Microscopic origin of the humidity dependence of the adhesion force in atomic force microscopy

Joonkyung Jang, Mino Yang, George C Schatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Water condenses between an atomic force microscope (AFM) tip and a surface to form a nanoscale bridge that produces a significant adhesion force on the tip. As humidity increases, the water bridge always becomes wider but the adhesion force sometimes decreases. The authors show that the humidity dependence of the adhesion force is intimately related to the structural properties of the underlying water bridge. A wide bridge whose width does not vary much with tip-surface distance can increase its volume as distance is increased. In this case, the adhesion force decreases as humidity rises. Narrow bridges whose width decreases rapidly with increasing tip-surface distance give the opposite result. This connection between humidity dependence of the adhesion force and the structural susceptibility of the water bridge is illustrated by performing Monte Carlo simulations for AFM tips with various hydrophilicities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174705
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume126
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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humidity
Atomic force microscopy
Atmospheric humidity
adhesion
Adhesion
atomic force microscopy
Water
Microscopes
water
microscopes
Hydrophilicity
Structural properties
magnetic permeability
simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this

Microscopic origin of the humidity dependence of the adhesion force in atomic force microscopy. / Jang, Joonkyung; Yang, Mino; Schatz, George C.

In: Journal of Chemical Physics, Vol. 126, No. 17, 174705, 2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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