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AFM tip effect on a thin liquid film

Ledesma-Alonso, René and Legendre, Dominique and Tordjeman, Philippe AFM tip effect on a thin liquid film. (2013) Langmuir, 29 (25). 7749-7757. ISSN 0743-7463

(Document in English)

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/la4006086


We study the interaction between an AFM probe and a liquid film deposited over a flat substrate. We investigate the effects of the physical and geometrical parameters, with a special focus on the film thickness E, the probe radius R, and the distance D between the probe and the free surface. Deformation profiles have been calculated from the numerical simulations of the Young-Laplace equation by taking into account the probe/liquid and the liquid/substrate interactions, characterized by the Hamaker constants, Hpl and Hls. We demonstrate that the deformation of a shallow film is determined by a particular characteristic length λF = (2πγE4/Hls)1/2, resulting from the balance between the capillary force (γ is the surface tension) and the van der Waals liquid/substrate attraction. For the case of a bulk liquid, the extent of the interface deformation is simply controlled by the capillary length λC = (γ/Δρg)1/2. These trends point out two asymptotic regimes, which in turn are bounded by two characteristic film thicknesses Eg = (Hls/2πΔρg)1/4 and Eγ = (R2Hls/2πγ)1/4. For E > Eg, the bulk behavior is recovered, and for E < Eγ, we show the existence of a particular shallow film regime in which a localized tip effect is observed. This tip effect is characterized by the small magnitude of the deformation and an important restriction of its radial extent λF localized below the probe. In addition, we have found that the film thickness has a significant effect on the threshold separation distance Dmin below which the irreversible jumpto- contact process occurs: Dmin is probe radius-dependent for the bulk whereas it is film-thickness-dependent for shallow films. These results have an important impact on the optimal AFM scanning conditions.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to ACS editor. The original PDF can be found at Langmuir website : http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/la4006086
HAL Id:hal-01020928
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:15 Nov 2013 13:15

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