Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a key technique for the measurement and analysis of samples when nanoscale topography is of interest. It offers a number of complementary probing modes that extend an AFM's measurement capability to a wide range of material and transport properties of surfaces, including hardness, friction, conductivity and adhesion among others. Sample temperature controlled AFM extends the study of surface morphology and properties to include changes in the material phases.
Recently, silicon microfabricated AFM cantilevers that have integrated heaters, as shown in figure 1, have become commercially available. These cantilevers were initially developed for probe based data storage by researchers at IBM Zurich, Figure 1. With the availability of these cantilevers, AFM measurements can be performed where the tip is heated as opposed to the sample.