Effect of water on lateral force microscopy in air

Richard D. Piner, Chad A. Mirkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Lateral force microscopy (LFM) images on polymeric and inorganic substrates demonstrate how water is transported to and from a substrate by the capillary formed by the LFM tip and sample. Although it is known that water qualitatively affects the atomic force microscopy and LFM measurements, herein we report the condition dependent range of sizes of the water menisci formed in the capillary during such measurements. The effect of water in air can change the force of friction by a factor ≥2, with the magnitude of this effect dependent on the chemical nature of the sample and tip dynamics. These results have important implications for any analytical measurement of friction by LFM in air.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6864-6868
Number of pages5
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 24 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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