CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart

Atomic Force Microscopy

  • Francesco MarinelloEmail author
Reference work entry



Atomic force microscopy, often abbreviated as AFM, is one of the elected techniques for fine surface and geometrical characterization. Atomic force microscopes provide three-dimensional reconstruction of surface topographies with sub-nanometer vertical and lateral resolution, over a range which is typically no larger than a few tens or hundreds of micrometers.

Atomic force microscopes belong to the family of scanning probe microscopy (SPM), a branch of microscopy allowing imaging of surfaces by means of a physical probe scanning the sample surface. SPMs monitor the interaction between the probe and the surface to produce an image or a three-dimensional reconstruction of the surface. SPMs classification is based on the specific physical principles causing the interaction. When such interaction is a force (magnetic, electrostatic, friction, etc.), the scanning probe microscopes are also classified as scanning force microscopes (SFMs). Atomic...

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© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TeSAF, Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro-ForestaliUniversity of PadovaLegnaroItaly