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can AFM characterize surface with micron-sized features

can AFM characterize surface with micron-sized features

can AFM characterize surface with micron-sized features

My sample surface is featured with microspheres (0.3um-1.5um). Can I use AFM to characterize the surface? I know AFM is very good for nano-topography but not sure with my case. I have tried to use AFM with my sample one time. But the singal is very bad. Since I am a new user of AFM, I am not skillful operator. So I can't draw the conclusion that AFM is not good for micron-featured surface. Does somebody have any idea if AFM can do it? Or I need turn to other equipment to characterize  and visulize my surface topography?
Thank you in advance if you would like to share your opinion with me.

RE: can AFM characterize surface with micron-sized features

I have no experience w/ AFM. You might be able to use low voltage high resolution SEM. Acelleration voltages on the order of 2keV.

Also if your sample is metallic, you may be able to use high voltage with extremely high magnification.

hope this helps

RE: can AFM characterize surface with micron-sized features

Since AFM is designed to operate in the nm regime, micron sized spheres arn't really appropriate are they?  AFM would be good for detecting surface roughness of the spheres themselves or the surface they're on.

You should be looking at non-contact surface profilometers; or SEM as suggested, with low voltages, since I'd guess that your microsperes are latex or something similar.  You might still need to deposit a thin gold film if your SEM can't throttle down its beam enough.


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