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Effect of Relative Humidity on Chemical Heterogeneity Imaging with Atomic Force Microscopy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Xiaohong Gu
Affiliation:
xiaohong.gu@nist.gov, NIST, BFRL, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8615, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, United States, 301-975-6523
Lijiang Chen
Affiliation:
lijiang.chen@nist.gov, NIST, BFRL, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8615, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, United States
Chang Xu
Affiliation:
chang.xu@nist.gov, NIST, Polymer Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8615, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, United States
Duangrut Julthongpiput
Affiliation:
duangrut.julthongpiput@nist.gov, NIST, Polymer Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8615, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, United States
Michael Fasolka
Affiliation:
michael.fasolka@nist.gov, NIST, Polymer Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8615, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, United States
Tinh Nguyen
Affiliation:
tinh.nguyen@nist.gov, NIST, BFRL, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8615, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, United States
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Abstract

In this study, a well-controlled humidity system is used to enhance the sensitivity of AFM for characterizing surface chemical heterogeneity of patterned self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) and hydrophilic-hydrophobic polymeric brush specimens. Dependence of the AFM friction contrasts on the surface energy differences between the hydrophilic regions and hydrophobic regions of the chemically heterogeneous samples has been investigated as a function of relative humidity (RH). Effects of RH and surface chemistry on tip-sample adhesion are also investigated. Both AFM image contrast and tip-sample adhesion forces between the hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions significantly depend on RH and follow the similar trend as a function of RH. The results clearly demonstrate that, by using proper RH at the tip-sample environment, chemically heterogeneous regions can be distinguished with the AFM.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2008

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