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'Exploring ferroelectricity in layered materials using atomic force microscopy in vacuum'
Trends vs. Hypes in AFM – Webinar Series May - September 2022

5/18: Exploring ferroelectricity in layered materials using atomic force microscopy in vacuum
6/22: Addressing dynamic processes in polymers via high-speed molecular-resolution AFM imaging
7/6: Magnetic Force Microscopy – what you should know about it!
9/14: Making dielectrics the only barrier in your research with high voltage electrical AFM

In this webinar:
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and its associated functional modes such as Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) detect forces on the scale of 1 nN in-order-to measure the topography and functional properties of surfaces with nanometre scale resolution. Under ambient conditions however, damping of the cantilever and interactions with airborne contaminants adsorbed at interfaces degrade the sensitivity of AFM measurements. By utilising the Park NX-Hivac, a system which enables the performance of AFM measurements down to the 1x10-6 mbar range, we demonstrate performance in topography and electrostatic modes which are closer to the intrinsic limit of scanning probe microscopy systems in a platform free from the laborious operating procedures and practical limitations of full ultra-high vacuum-based AFM.
In this webinar, we expand on our recent webinar using the Park Systems FX40 automatic AFM [1] to explore a system which has received significant recent attention from the layered materials research community; ferroelectric superlattices formed by the formation of parallel stacked interfaces[2-4]. Taking such a parallel stacked boron nitride interface on graphene, we first observe ferroelectric domains using both electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) and KPFM with improved sensitivity versus measurements performed under ambient conditions. We then go on to demonstrate the observation of features in topography height and phase channels which further exemplify the opportunities to study tip-sample interactions in much richer detail in vacuum.
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