An experimental study was carried out, in order to investigate the deformation and wear taking place on pyramidal silicon-nitride AFM tips. The study focuses on the contact mode scanning of silicon features of micrometre-size. First the deformation and the mechanisms of wear of the tip during scanning are discussed. After that the results of an experiment showing both phenomena on a used AFM tip are presented. Both the damaged and the unused tip are shown on AFM and SEM images. Using these images the actual mechanisms of wear are determined. It is shown that adhesive wear, low cycle fatigue and plastic deformation take place on the tip.
|Journal||Measurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|