Authors: G. Haugstad and A. Avery
Affilation: University of Minnesota, United States
Pages: 777 - 780
Keywords: scanning probe, polymer, surfactant, force mapping
We present a methodology for interrogating silicone-based polymer-surfactant complex films a few nanometers in thickness. The films include 2D regions of liquid character interspersed in regions of solid character. Images are radically different in a mode of quasistatic contact compared to dynamic contact, and further in regimes of net repulsive compared to net attractive dynamic contact. Approach-retract cycles are explored in each regime to develop essential understandings of probe-film interaction, and thereby correct interpretations of images (topography, phase, friction). Our implementation exploits the power of spatially mapped approach-retract measurements in conjunction with special data reduction algorithms. Highly selective liquid transport up the AFM tip is discovered and utilized diagnostically to reveal intriguing aspects of film morphology and dynamics.