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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Multipurpose Force Tool for Quantitative Nanoscale Analysis and Manipulation of Biomolecular, Polymeric and Heterogeneous Materials


FORCETOOL (FT) proposes to develop a multipurpose tool for quantitative nanoscale analysis and manipulation of biomolecular, polymeric and heterogeneous surfaces. Key features of the proposed instrument are 1 nm spatial resolution and 1 pN force se nsitivity; operation in technological relevant environments (air or liquids) and with no impact on the sample surface.The multifunctionality and flexibility of FT will enable characterization, control or manipulation of structures on a nanometer-scale, s o it will open new approaches for manufacturing at molecular and nanoscale levels. This tool is based on two innovative concepts : (i) the bi-modal AFM and (ii) the multimaterial methodolody. The bi-modal AFM concept considers the cantilever as a thre e dimensional object with several resonance modes, in particular two. The concept departs radically from the established principles of dynamic force microscopy (only the fundamental mode is considered). The double excitation allows to separate topogr aphy from composition contributions in the experimental data. Furthermore, the bi-modal AFM is about two orders of magnitude more sensitive to force variations than state of the art tapping mode AFMs. The multimaterial methodology will allow to tran sform the amplitude, frequency or phase shift changes measured by the instrument into quantitative information about the sample properties. The multimaterial methodology has both a general framework to describe dynamic force microscopy interactions an d specific codes to be used with different materials such as inorganic materials, biomolecules , polymers or molecular architectures. Specific key goals are: Topography, composition analysis and manipulation of biomolecules, polymers and hete rogeneous surfaces; operation in air or liquids environments; 1 nm spatial resolution and 1 pN force sensitivity; compatibility with existing atomic force microscopes


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