A novel idea to extend the capability of an atomic force microscopy (AFM) to soft materials is proposed for the purpose of obtaining sample deformation and modulus distribution images as well as topographic image (nanorheology mapping). An immiscible polymer blend system, elongated natural rubber, and hair cross section are used as model samples. Further extension of this idea leads to tapping-mode force-distance curve analysis aiming at the acquisition of sample deformation information. A force modulation technique is also reviewed in terms of the future development of three-dimensional mechanical properties imaging by AFM, together with the above two techniques.
ASJC Scopus subject areas