Byong Kim1 Wenqing Shi1 Gerald Pascual1 Keibock Lee1

1, Park Systems, Inc., Santa Clara, California, United States

Nanomechanical property measurement is one of the most popular functions of atomic force microscopy (AFM). Conventional nanomechanical measurement techniques are mainly based on AFM force-volume spectroscopy, which collects force-distance (F/D) curves at each pixel to calculate material elastic properties. However, these techniques have been recognized as being extremely slow, and it usually takes hours to acquire an elasticity map. Driven by the demand for a faster and more efficient technique, Park Systems developed PinPointTM Nanomechanical Mode to provide a solution that is at least 100 times faster than traditional techniques. This mode enables acquisition of an elasticity map with a correlated topography image within minutes, and it represents a new application tool for collecting real-time topography and quantitative mechanical property maps of various materials, ranging from hard disks to soft tissues. To better access the capability of the PinPointTM Nanomechanical Mode, we select three cantilevers with stiffness ranging from 0.2 N/m to 25 N/m and investigated their influence on the measured modulus values. In addition, for all three cantilevers, we also examine the influence of applied force on the resulted modulus. Findings show that cantilevers with smaller force constants will lead to smaller measured modulus values, and vice versa. With the same cantilever, a larger applied force results in a larger measured modulus compared to that obtained with smaller force values. The most important finding is that, with PinPointTM, the relative modulus difference/ratio within a sample can be accurately acquired regardless of the force constant of the cantilever or the applied setpoint force values.