPV images with a very high lateral resolution are achieved, which allows for the resolution of local photo-charging contrasts at the scale of single edge-on lamella. This work paves the way for local investigations of the optoelectronic properties of donor–acceptor supramolecular architectures down to the elementary building block level.
PMCID: PMC4902083  PMID: 27335768
donor–acceptor co-oligomers; donor–acceptor lamellae; donor–acceptor-ordered bulk heterojunction; Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM); noncontact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM); organic photovoltaics; surface photo-voltage (SPV)
8.  Energy dissipation of nanoconfined hydration layer: Long-range hydration on the hydrophilic solid surface 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6499.
The hydration water layer (HWL), a ubiquitous form of water on the hydrophilic surfaces, exhibits anomalous characteristics different from bulk water and plays an important role in interfacial interactions. Despite extensive studies on the mechanical properties of HWL, one still lacks holistic understanding of its energy dissipation, which is critical to characterization of viscoelastic materials as well as identification of nanoscale dissipation processes. Here we address energy dissipation of nanoconfined HWL between two atomically flat hydrophilic solid surfaces (area of ~120 nm2) by small amplitude-modulation, noncontact atomic force microscopy. Based on the viscoelastic hydration-force model, the average dissipation energy is ~1 eV at the tapping amplitude (~0.1 nm) of the tip. In particular, we determine the accurate HWL thickness of ~6 layers of water molecules, as similarly observed on biological surfaces. Such a long-range interaction of HWL should be considered in the nanoscale phenomena such as friction, collision and self-assembly.
PMCID: PMC4179125  PMID: 25267426
9.  Local Electronic and Chemical Structure of Oligo-acetylene Derivatives Formed Through Radical Cyclizations at a Surface 
Nano Letters  2014;14(5):2251-2255.
Semiconducting π-conjugated polymers have attracted significant interest for applications in light-emitting diodes, field-effect transistors, photovoltaics, and nonlinear optoelectronic devices. Central to the success of these functional organic materials is the facile tunability of their electrical, optical, and magnetic properties along with easy processability and the outstanding mechanical properties associated with polymeric structures. In this work we characterize the chemical and electronic structure of individual chains of oligo-(E)-1,1′-bi(indenylidene), a polyacetylene derivative that we have obtained through cooperative C1–C5 thermal enediyne cyclizations on Au(111) surfaces followed by a step-growth polymerization of the (E)-1,1′-bi(indenylidene) diradical intermediates. We have determined the combined structural and electronic properties of this class of oligomers by characterizing the atomically precise chemical structure of individual monomer building blocks and oligomer chains (via noncontact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM)), as well as by imaging their localized and extended molecular orbitals (via scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS)). Our combined structural and electronic measurements reveal that the energy associated with extended π-conjugated states in these oligomers is significantly lower than the energy of the corresponding localized monomer orbitals, consistent with theoretical predictions.
PMCID: PMC4022646  PMID: 24387223
Conducting polymers; C1−C5 thermal enediyne cyclization; radical step-growth polymerization; noncontact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM); scanning tunneling microscopy (STM); density functional theory (DFT)
10.  Quantitative multichannel NC-AFM data analysis of graphene growth on SiC(0001) 
Noncontact atomic force microscopy provides access to several complementary signals, such as topography, damping, and contact potential. The traditional presentation of such data sets in adjacent figures or in colour-coded pseudo-three-dimensional plots gives only a qualitative impression. We introduce two-dimensional histograms for the representation of multichannel NC-AFM data sets in a quantitative fashion. Presentation and analysis are exemplified for topography and contact-potential data for graphene grown epitaxially on 6H-SiC(0001), as recorded by Kelvin probe force microscopy in ultrahigh vacuum. Sample preparations by thermal decomposition in ultrahigh vacuum and in an argon atmosphere are compared and the respective growth mechanisms discussed.
PMCID: PMC3304321  PMID: 22428109
FM-AFM; graphene; 6H-SiC(0001); KPFM; SPM
11.  An NC-AFM and KPFM study of the adsorption of a triphenylene derivative on KBr(001) 
The adsorption on KBr(001) of a specially designed molecule, consisting of a flat aromatic triphenylene core equipped with six flexible propyl chains ending with polar cyano groups, is investigated by using atomic force microscopy in the noncontact mode (NC-AFM) coupled to Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) in ultrahigh vacuum at room temperature. Two types of monolayers are identified, one in which the molecules lie flat on the surface (MLh) and another in which they stand approximately upright (MLv). The Kelvin voltage on these two structures is negatively shifted relative to that of the clean KBr surface, revealing the presence of surface dipoles with a component pointing along the normal to the surface. These findings are interpreted with the help of numerical simulations. It is shown that the surface–molecule interaction is dominated by the electrostatic interaction of the cyano groups with the K+ ions of the substrate. The molecule is strongly adsorbed in the MLh structure with an adsorption energy of 1.8 eV. In the MLv layer, the molecules form π-stacked rows aligned along the polar directions of the KBr surface. In these rows, the molecules are less strongly bound to the substrate, but the structure is stabilized by the strong intermolecular interaction due to π-stacking.
PMCID: PMC3323911  PMID: 22496995
atomic force microscopy; insulating surfaces; Kelvin force probe microscopy; molecular adsorption
12.  Contact-free experimental determination of the static flexural spring constant of cantilever sensors using a microfluidic force tool 
Micro- and nanocantilevers are employed in atomic force microscopy (AFM) and in micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS) as sensing elements. They enable nanomechanical measurements, are essential for the characterization of nanomaterials, and form an integral part of many nanoscale devices. Despite the fact that numerous methods described in the literature can be applied to determine the static flexural spring constant of micro- and nanocantilever sensors, experimental techniques that do not require contact between the sensor and a surface at some point during the calibration process are still the exception rather than the rule. We describe a noncontact method using a microfluidic force tool that produces accurate forces and demonstrate that this, in combination with a thermal noise spectrum, can provide the static flexural spring constant for cantilever sensors of different geometric shapes over a wide range of spring constant values (≈0.8–160 N/m).
PMCID: PMC4901535  PMID: 27335740
AFM; cantilever sensors; microfluidic force tool; spring constant
13.  Drive-amplitude-modulation atomic force microscopy: From vacuum to liquids 
We introduce drive-amplitude-modulation atomic force microscopy as a dynamic mode with outstanding performance in all environments from vacuum to liquids. As with frequency modulation, the new mode follows a feedback scheme with two nested loops: The first keeps the cantilever oscillation amplitude constant by regulating the driving force, and the second uses the driving force as the feedback variable for topography. Additionally, a phase-locked loop can be used as a parallel feedback allowing separation of the conservative and nonconservative interactions. We describe the basis of this mode and present some examples of its performance in three different environments. Drive-amplutide modulation is a very stable, intuitive and easy to use mode that is free of the feedback instability associated with the noncontact-to-contact transition that occurs in the frequency-modulation mode.
PMCID: PMC3343270  PMID: 22563531
atomic force microscopy; control systems; dissipation; frequency modulation; noncontact
14.  Noncontact atomic force microscopy study of the spinel MgAl2O4(111) surface 
Based on high-resolution noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) experiments we reveal a detailed structural model of the polar (111) surface of the insulating ternary metal oxide, MgAl2O4 (spinel). NC-AFM images reveal a 6√3×6√3R30° superstructure on the surface consisting of patches with the original oxygen-terminated MgAl2O4(111) surface interrupted by oxygen-deficient areas. These observations are in accordance with previous theoretical studies, which predict that the polarity of the surface can be compensated by removal of a certain fraction of oxygen atoms. However, instead of isolated O vacancies, it is observed that O is removed in a distinct pattern of line vacancies reflected by the underlying lattice structure. Consequently, by the creation of triangular patches in a 6√3×6√3R30° superstructure, the polar-stabilization requirements are met.
PMCID: PMC3323907  PMID: 22496991
aluminium oxide; metal oxide surfaces; noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM); polar surfaces; reconstructions; spinel
15.  (2n × 1) Reconstructions of TiO2(011) Revealed by Noncontact Atomic Force Microscopy and Scanning Tunneling Microscopy 
We have used noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to study the rutile TiO2(011) surface. A series of (2n × 1) reconstructions were observed, including two types of (4 × 1) reconstruction. High-resolution NC-AFM and STM images indicate that the (4 × 1)-α phase has the same structural elements as the more widely reported (2 × 1) reconstruction. An array of analogous higher-order (2n × 1) reconstructions were also observed where n = 3–5. On the other hand, the (4 × 1)-β reconstruction seems to be a unique structure without higher-order analogues. A model is proposed for this structure that is also based on the (2 × 1) reconstruction but with additional microfacets of {111} character.
PMCID: PMC4191060  PMID: 25309642
16.  Molecular Self-Assembly in a Poorly Screened Environment: F4TCNQ on Graphene/BN 
ACS Nano  2015;9(12):12168-12173.
We report a scanning tunneling microscopy and noncontact atomic force microscopy study of close-packed 2D islands of tetrafluorotetracyanoquinodimethane (F4TCNQ) molecules at the surface of a graphene layer supported by boron nitride. While F4TCNQ molecules are known to form cohesive 3D solids, the intermolecular interactions that are attractive for F4TCNQ in 3D are repulsive in 2D. Our experimental observation of cohesive molecular behavior for F4TCNQ on graphene is thus unexpected. This self-assembly behavior can be explained by a novel solid formation mechanism that occurs when charged molecules are placed in a poorly screened environment. As negatively charged molecules coalesce, the local work function increases, causing electrons to flow into the coalescing molecular island and increase its cohesive binding energy.
PMCID: PMC4690193  PMID: 26482218
molecular self-assembly; graphene; hexagonal boron nitride (BN); scanning tunneling microscopy (STM); noncontact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM); density functional theory (DFT)
17.  Functionalized Polymer Microgel Particles Enable Customizable Production of Label-Free Sensor Arrays 
Analytical chemistry  2015;87(15):7887-7893.
Probe molecule immobilization onto surfaces is a critical step in the production of many analytical devices, including labeled and label-free microarrays. New methods to increase the density and uniformity of probe deposition have the potential to significantly enhance the ultimate limits of detection and reproducibility. Hydrogel-based materials have been employed in the past to provide a 3D protein-friendly surface for deposition of antibodies and nucleic acids. However, these methods are susceptible to variation during polymerization of the hydrogel scaffold, and provide limited opportunities for tuning deposition parameters on an antibody-by-antibody basis. In this work, a versatile hydrogel nanoparticle deposition method was developed for the production of label-free microarrays, and tested in the context of antibody-antigen binding. Poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) nanoparticles (PNIPAM) were conjugated to antibodies using an avidin/biotin system and deposited onto surfaces using a noncontact printing system. After drying, these gel spots formed uniform and thin layers < 10 nm in height. The conjugates were characterized with dynamic light scattering, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. We tested this format in the context of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) detection via Arrayed Imaging Reflectometry (AIR), a label-free protein microarray method. This method of probe molecule deposition should be generally useful in the production of microarrays for label-free detection.
PMCID: PMC4581722  PMID: 26140413
18.  The Mitochondrial Transcription Factor TFAM Coordinates the Assembly of Multiple DNA Molecules into Nucleoid-like Structures 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2007;18(9):3225-3236.
Packaging DNA into condensed structures is integral to the transmission of genomes. The mammalian mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) is a high copy, maternally inherited genome in which mutations cause a variety of multisystem disorders. In all eukaryotic cells, multiple mtDNAs are packaged with protein into spheroid bodies called nucleoids, which are the fundamental units of mtDNA segregation. The mechanism of nucleoid formation, however, remains unknown. Here, we show that the mitochondrial transcription factor TFAM, an abundant and highly conserved High Mobility Group box protein, binds DNA cooperatively with nanomolar affinity as a homodimer and that it is capable of coordinating and fully compacting several DNA molecules together to form spheroid structures. We use noncontact atomic force microscopy, which achieves near cryo-electron microscope resolution, to reveal the structural details of protein–DNA compaction intermediates. The formation of these complexes involves the bending of the DNA backbone, and DNA loop formation, followed by the filling in of proximal available DNA sites until the DNA is compacted. These results indicate that TFAM alone is sufficient to organize mitochondrial chromatin and provide a mechanism for nucleoid formation.
PMCID: PMC1951767  PMID: 17581862
19.  Scanned Probe Oxidation onp-GaAs(100) Surface with an Atomic Force Microscopy 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2008;3(7):249-254.
Locally anodic oxidation has been performed to fabricate the nanoscale oxide structures onp-GaAs(100) surface, by using an atomic force microscopy (AFM) with the conventional and carbon nanotube (CNT)-attached probes. The results can be utilized to fabricate the oxide nanodots under ambient conditions in noncontact mode. To investigate the conversion of GaAs to oxides, micro-Auger analysis was employed to analyze the chemical compositions. The growth kinetics and the associated mechanism of the oxide nanodots were studied under DC voltages. With the CNT-attached probe the initial growth rate of oxide nanodots is in the order of ~300 nm/s, which is ~15 times larger than that obtained by using the conventional one. The oxide nanodots cease to grow practically as the electric field strength is reduced to the threshold value of ~2 × 107 V cm−1. In addition, results indicate that the height of oxide nanodots is significantly enhanced with an AC voltage for both types of probes. The influence of the AC voltages on controlling the dynamics of the AFM-induced nanooxidation is discussed.
PMCID: PMC3244860
Atomic force microscopy; p-GaAs(100); Nanooxidation; Multi-walled carbon nanotube; Auger electron spectroscopy
20.  Dipole-driven self-organization of zwitterionic molecules on alkali halide surfaces 
We investigated the adsorption of 4-methoxy-4′-(3-sulfonatopropyl)stilbazolium (MSPS) on different ionic (001) crystal surfaces by means of noncontact atomic force microscopy. MSPS is a zwitterionic molecule with a strong electric dipole moment. When deposited onto the substrates at room temperature, MSPS diffuses to step edges and defect sites and forms disordered assemblies of molecules. Subsequent annealing induces two different processes: First, at high coverage, the molecules assemble into a well-organized quadratic lattice, which is perfectly aligned with the <110> directions of the substrate surface (i.e., rows of equal charges) and which produces a Moiré pattern due to coincidences with the substrate lattice constant. Second, at low coverage, we observe step edges decorated with MSPS molecules that run along the <110> direction. These polar steps most probably minimize the surface energy as they counterbalance the molecular dipole by presenting oppositely charged ions on the rearranged step edge.
PMCID: PMC3323918  PMID: 22497002
alkali halide surface; noncontact atomic force microscopy; organic molecule; self-organization; zwitterion
21.  Thermal noise limit for ultra-high vacuum noncontact atomic force microscopy 
The noise of the frequency-shift signal Δf in noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) consists of cantilever thermal noise, tip–surface-interaction noise and instrumental noise from the detection and signal processing systems. We investigate how the displacement-noise spectral density d z at the input of the frequency demodulator propagates to the frequency-shift-noise spectral density d Δ f at the demodulator output in dependence of cantilever properties and settings of the signal processing electronics in the limit of a negligible tip–surface interaction and a measurement under ultrahigh-vacuum conditions. For a quantification of the noise figures, we calibrate the cantilever displacement signal and determine the transfer function of the signal-processing electronics. From the transfer function and the measured d z, we predict d Δ f for specific filter settings, a given level of detection-system noise spectral density d z ds and the cantilever-thermal-noise spectral density d z th. We find an excellent agreement between the calculated and measured values for d Δ f. Furthermore, we demonstrate that thermal noise in d Δ f, defining the ultimate limit in NC-AFM signal detection, can be kept low by a proper choice of the cantilever whereby its Q-factor should be given most attention. A system with a low-noise signal detection and a suitable cantilever, operated with appropriate filter and feedback-loop settings allows room temperature NC-AFM measurements at a low thermal-noise limit with a significant bandwidth.
PMCID: PMC3566860  PMID: 23400758
Cantilever; feedback loop; filter; noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM); noise
22.  Determining cantilever stiffness from thermal noise 
We critically discuss the extraction of intrinsic cantilever properties, namely eigenfrequency f n, quality factor Q n and specifically the stiffness k n of the nth cantilever oscillation mode from thermal noise by an analysis of the power spectral density of displacement fluctuations of the cantilever in contact with a thermal bath. The practical applicability of this approach is demonstrated for several cantilevers with eigenfrequencies ranging from 50 kHz to 2 MHz. As such an analysis requires a sophisticated spectral analysis, we introduce a new method to determine k n from a spectral analysis of the demodulated oscillation signal of the excited cantilever that can be performed in the frequency range of 10 Hz to 1 kHz regardless of the eigenfrequency of the cantilever. We demonstrate that the latter method is in particular useful for noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) where the required simple instrumentation for spectral analysis is available in most experimental systems.
PMCID: PMC3628876  PMID: 23616942
AFM; cantilever; noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM); Q-factor; thermal excitation; resonance; spectral analysis; stiffness
23.  Mechanisms of Noncontact Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury 
Journal of Athletic Training  2008;43(4):396-408.
To examine and summarize previous retrospective and observational studies assessing noncontact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury mechanisms and to examine such reported ACL injury mechanisms based on ACL loading patterns due to knee loadings reported in in vivo, in vitro, and computer simulation studies.
Data Sources:
We searched MEDLINE from 1950 through 2007 using the key words anterior cruciate ligament + injury + mechanisms; anterior cruciate ligament + injury + mechanisms + retrospective; and anterior cruciate ligament + injury + mechanisms + video analysis.
Study Selection:
We selected retrospective studies and observational studies that specifically examined the noncontact ACL injury mechanisms (n  =  7) and assessed ACL loading patterns in vivo, in vitro, and using computer simulations (n  =  33).
Data Extraction:
The motion patterns reported as noncontact ACL injury mechanisms in retrospective and observational studies were assessed and critically compared with ACL loading patterns measured during applied external or internal (or both) forces or moments to the knee.
Data Synthesis:
Noncontact ACL injuries are likely to happen during deceleration and acceleration motions with excessive quadriceps contraction and reduced hamstrings co-contraction at or near full knee extension. Higher ACL loading during the application of a quadriceps force when combined with a knee internal rotation moment compared with an external rotation moment was noted. The ACL loading was also higher when a valgus load was combined with internal rotation as compared with external rotation. However, because the combination of knee valgus and external rotation motions may lead to ACL impingement, these combined motions cannot be excluded from the noncontact ACL injury mechanisms. Further, excessive valgus knee loads applied during weight-bearing, decelerating activities also increased ACL loading.
The findings from this review lend support to ACL injury prevention programs designed to prevent unopposed excessive quadriceps force and frontal-plane or transverse-plane (or both) moments to the knee and to encourage increased knee flexion angle during sudden deceleration and acceleration tasks.
PMCID: PMC2474820  PMID: 18668173
injury mechanism; injury prevention; lower extremity injury; knee
24.  Noncontact friction via capillary shear interaction at nanoscale 
Nature Communications  2015;6:7359.
Friction in an ambient condition involves highly nonlinear interactions of capillary force, induced by the capillary-condensed water nanobridges between contact or noncontact asperities of two sliding surfaces. Since the real contact area of sliding solids is much smaller than the apparent contact area, the nanobridges formed on the distant asperities can contribute significantly to the overall friction. Therefore, it is essential to understand how the water nanobridges mediate the ‘noncontact' friction, which helps narrow the gap between our knowledge of friction on the microscopic and macroscopic scales. Here we show, by using noncontact dynamic force spectroscopy, the single capillary bridge generates noncontact friction via its shear interaction. The pinning–depinning dynamics of the nanobridge's contact line produces nonviscous damping, which occurs even without normal load and dominates the capillary-induced hydrodynamic damping. The novel nanofriction mechanism may provide a deeper microscopic view of macroscopic friction in air where numerous asperities exist.
The contribution from water bridges at nanoscale between rough surfaces is important for macroscopic friction under ambient conditions. Here, Lee et al. show that water nanobridge produce noncontact friction originated from the pinning–depinning dynamics of the contact line at the interface.
PMCID: PMC4490357  PMID: 26066909
25.  Ex situ and in situ characterization of patterned photoreactive thin organic surface layers using friction force microscopy 
Scanning  2014;36(6):590-598.
Photolithographic methods allow an easy lateral top-down patterning and tuning of surface properties with photoreactive molecules and polymers. Employing friction force microscopy (FFM), we present here different FFM-based methods that enable the characterization of several photoreactive thin organic surface layers. First, three ex situ methods have been evaluated for the identification of irradiated and non-irradiated zones on the same organosilane sample by irradiation through different types of masks. These approaches are further extended to a time dependent ex situ FFM measurement, which allows to study the irradiation time dependent evolution of the resulting friction forces by sequential irradiation through differently sized masks in crossed geometry. Finally, a newly designed in situ FFM measurement, which uses a commercial bar-shaped cantilever itself as a noncontact shadow mask, enables the determination of time dependent effects on the surface modification during the photoreaction. SCANNING 36:590–598, 2014.
PMCID: PMC4286208  PMID: 25183629
friction force microscopy; adhesion force; photolithography; photoreactive surface layers

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