Please explain briefly

Asked by  | 21st Mar, 2009, 11:00: AM

Expert Answer:

The AFM works by scanning a fine ceramic or semiconductor tip over a surface much the same way as a phonograph needle scans a record (for those of you that remember what a record player was!). The tip is positioned at the end of a cantilever beam shaped much like a diving board. As the tip is repelled by or attracted to the surface, the cantilever beam deflects. The magnitude of the deflection is captured by a laser that reflects at an oblique angle from the very end of the cantilever. A plot of the laser deflection versus tip position on the sample surface provides the resolution of the hills and valleys that constitute the topography of the surface. The AFM can work with the tip touching the sample (contact mode), or the tip can tap across the surface (tapping mode) much like the cane of a blind person.

Answered by  | 28th Mar, 2009, 06:51: PM

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