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Proceedings Paper

Elastic modulus of nanomaterials: resonant contact-AFM measurement and reduced-size effects (Invited Paper)
Author(s): Bernard Nysten; Christian Fretigny; Stephane Cuenot
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Paper Abstract

Resonant contact atomic force microscopy (resonant C-AFM) is used to quantitatively measure the elastic modulus of polymer nanotubes and metallic nanowires. To achieve this, an oscillating electric field is applied between the sample holder and the microscope head to excite the oscillation of the cantilever in contact with the nanostructures suspended over the pores of a membrane. The resonance frequency of the cantilever with the tip in contact with a nanostructure is shifted to higher values with respect to the resonance frequency of the free cantilever. It is demonstrated that the system can simply be modeled by a cantilever with the tip in contact with two springs. The measurement of the frequency shift enables the direct determination of the spring stiffness, i.e. the nanowires or nanotube stiffness. The method also enables the determination of the boundary conditions of the nanobeam on the membrane. The tensile elastic modulus is then simply determined using the classical theory of beam deflection. The obtained results for the larger nanostructures fairly agree to the values reported in the literature for the macroscopic elastic modulus of the corresponding materials. The measured modulus of the nanomaterials with smaller diameters is significantly higher than that of the larger ones. The increase of the apparent elastic modulus for the smaller diameters is attributed to the surface tension effects. It is thus demonstrated that resonant C-AFM enables the measurement of the elastic modulus and of the surface tension of nanomaterials.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5766, Testing, Reliability, and Application of Micro- and Nano-Material Systems III, (9 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.604981
Show Author Affiliations
Bernard Nysten, POLY, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
Christian Fretigny, PCSM, ESPCI, CNRS (France)
Stephane Cuenot, POLY, Univ. Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5766:
Testing, Reliability, and Application of Micro- and Nano-Material Systems III
Robert E. Geer; Norbert Meyendorf; George Y. Baaklini; Bernd Michel, Editor(s)

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