How Narrow Can a Meniscus Be?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

94 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A water meniscus naturally forms in air between an atomic force microscope (AFM) tip and a substrate. This nanoscale meniscus produces a capillary force on the AFM, and also serves as a molecular transport channel in dip-pen nanolithography (DPN). A stable meniscus is a necessary condition for DPN and for the validity of the Kelvin equation commonly applied to AFM experiments. Lattice gas Monte Carlo simulations show that, due to thermal fluctuation, a stable meniscus has a lower limit in width. We find a minimum width of 5 molecular diameters (1.9 nm) when the tip becomes atomically sharp (terminated by a single atom).

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume92
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'How Narrow Can a Meniscus Be?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this