Improved Application of Carbon Nanotube Atomic Force Microscopy Probes Using PeakForce Tapping Mode

Ashley Slattery, Cameron Shearer, Joseph Shapter, Adam Blanch, Jamie Quinton, Christopher Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)


In this work PeakForce tapping (PFT) imaging was demonstrated with carbon nanotube atomic force microscopy (CNT-AFM) probes; this imaging mode shows great promise for providing simple, stable imaging with CNT-AFM probes, which can be difficult to apply. The PFT mode is used with CNT-AFM probes to demonstrate high resolution imaging on samples with features in the nanometre range, including a Nioprobe calibration sample and gold nanoparticles on silicon, in order to demonstrate the modes imaging effectiveness, and to also aid in determining the diameter of very thin CNT-AFM probes. In addition to stable operation, the PFT mode is shown to eliminate “ringing” artefacts that often affect CNT-AFM probes in tapping mode near steep vertical step edges. This will allow for the characterization of high aspect ratio structures using CNT-AFM probes, an exercise which has previously been challenging with the standard tapping mode.

Original languageEnglish
Article number807
Number of pages13
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • Atomic force microscope tips
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Imaging artefacts
  • Peakforce tapping mode
  • Tapping mode


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