Effects of AFM tip wear on evaluating the surface quality machined by ultra-precision machining process

  • Bo Xue
  • Yanquan Geng
  • Yongda YanEmail author
  • Yazhou Sun


In this paper, the influences of tip wear of atomic force microscope (AFM) on evaluating the surface quality were studied. Three typical ultra-precision machined surfaces respectively machined by ultra-precision grinding, ultra-precision turning, and ultra-precision polishing were chosen, and the silicon tips with different wear degrees, the new tip, the moderately worn tip, and the badly worn tip, were employed to scan these three surfaces. By analyzing the AFM scanning results from different tips, each type of surface was characterized with the methods of 3D surface texture parameters and power spectral density (PSD). It was found that the tip wear would mainly degrade the ability of tip on measuring the valley structure and cause more artifacts when measuring the peak structure, which resulted in the effects on evaluating surface roughness parameters and identifying the high-frequency harmonic components. Moreover, due to the different topography characteristics of these three ultra-precision machined surfaces, the influences caused by tip wear on the evaluation of the surface quality were reflected in different aspects.


AFM tip wear Surface quality evaluation Ultra-precision machined surface 



Arithmetical mean deviation of the 3D surface


Root mean square deviation of the 3D surface


Maximum height of the 3D surface


Maximum peak height of the 3D surface


Maximum valley depth of the 3D surface


Skewness of the 3D surface


Kurtosis of the 3D surface


Height profile of the surface


Fourier transform of the surface profile z(i)


One-dimensional PSD of the surface profile z(i)


Height matrix of the surface


Two-dimensional PSD of the surface matrix z(x,y)



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial supports of the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFA0701200), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51675134 and 51705104), Key Laboratory of Micro-systems and Micro-structures Manufacturing of Ministry of Education (Harbin Institute of Technology No. 2017KM005), and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2017M610206 and 2018T110289).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Xue
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yanquan Geng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yongda Yan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yazhou Sun
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Micro-systems and Micro-structures Manufacturing of Ministry of EducationHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Center for Precision EngineeringHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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