FridayAFM - How many scratches does my phone have?


Héctor here, your AFM expert at Nanosurf calling out for people to share their Friday afternoon experiments. Today I show how to use an industrial AFM to look at the scratches on the front camera of my mobile phone.

Surface roughness, is by far the main application of AFMs, and this is because there are many things which relay on surface finish to operate. Think about mirrors, lenses, semiconductor chips (here it is critical for instance that the roughness of each new deposited layer remains within certain specification).

If you combine this need with modern technology that requires sub nanometer precision, then AFM is the solution.

Here I briefly show how such type of measurements can be performed in one of the Industrial AFM manufactured by Nanosurf.


Let's recap. Industrial AFMs are cool because you can put big samples on them. In this case I studied a mobile phone using both dynamic and static modes. In dynamic mode the contamination affects the scan and one should optimize the parameters to avoid moving the contamination. In static force mode you see the surface through the contamination, but you are cleaning the contamination and thus modifying the surface. 

I hope you find this useful, entertaining, and try it yourselves. Please let me know if you use some of this, and as usual, if you have suggestions or requests, don't hesitate to contact me.


Further reading:

Measuring the flattest surfaces in the Universe: roughness measurements with AFM




Speak to an AFM Expert

Interested in learning more? If you have any questions, please reach out to us, and speak to an AFM expert. 

Speak to an Expert