Atomic Force Microscopy for Surface Analysis

course photo

Objectifs du cours

This course is organized in collaboration with the European FP7 project EuroTraining.

Since the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) in 1981, a whole family of surface characterization methods (summarized as scanning probe methods, SPMs) has been developed, which all rely on the measurement of interactions between a sharp probe tip and a sample. One of the most successful choices has been the atomic force microscope (AFM) introduced in 1986 which measures the force acting between tip and sample.

Since it can be used for all types of materials and in all environments of practical interest (ambient, liquid, vacuum) the AFM is nowadays the workhorse for the analysis of sample surfaces in nano- and microtechnology. Although it is mostly used for the scanning of the sample topography with very high resolution the AFM is also well-suited to measure surface properties like friction, adhesion, and elasticity.

The course will review the background of different imaging modes like contact and dynamic mode and discuss their advantages and disadvantages. A special focus of the course is the analysis of surface properties with dynamic force spectroscopy and the measurement with colloid tips.

Public cible

The course addresses an audience from industry and academia interested into the analysis of surface properties by atomic force microscopy.



Dr Hendrik Hölscher is the head of the micro- and nanomechanics group at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany. He studied physics at the University of Hamburg and obtained his Ph.D. in 1999. Focusing on the development of advanced atomic force microscopy techniques he worked for different research institutes as a Post-doc before he won the Junior Researchers Competition Nanotechnology 2002 held by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. With the funding of this price he established his own research group at the Center for NanoTechnology (CeNTech) of the University of Münster, Germany. From 2006 to 2007 he was visiting assistant professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Yale University. His work on the development of new AFM methods was honored with the Transfer-Prize 2007 of the University of Münster in 2008. He acted as the organizer of several international conferences focusing on atomic force microscopy techniques.

Informations et inscription

Date et Lieu (

1 day


CHF 690.00

Langue du cours


Hendrik  Hölscher