Pico-Newton Force Sensing at Liquid-Solid Interfaces

by Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Onishi, Kobe University, Japan

10.09.2019, 09:00 h, Physics Department, Leibnizstr. 19, 24118 Kiel, Room 614


Frequency-modulation atomic force microscopy (FM-AFM) is a promising tool to observe solid topography and also liquid structure at liquid-solid interfaces. The cantilever with a tip is mechanically oscillated. The shift of the resonance frequency, delta-f, represents the force pushing or pulling the tip. Microscopes with a force sensitivity of 10 pN or better in water and organic solvents have been developed and commercialized to date. Using the advanced microscopes, we have examined structured liquids at a number of interfaces including water-CaCO3, Al2O3, SrTiO3, hydrophilic molecular monolayers, organic compounds. The observed delta-f distributions are interpreted with water density distribution through Gibbs free energy perturbed by the solid surface. The force sensitivity of 10 pN is the key for probing force on single liquid molecules. Possible application of Δf mapping to tribology research will also be mentioned.




Prof. Dr. Eckhard Quandt

Kiel University
Institute for Materials Science


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Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU)

Christ.-Albrechts-Platz 4
D-24118 Kiel


University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel (UKSH)

Arnold-Heller-Straße 3
D-24105 Kiel


Fraunhofer Institute for Silicon Technology, Itzehoe (ISIT)

Fraunhoferstrasse 1
D-25524 Itzehoe  


IPN - Leibniz-Institut für die Pädagogik der Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik 

Olshausenstraße 62 
D-24118 Kiel

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