Multifrequency Atomic Force Microscopy

Our group is interested in pushing the limits of nanoscale metrology to attain quantitative subsurface imaging with sub-10nm lateral and depth resolution. In addition we are looking to understand the physical information contained in the images (i.e., density, stiffness, etc).

The nonlinear force between the AFM tip and the sample mixes multiple forcings applied to the system. The sum and difference frequency mode generation resulting from this process provides some information about the subsurface and other properties of the sample. Our goal is to understand the role of the different parameters used during this process on the mechanisms of image formation.

Our Team’s accomplishments

  • Demonstrated that it is possible to combine acoustic and Atomic Force Microscopy to probe nanoscale features underneath the surface nondestructively

  • Showed 3D reconstruction is possible using this approach (similar to confocal imaging)

  • Established some connections between MSAFM signals and mechanical properties of the samples

  • 2010: R&D100 award for Mode Synthesizing Imaging

Related publications

  • H.J. Sharahi, M. Janmaleki, L. Tetard, S. Kim, H. Sadeghian, G.J. Verbiest, Acoustic subsurface-atomic force microscopy: Three-dimensional imaging at the nanoscale, Journal of Applied Physics, 129 (3), 030901, 2021 – Selected for cover page and Features Article

  • M. Soliman, L. Tetard, Probing Chemical and Physical Properties of Poplar Tension Wood Using Confocal Raman Microscopy and Pulsed Force Mode Atomic Force Microscopy, MRS Advances, 2 (19-20), 1103-1109, 2017

  • M. Soliman, Y. Ding, L. Tetard, Nanoscale subsurface imaging, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 29 (17), 173001, 2017

  • L. Tetard, A. Passian, R. H. Farahi, T. Thundat, B. H. Davison, Opto-nanomechanical spectroscopic material characterization, Nature Nanotechnology, 10, 870–877, 2015

  • P. Vitry, E. Bourillot, C. Plassard, Y. Lacroute, E. Calkins, L. Tetard, E. Lesniewska, Mode synthesizing atomic force microscopy for 3D reconstruction of embedded low density dielectric nanostructures, NanoResearch, 8 (7), 2199-2205, 2015

  • P. Vitry, C. Plassard, E. Bourillot, Y. Lacroute, L. Tetard and E. Lesniewska, Advances in quantitative nanoscale subsurface imaging by mode-synthesizing atomic force microscopy, Applied Physics Letters, 105 (5), 053110, 2014

  • M. Ewald, L. Tetard, C. Elie-Caille, L. Nicod, A. Passian, E. Bourillot, E. Lesniewska. From surface to intracellular non-invasive nanoscale study of living cell impairments, Nanotechnology, 25, 295101, 2014

  • L. Tetard, A. Passian, T. Thundat, New modes for subsurface atomic force microscopy through nanomechanical coupling, Nature Nanotechnology, 5, 105-109, 2010

Related patent

  • L.Tetard, A. Passian, T. Thundat. Mode synthesizing atomic force microscopy and mode synthesizing sensing, US patent US8448261 B2, 2013