Atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoindentation is very suited for nano- and microscale mechanical characterization of soft materials. Although the structural response of polymeric networks that form soft matter depends on viscous effects caused by the relative slippage of polymeric chains, the usual assumption made in the AFM-based characterization is that the specimen behaves as a purely elastic material and viscous forces are negligible. However, for each geometric configuration of the AFM tip, there will be a limit indentation rate above which viscous effects must be taken into account to correctly determine mechanical properties. A parametric finite element study conducted on 12 geometric configurations of a blunt cone AFM tip (overall, the study included about 200 finite element analyses) allowed us to determine the limit indentation rate for each configuration. The selected tip dimensions cover commercially available products and account for changes in tip geometry caused by serial measurements. Nanoindentation rates cover typical experimental conditions set in AFM bio-measurements on soft matter. Viscous effects appear to be more significant in the case of sharper tips. This implies that, if quantitative data on sample viscosity are not available, using a rounded indenter and carrying out experiments below the limit indentation rate will allow errors in the determination of mechanical properties to be minimized.
|Titolo:||Effect of AFM probe geometry on visco-hyperelastic characterization of soft materials|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1088/0957-4484/26/32/325701|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|