Multimodal microscopy using 'half and half' contact mode and ultrasonic force microscopy

M S Skilbeck, A J Marsden, G Cao, I A Kinloch, R J Young, R S Edwards, N R Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Advances in the design and fabrication of multifunctional nanostructured materials require characterization techniques capable of simultaneously mapping multiple material properties with nanoscale resolution. We show that this can be achieved by combining nanomechanical information from ultrasonic force microscopy (UFM) with simultaneously acquired friction force and conductivity measurements from contact mode scanning. This utilizes a 'half and half' approach, where the AFM is operated alternatively in UFM and contact mode, with the switching rate sufficiently fast that simultaneous contact mode and UFM information is acquired at each pixel of an image. We demonstrate the potential of such a multimodal approach through its application to composite systems consisting of graphene islands on a copper surface, single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) on a silicon oxide substrate, and a graphene epoxy composite. The half and half approach enables the friction force to be measured without topographical cross-talk. Application to the SWNT sample reveals a further advantage; due to the superlubricity of UFM it enables standard contact mode imaging techniques to be applied to delicate samples.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number335708
    Issue number33
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • atomic force microscopy
    • carbon nanotubes
    • grapheme
    • ultrasonic force microscopy


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