Nonlinear dynamics of the atomic force microscope at the liquid-solid interface
Date of this Version11-5-2012
Nonlinear dynamics of the atomic force microscope at the liquid-solid interface. Phys. Rev. B Vol. 86, Iss. 20, 15 Nov. 2012
The measurement of intermolecular forces at the liquid-solid interface is key to many studies of electrochemistry, wetting, catalysis, biochemistry, and mechanobiology. The atomic force microscope (AFM) is unique in its ability to measure and map these forces with nanometer resolution using the oscillating sharp tip of an AFM cantilever. These surface forces are only measured by observing the changes they induce in the dynamics of the resonant AFM probe. However, AFM cantilever dynamics at this interface can be significantly different when compared to air/vacuum environments due to the nature of nanoscale forces at the interface and the low-quality factors in liquids. In this work, we study the nonlinear dynamics of magnetically excited AFM microcantilevers on graphite and mica immersed in deionized water, high-concentration buffers, and methanol. By combining theory and experiments, a wealth of nonlinear dynamical phenomena such as superharmonic resonance, hysteretic jumps, and multimodal interactions are demonstrated and their dependence on hydration/solvation forces is clarified. These results are expected to aid ongoing efforts to link liquid-solid interface properties to cantilever dynamics and lead to accurate interpretation of data from experiments.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology