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Quantitative Mechanical Property Mapping with PeakForce QNM

Dr. André Kempe , ScienceAnalytics

Bede Pittenger, Natalia Erina, Bruker Nano Surfaces Division


ScienceAnalytics, Dr. André Kempe reports about the key features of a new technology for material characterization, developed and owned by Bruker nano. ScienceAnalytics is official partner of Bruker Nano, servicing material measurements for Germany.

Scope of the Technology

The unambiguous and quantitative modulus and adhesion data provided by PeakForce QNM® can help to answer the critical question of what materials are abundant on a topographic area and how they are distributed. QNM makes possible to study the variation and position of mechanical properties across a surface at speed and resolutions not attainable by other methods. This imaging technology is a special mode of atomic force microscopy (AFM); non- destructive to both tip and sample since it directly controls the peak normal force and minimizes the lateral force on the probe. Maps of mechanical properties such as Young's modulus, adhesion and deformation are calculated and directly superposed on topographical structure. Since force distance data is analyzed directly, there is no ambiguity regarding the source of image contrast, as often occurs in other techniques. Mechanical property maps are quantitative, low noise, and can span a very wide range of property values. The capabilities of PeakForce QNM provide R&D departments with critical material property information to enable better understanding of their samples at the nanoscale.

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