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Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a technique that measures forces between a probe and sample, which can be used not only to measure the topography of surfaces with nanometre scale resolution but to map and manipulate a range of properties which can be addressed via the tip. Here, we touch on but a few of the capabilities of state-of-the-art atomic force microscopy for layered materials research and explore the possibilities to correlate a host of functional properties in one mouse click using our new FX40 automatic AFM. After introducing the working principles of the measurement of topography, electrostatics and mechanical properties using atomic force microscopy, we will then proceed to perform live nanomechanical [1] and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) [2,3] measurements on transition metal dichalcogenides which have regions of strain due to trapped interfacial contamination. In addition to studying the interplay of strain and work function in these materials, we will highlight how automated tip exchange enables such measurements to be performed in a less laborious and more reproducible manner.

Park Lectures - Park Atomic Force Microscope