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The Origin of the “Snap-In” in the Force Curve between AFM Probe and the Water/Gas Interface of Nanobubbles

Authors

  • Yang Song,

    1. Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800 (PR China), Tel: (+86) 21-39194259, Fax: (+86) 21-59552394
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (PR China)
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  • Binyu Zhao,

    1. Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800 (PR China), Tel: (+86) 21-39194259, Fax: (+86) 21-59552394
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (PR China)
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  • Dr. Lijuan Zhang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800 (PR China), Tel: (+86) 21-39194259, Fax: (+86) 21-59552394
    2. Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Shanghai 201204 (PR China)
    • Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800 (PR China), Tel: (+86) 21-39194259, Fax: (+86) 21-59552394

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  • Dr. Junhong Lü,

    1. Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800 (PR China), Tel: (+86) 21-39194259, Fax: (+86) 21-59552394
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  • Shuo Wang,

    1. Life and Environment Science College, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234 (PR China)
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  • Prof. Yaming Dong,

    1. Life and Environment Science College, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234 (PR China)
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  • Prof. Jun Hu

    Corresponding author
    1. Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800 (PR China), Tel: (+86) 21-39194259, Fax: (+86) 21-59552394
    • Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800 (PR China), Tel: (+86) 21-39194259, Fax: (+86) 21-59552394

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Abstract

The long-range attractive force or “snap-in” is an important phenomenon usually occurring when a solid particle interacts with a water/gas interface. By using PeakForce quantitative nanomechanics the origin of snap-in in the force curve between the atomic force microscopy (AFM) probe and the water/gas interface of nanobubbles has been investigated. The snap-in frequently happened when the probe was preserved for a certain time or after being used for imaging solid surfaces under atmospheric conditions. In contrast, imaging in liquids rarely induced a snap-in. After a series of control experiments, it was found that the snap-in can be attributed to hydrophobic interactions between the water/gas interface and the AFM probe, which was either modified or contaminated with hydrophobic material. The hydrophobic contamination could be efficiently removed by a conventional plasma-cleaning treatment, which prevents the occurring of the snap-in. In addition, the adsorption of sodium dodecyl sulfate onto the nanobubble surface changed the water/gas interface into hydrophilic, which also eliminated the snap-in phenomenon.

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