Applications

Dr. Sergei Magonov is using scanning probe microscopy for a large variety of applications for 30 years when he was working in Freiburg University (1988-1995) and at several manufacturers of SPM instrumentation: Digital Instruments/Veeco Instruments (1995-2007), Agilent Technologies (2007-2011), NT-MDT (2011-2016) and SPM Labs (2016 – present). The results of his studies were published in one book (S. N. Magonov and M.-H Whangbo “Surface Analysis with STM and AFM” VCH 1996),  16 chapters and reviews, in more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and 50 application notes. A number of the reviews and papers were written together with Sergey Belikov and John Alexander - his current colleagues.

At SPM Labs he continues SPM measurements using DCC accessory connected with MultiMode microscope with NanoScope IIIA; as well as novel Phoenix controller (SPM Labs), which empowers MultiMode microscope and other SPM instruments. His experience and results of ongoing AFM studies are presented below in the form common for research papers. The purpose of the documents is to emphasize the capabilities of AFM in combination with demonstration of practical hints helping researchers in applications of this technique.


A list of the application documents is below:

1. Exploring Adsorbates of Normal and Semi-Fluorinated Alkanes on Different Substrates with Atomic Force Microscopy

Sergei Magonov, John Alexander and Sergey Belikov

Abstract
Visualization of molecular order of normal ultra long alkanes (C242H486) and semi-fluorinated alkanes on Si and graphite was performed in AFM amplitude modulation mode with phase imaging. Specifics of imaging these adsorbates at different tip-forces and peculiarities of their images such as variable height contrast and Moiré patterns are discussed.  

2. Compositional Imaging of Polystyrene and Low-Density Polyethylene Blend in Atomic Force Microscopy

Sergei Magonov, John Alexander, and Sergey Belikov

Abstract
Compositional imaging of heterogeneous polymer samples is demonstrated on a blend of atactic polystyrene (PS) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Imaging of the blend films of different thickness on Si substrate in amplitude modulation mode with phase imaging reveals surface locations occupied by the substrate, PS and crystalline and amorphous components of LDPE. Visualization of the individual components is performed with spatial resolution allowing recognition of individual crystalline lamellae of LDPE with 10-20 nm width.


3. Imaging of Lamellar Structures of Normal Alkanes with Atomic Force Microscopy


Sergei Magonov, John Alexander, and Sergey Belikov


Abstract

Studies of lamellar structures of adsorbates of normal alkanes (C22H46, C36H74, C60H122, C122H246 and C390H782) on HOPG and MoS2 were performed on samples, which were prepared by spin-casting and sublimation. In the images of spin-cast samples the lamellar width correlates with the length of extended alkane molecules and tilt of the molecules was observed in C122H246 and C390H782 layers. Novel molecular organization was found in sublimated C36H74 alkanes on HOPG. Multiple surface domains of tightly packed alkane ribbons having width 40% larger than the molecule length were observed in these samples. This self-organization of vapor-deposited C36H74 molecules have proceeded on the substrate at temperature much lower than the alkane's melting point. Several practical hints on high-resolution imaging of the lamellar layers are given.