Height anomalies in tappingmode atomic force microscopy in air caused by adhesion

S.J.T. van Noort, Kees van der Werf, B.G. de Grooth, N.F. van Hulst, Jan Greve

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Height anomalies in tapping mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) in air are shown to be caused by adhesion. Depending o­n the damping of the oscillation the height of a sticking surface is reduced compared to less sticking surfaces. It is shown that the height artefacts result from a modulation of oscillatory movement of the cantilever. Damping and excitation of the cantilever by the driver continuously compete. As a consequence a severe modulation of the cantilever oscillation occurs, depending o­n the phase mismatch between the driver and the cantilever. Phase images of tapping a mode AFM show contrast which correlates with adhesion. Examples of a partially removed gold layer o­n mica, a Langmuir-Blodgett film and DNA show height artefacts ranging up to 10 nm.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
Issue number69
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • METIS-129326
  • IR-24526

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