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Morphology of Nanoparticles
Dec. 20, 2012

Morphology of Nanoparticles

Potential candidates of reference nano-materials are manufactured and systematically characterized in particular with respect to their morphology (shape, size and size distribution) in the frame of the running large European project NanoValid. By exploiting the transmission operation mode in a SEM, known as T-SEM, it is demonstrated by means of three representative examples of nanoparticles how a quick morphological inspection up to a complete, metrological characterization is feasible.
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Carbon Nanotubes as Ideal AFM Probes
Dec. 17, 2012

Carbon Nanotubes as Ideal AFM Probes

Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have been demonstrated since 1996 as ideal probes for scanning probe methods because of their nano-size, their cylinder geometry and their mechanical properties. Their use hasn‘t spread out as expected, due to lack of control of their fabrication and of their interaction with surfaces. Sixteen years later, this knowledge is now acquired. Carbon nanotube probes can provide more than high resolution thanks to their high mechanical and chemical stability and surface sensitivity.
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VP-SEM: Unsung Hero of SEM Imaging
Dec. 13, 2012

VP-SEM: Unsung Hero of SEM Imaging

Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscopy (VP-SEM) has become an important tool for the imaging of hydrated specimens and samples with low conductivity. This article outlines various research scenarios where VP-SEM allowed minimal sample processing that often enabled successive specimen reuse. We present cases where these characteristics allowed imaging of specimens otherwise impossible using conventional SEM methods.
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Towards Manipulation of Single Proteins
Dec. 10, 2012

Towards Manipulation of Single Proteins

Here we use scanning probe microscopy (SPM) to image and manipulate individual pig gastric mucin protein molecules attached to a graphite surface. Experiments on the bare graphite surface with STM show that, upon drying of a droplet of mucin solution and subsequent washing with ultrapure water, mucin molecules are arranged in a linear fashion. We show that these molecules can be unraveled by a mechanical molecule/tip interaction one segment (45 nm) at a time without fragmenting the molecule. more
Supported Phospholipid Bilayers
Dec. 06, 2012

Supported Phospholipid Bilayers

Solid supported phospholipid bilayers (SPB) formed by fusion of small unilamellar vesicles on glass, quartz and mica surfaces constitute an attractive model for studying lipid membrane properties and functions. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms of SPB formation under different experimental ­conditions. In situ atomic force microscopy imaging can reveal the details of this process. Introduction more
Imaging of Mechanical Properties of Soft Matter
Nov. 22, 2012

Imaging of Mechanical Properties of Soft Matter

In recent years the atomic force microscope (AFM) has evolved from a high resolution imaging tool to an enabling platform for physical studies at the nanoscale including quantitative mapping of mechanical characteristics of surfaces providing simultaneous topography and mechanical property maps across the length scales. In the work presented here peak force tapping AFM was utilized to elaborate the nanoscale mechanical performance of phase separated polyurethanes (PUs) and the mechanical properties of lysozyme molecules adsorbed to mica substrates. more
Characterization and Fabrication Tools for Emerging Nanobionics
Nov. 22, 2012

Characterization and Fabrication Tools for Emerging Nanobionics

The interfacing of technology and living cells in the nanoscale domain -nanobionics- is being enabled by scanning probe tools, including Bio-Atomic Force Microscopy and Dip Pen Nanolithography, providing a nanoscale insight into the cell-material interface and an unprecedented approach to nanofabrication.
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Sparsity-Mediated Microscopy
Oct. 29, 2012

Sparsity-Mediated Microscopy

We present the experimental reconstruction of sub-wavelength features from the far-field of sparse optical objects. We show that it is sufficient to know that the object is sparse, and only that, and recover 100 nm features with the resolution of 30 nm, for an illuminating wavelength of l = 532 nm. Our technique works in real-time, requires no scanning, and can be implemented in all existing microscopes - ­optical and non-optical.
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