In atomic force microscope (AFM) applications, the wear of the probe is undoubtedly a serious concern since it affects the integrity of the measurements. In this work, wear tests were performed using an AFM with lateral force monitoring capability with the aim to better understand the wear characteristics of diamond-coated probes. For the assessment of the probe wear, a transmission electron microscope (TEM) as well as a scanning electron microscope were utilized. The degree of the probe wear was quantified using the Archard's wear equation. The structure of the diamond-coated probe was analyzed by using the TEM and Raman spectroscopy. From the experimental results, two different wear characteristics, the gradual wear and the abrupt fracture of the diamond coating, were observed. In the case of gradual wear, the wear coefficient of the diamond-coated probe slid against a silicon nitride specimen was about 10-5-10-6. It was also found that the wear rate significantly decreased with increase in the sliding distance. Raman spectroscopy analysis showed that the difference in the chemical structure of the diamond coating may induce the different wear phenomena. These results may be effectively utilized for fundamental understanding of nano-wear characteristics of AFM probes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics