Surface characterization using atomic force microscopy (AFM) in liquid environments

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Liquid imaging provides intrinsic advantages for AFM experiments, particularly for conducting in situ studies of chemical or biochemical reactions. Using liquid media has benefits for improving resolution, since the amount of force applied between the tip and sample can be reduced. Surface changes caused by immersion in different liquids can be investigated, such as for studying electrochemical reactions with different parameters of solvent polarity, pH or ion concentration. Aqueous buffers enable studies of biochemical reactions that simulate physiological conditions, with time-lapse capture of image frames at different intervals. Studies of surface changes throughout the course of self-assembly reactions have been monitored with AFM in liquid media. By injecting new molecules into the sample cell, AFM-based nanofabrication can be accomplished by nanografting protocols. Liquid environments expand the capabilities for scanning probe studies to provide insight for dynamic processes at the molecular-level. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013.

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Springer Series in Surface Sciences

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