Development of a State-of-the-Art Atomic Force Microscope for Improved Force Spectroscopy

Monica Rivera
Special Instructions: 
Lunch and beverages will be served
Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 12:00pm
Hudson Hall Room 216
Seminar Contact(s): 
Elizabeth Irish or Justin Jaworski
Semester & Year: 
Fall 2008
This research describes the development of a state-of-the-art atomic force microscope (AFM) for improved force spectroscopy. Although the AFM has been used extensively in this field of research, the performance of the instrument has been limited by inefficient operation techniques, incorrect experimental assumptions, and inadequate controller design. This research focuses on overcoming these deficiencies by providing precise control over the instrument for specialized research in a manner that is conducive to the natural science researcher. Defining research in this area included the development of methods to minimize potentially damaging compressive forces, form polymer bridges at different tip-sample gap widths, produce clean, deconvoluted force-extension curves, and limit single molecule force spectroscopy puling errors. In an effort to increase the efficiency of the instrument, the programs developed during this research were fully automated, allowing autonomous operation of the instrument for long periods of time. This presentation will highlight some of the advances made towards improving the accuracy, sensitivity, and efficiency of the AFM for force spectroscopy research.