Atomic-scale roughness effect on capillary force in atomic force microscopy

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We study the capillary force in atomic force microscopy by using Monte Carlo simulations. Adopting a lattice gas model for water, we simulated water menisci that form between a rough silicon-nitride tip and a mica surface. Unlike its macroscopic counterpart, the water meniscus at the nanoscale gives rise to a capillary force that responds sensitively to the tip roughness. With only a slight change in tip shape, the pull-off force significantly changes its qualitative variation with humidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-662
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 19 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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