What is the right instrument for investigating my surface at the nanoscale?
Choosing the right instrument or technique to examine your sample at the nanoscale can be a confusing and challenging exercise. In this talk, we discuss the four most common systems available in the research lab today for imaging, characterizing and measuring surfaces at the micro and nanoscale; electron microscopy (SEM), AFM, optical profilometry and stylus profilometry.
We outline the best practice use cases for each category, the limits of each technology, provide relevant examples of where one may choose one technique versus another, and demonstrate why often multiple systems are required to fully understand one’s sample. We also take a more in depth look at how AFM as a technique bridges the gap between imaging and metrology at the nanoscale and why it should be considered an essential part of any materials science, chemistry, physics or imaging laboratory.