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Opportunities in High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy

Authors

  • Benjamin P. Brown,

    1. Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, Centre for NSQI, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1FD, UK
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  • Loren Picco,

    1. H H Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Ave, Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK
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  • Mervyn J. Miles,

    Corresponding author
    1. H H Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Ave, Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK
    2. Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1FD, UK
    • H H Wills Physics Laboratory, University of Bristol, Tyndall Ave, Bristol, BS8 1TL, UK
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  • Charl F. J. Faul

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Cantock's Close, Bristol, BS8 1TS, UK
    2. Bristol Centre for Nanoscience and Quantum Information, University of Bristol, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1FD, UK
    • School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Cantock's Close, Bristol, BS8 1TS, UK.
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Abstract

The atomic force microscope (AFM) has become integrated into standard characterisation procedures in many different areas of research. Nonetheless, typical imaging rates of commercial microscopes are still very slow, much to the frustration of the user. Developments in instrumentation for “high-speed AFM” (HSAFM) have been ongoing since the 1990s, and now nanometer resolution imaging at video rate is readily achievable. Despite thorough investigation of samples of a biological nature, use of HSAFM instruments to image samples of interest to materials scientists, or to carry out AFM lithography, has been minimal. This review gives a summary of different approaches to and advances in the development of high-speed AFMs, highlights important discoveries made with new instruments, and briefly discusses new possibilities for HSAFM in materials science.

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