© 2018 The determination of nanomechanical properties is an intensive topic of study in several fields of nanophysics, from surface and materials science to biology. At the same time, amplitude modulation force microscopy is one of the most established techniques for nanoscale characterization. In this work, we combine these two topics and propose a method able to extract quantitative nanomechanical information from higher harmonic amplitude imaging in atomic force microscopy. With this method it is possible to discriminate between different materials in the stiffness range of 1–3 GPa, in our case thin films of PS-PMMA based block copolymers. We were able to obtain a critical lateral resolution of less than 20 nm and discriminate between materials with less than a 1 GPa difference in modulus. We show that within this stiffness range, reliable values of the Young's moduli can be obtained under usual imaging conditions and with standard dynamic AFM probes.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2018|
- Atomic force microscopy
- Block copolymers
- Higher harmonics