Feynman’s famous lecture in 1960 titled “There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom” is still inspiring a multitude of scientists from a vast number of fields to think small. Materials, structures and devices fabricated at nanoscale dimensions have been identified as the basis for innumerable future technologies. These applications span the entire range of scientific, biological and engineering endeavors, such as photovoltaic solar cells, spintronic devices, biomedical implants, nanoscale transistors, to the design of novel microstructures and materials that can be processed “atom by atom”. Indeed, the importance of dimensionally-restricted material systems (both from the perspective of engineering applications and for the fundamental understanding of material behavior) is accelerating at an ever-increasing rate. The design and fabrication of such systems is a significant accomplishment in itself, however being able to characterize (and in the future control) the mechanisms along which electrical, magnetic, chemical, structural and/or mechanical properties are selected and coupled from the nanoscale to the microscale present a major additional challenge. There are a multitude of different tools and methodologies to obtain individual local maps of these properties at the nanoscale. On the other hand, it remains far more difficult to access and characterize the coupling between them (the stress, strain and elastic energy fields at a given location will e.g. depend non-locally on the device macro-scale geometry because of the elliptic nature of elasticity equations).
With this in mind, several teams from various different fields (complex systems, mechanical and nano-solid mechanics, statistical physics, physical chemistry of materials, Synchrotron, near-field microscopy…) are collaborating under “Interdisciplinary Multiscale Atomic Force Microscope Platform (IMAFMP)” to address this impasse. Researchers within IMAFMP currently have a significant platform (Interdisciplinary Multiscale Platform, or IMP, see section 4.1) of tools to fabricate, manipulated, characterize, analyze, store… nanoscale objects from the nanoscale to the continuum scale. However until recently this platform was missing a significant tool: an Interdisciplinary Multifunctional Atomic Force Microscope Platform (IMFAFM) permitting simultaneous cartographies of nanoscale topographic, mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties. Ile-de-France and RTRA have provided the financial backing to fill this gap.
Researchers within IMAFMP are involved in a variety of different scientific fields. Hence they require various types of simultaneous data. Despite their differences all researchers require access to nanomechanical information. Below one will find the title of research projects currently using IMAFMP:
IMAFMP has purchased a Bruker FastScan/Icon Atomic Force microscope. This AFM permits us to tap the surface of a sample at a constant controlled force. Thus allowing us to extract the force curve, obtain a reduced modulus in real time and the young’s modulus post-scanning at every pixel. IMAFMP Members are carrying out various types of research from nanomechanical measurements of glass surfaces to studying nanomechanical properties of biological cells. Thus we require a verity of functionalities for this AFM.
IMAFMP does have dedicated access time for users outside of the consortium. For access please contact .