• Scanning Force Microscopy;
  • Contact Models;
  • Surface Forces


In the field of Scanning Force Microscopy several dynamical contact and noncontact modes have been introduced increasing the range of detectable surface and interface properties, and allowing to detect material properties such as elasticity and mass density on the nanometer scale. A detailed understanding of tip/surface interactions and the dynamic processes involved is required to understand the origin of a material contrast using these techniques. Here a general method to solve the equation of motion of a vibrating SFM cantilever/tip system in an external force field is presented. Contact modes as well as intermittent contact modes are discussed using a single set of equations describing the cantilever/tip motion, and by varying the size of amplitudes of the vibrating cantilever/tip system. To quantitatively describe the oscillation behavior of the SFM cantilever at large amplitudes the computer simulations are based on the MYD/BHW model providing a realistic contact model with respect to the contact area, the size of the contact forces as well as the transition from repulsive to attractive forces. The results are compared with the experiment and with different approaches based on analytical and numerical models.