Application Note: Surface Characterization of Polymer Thin Films using Atomic Force Microscopy

Using Tosca AFM’s Contact Resonance Amplitude Imaging mode to study surface distribution of polymers in PMMA/SBS polymer blends.

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2637Application Note: Surface Characterization of Polymer Thin Films using Atomic Force Microscopy

Atomic force microscopy has been widely applied to acquire high resolution 3D surface topography at micro- and nanometer scale. As the AFM technology has evolved, different modes have been developed so that a wide array of data types can be collected in order to gain different information on the examined sample. Here we introduce a mechanical mode called Contact Resonance Amplitude Imaging.

In this application report we compare Contact Resonance Amplitude Imaging with tapping mode. In CR Amplitude Imaging the cantilever deflection is kept constant, similar to contact mode, while a very small amplitude (typically sub-nm) is modulating the cantilever and the amplitude and phase of this modulation is detected. Changes in amplitude and phase correlate to surface mechanical properties like stiffness and dissipation.

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