Quantitative Atomic Force Microscopy with Carbon Monoxide Terminated Tips

Z. Sun, M.P. Boneschanscher, I. Swart, D. Vanmaekelbergh, Peter Liljeroth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)
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Noncontact atomic force microscopy (AFM) has recently progressed tremendously in achieving atomic resolution imaging through the use of small oscillation amplitudes and well-defined modification of the tip apex. In particular, it has been shown that picking up simple inorganic molecules (such as CO) by the AFM tip leads to a well-defined tip apex and to enhanced image resolution. Here, we use the same approach to study the three-dimensional intermolecular interaction potential between two molecules and focus on the implications of using molecule-modified AFM tips for microscopy and force spectroscopy experiments. The flexibility of the CO at the tip apex complicates the measurement of the intermolecular interaction energy between two CO molecules. Our work establishes the physical limits of measuring intermolecular interactions with scanning probes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number046104
Pages (from-to)1-4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • atomic force microscopy
  • nanoscale contacts
  • scanning tunneling microscopy

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