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Atomic Force Microscopy Covers the Landscape of Polymer Characterization

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Explore Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for polymer characterization – an essential tool for researchers to connect materials’ nanoscale structures to their macroscale properties.

 

Submit the form to gain instant, full-length access to this introduction and guide to AFM for polymer research.

  • Learn how Bruker AFMs enable polymer researchers to look closer at how a material’s microstructure affects its bulk properties.
  • Gain new insight into the benefits and best uses of the three main types of modes: contact, resonant tapping, and nonresonant tapping.
  • Understand the key considerations researchers must make for AFM tip selection and sample preparation for polymer research.
  • Read our experts' practical guidance for viewing topology or measuring mechanical and electrical properties such as stiffness, adhesion, or conductivity with leading AFM instruments.

 

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INTRODUCTION

"Materials scientists designing a polymer-based material for a specific application must analyze how and why all these factors come together to impact the final product. Understanding the structure and properties at the
microscopic level is critical to a complete understanding of the material. “Everybody wants to make their materials perform better at the macroscale,” says Bede Pittenger, a senior staff development scientist at Bruker Nano Surfaces. “And they all know that the key to that is by changing how things are structured at the nano- or microscale.”

And the key to changing how things are structured at the nanoscale is being able to analyze and understand what’s happening at that level and how that connects to the bulk material..."

This article provides an overview of Bruker's AFM microscopes and modes for the mechanical, electrical, and chemical characterization of polymers at the nanoscale as well as the tools we provide to support the correlative microscopy that drives innovation in polymer research.