Nanomechanical Characterization Modes

Understand and quantify the physical properties of molecules, composites, and nanostructures

Measuring and mapping elastic and viscoelastic properties at the nanoscale are a key requirement across many industries. Applications range from novel two-dimensional materials to polymers and live cells. Bruker’s comprehensive nanomechanical modes deliver complementary characterization techniques for greater flexibility and deeper insights when examining simple or complex sample types.

Bruker’s nanomechanics capabilities include the new AFM-nDMA, high performance FastForce Volume, FastForce Volume Contact Resonance, and the latest generation of our legendary PeakForce QNM. Together these methods cover samples from extremely soft biological materials (~1 kPa) to  polymers (~1 MPa – 10GPa) to metals and ceramics (>100 GPa). The modes operate in ambient, fluid, gas, and glovebox environments, and can additionally track mechanical properties as a function of sample temperature and frequency.  They enable the unprecedented capability to obtain highest resolution (to atomic scale) property mapping, including modulus, deformation, and adhesion, and provide quantitative elastic and viscoelastic measurements that tie to bulk dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA).

Uniquely, PeakForce QNM® seamlessly integrates with Bruker’s PeakForce TUNA™ and PeakForce KPFM™ to simultaneously map nanomechanical properties with nanoscale electrical conductivity and surface potential imaging, respectively.

FastForce Volume seamlessly integrates with electrical measurements as well. Beyond correlated nanomechanical and electrical measurements, the integration of FastForce Volume with electrical modes allows the acquisition of hyperspectral electrical data with an entire electrical (e.g. IV) ramp at every pixel. This is the basis of the recently introduced Data Cube modes.

AFM-nDMA uniquely addresses the frequency and temperature dependence inherent to viscoelastic properties, measuring storage modulus, loss modulus, and loss tangent directly at rheological frequencies. It provides quantitative results that tie directly to bulk DMA measurements.

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Atomic force microscope images of living HUVEC cells showing topography, fluorescence, Young's modulus and peak force error.