Simultaneous quantification of Young's modulus and dispersion forces with nanoscale spatial resolution

Clodomiro Cafolla, Kislon Voïtchovsky, Amir Farokh Payam

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Many advances in polymers and layered materials rely on a precise understanding of the local interactions between adjacent molecular or atomic layers. Quantifying dispersion forces at the nanoscale is particularly challenging with existing methods often time consuming, destructive, relying on surface averaging or requiring bespoke equipment. Here, we present a non-invasive method able to quantify the local mechanical and dispersion properties of a given sample with nanometer lateral precision. The method, based on atomic force microscopy (AFM), uses the frequency shift of a vibrating AFM cantilever in combination with established contact mechanics models to simultaneously derive the Hamaker constant and the effective Young's modulus at a given sample location. The derived Hamaker constant and Young's modulus represent an average over a small (typically
Original languageEnglish
Issue number50
Early online date12 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 12 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Creative Commons Attribution license.


  • Materials characterisation
  • AFM in air and liquid
  • Elastic and dispersive forces at the nanoscale
  • elastic and dispersive forces at the nanoscale
  • materials characterisation


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