Nanotech 2011

Mapping nanoscale elastic and viscoelastic properties with contact resonance force microscopy (invited presentation)

D.C. Hurley, J.P. Killgore, A.B. Kos
NIST, US

Keywords: AFM, mechanical properties, contact resonance

Abstract:

To realize the full potential of nanomanufacturing, the ability to measure mechanical properties with nanoscale spatial resolution is critical. Nanoscale images of local variations in properties yield information about material homogeneity and provide size-appropriate data for predictive modeling of devices. The atomic force microscope (AFM) is an appealing tool for this purpose due to its spatial resolution, scanning capability, and ease of use. Although most AFM methods produce only qualitative indicators of relative properties, a technique called contact resonance force microscopy (CR-FM) enables quantitative imaging or mapping of nanoscale mechanical properties such as elastic modulus. Here, we describe the current state of CR-FM measurement techniques. We explain the basic principles of CR-FM and discuss how they have been implemented as practical imaging tools. We show how such mapping capabilities facilitate studies of nanoscale mechanical behavior in emerging applications, for instance evaluation of the fiber/matrix interphase region in composites. New extensions of the original approach that enable measurements and mapping of viscoelastic properties are also presented. The nanomechanical mapping capability enabled by CR-FM represents an essential tool for the development, production, and in-situ monitoring of today’s and tomorrow’s nanomaterials.
 

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