On the effect of local sample slope during modulus measurements by contact-resonance atomic force microscopy

Abstract : Contact-resonance atomic force microscopy (CR-AFM) is of great interest and very valuable for a deeper understanding of the mechanics of biological materials with moduli of at least a few GPa. However, sample surfaces can present a high topography range with significant slopes, where the local angle can be as large as ± 50°. The non-trivial correlation between surface slope and CR-frequency hinders a straightforward interpretation of CR-AFM indentation modulus measurements on such samples. We aim to demonstrate the significant influence of the surface slope on the CR-frequency that is caused by the local angle between sample surface and the AFM cantilever and present a practical method to correct the measurements. Based on existing analytical models of the effect of the AFM set-up's intrinsic cantilever tilt on CR-frequencies, we compute the non-linear variation of the first two (eigen)modes CR-frequency for a large range of surface angles. The computations are confirmed by CR-AFM experiments performed on a curved surface. Finally, the model is applied to directly correct contact modulus measurements on a durum wheat starch granule as an exemplary sample.
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K. Heinze, Olivier Arnould, Jean-Yves Delenne, V. Lullien-Pellerin, M. Ramonda, et al.. On the effect of local sample slope during modulus measurements by contact-resonance atomic force microscopy. Ultramicroscopy, Elsevier, 2018, 194, pp.78 - 88. ⟨10.1016/j.ultramic.2018.07.009⟩. ⟨hal-01869770⟩

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