Title Probing soft matter by AFM
Date 26.08.2016
Number 51408
Abstract In the last 25 years scanning probe microcopy developed from an exotic imaging technique to an indispensable analytical tool in soft matter science. Similar to electron microscopy a certain maturity in procedure and preparation protocols had to be reached before atomic force microscopy (AFM) became a generally accepted tool. Its great advantages are the possibility to image with nanoscale resolution under in-situ conditions and the possibility to combine AFM with other techniques such as optical microscopy or quartz-micro-balance. Hence, AFM is an interesting complementary option to electron microscopy to image soft matter system in real space. An intrinsic limitation of AFM has always been that it is an invasive technique, which is primarily based on the contact of the probe with the sample. Avoiding sample damage is therefore always an issue, but it is especially challenging for soft matter systems. While the development of various imaging modes helped to minimize invasiveness for imaging soft samples, the contact between probe and sample provides also a number of advantages, as it allows to image sample properties beyond surface topography, such as adhesion or elasticity.<br />In recent years one could witness the increasing use of AFM as a tool to probe sample properties by measuring interaction forces and applying defined load on structures. Soft matter science, in particular in relation to polymers, is one of the research fields that profited most from these developments.<br />In this special issue, we have collected some of the leading groups in the field of AFM-based measurements of soft matter systems. They provide an overview over recent developments. Although this special issue cannot be comprehensive, the 10 articles present the state of the art in this field with an emphasis on mechanics of soft matter films, interaction forces and tribology as well as complex, tunable composite systems.
Publisher Polymer
Identifier 0
Citation Polymer 102 (2016) 315-316
Authors Fery, A. ; Krausch, G. ; Papastavrou, G.

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