A frequency-modulation atomic force microscope was operated in liquid using sharpened and cone-shaped tips. The topography of mica and alkanethiol monolayers was obtained with subnanometer resolution, regardless of nominal tip radius, which was either 10 or 250 nm. Force-distance curves determined over a hexadecane-thiol interface showed force modulations caused by liquid layers structured at the interface. The amplitude of force modulation and the layer-to-layer distance were completely insensitive to the nominal tip radius. These results are evidence that minitips smaller than the nominal radius are present on the tip body and function as a force probe. © 2012 The Japan Society of Applied Physics.
Hiasa, T., Kimura, K., & Onishi, H. (2012). Minitips in frequency-modulation atomic force microscopy at liquid-solid interfaces. Japanese Journal of Applied Physics, 51(2 PART 1). https://doi.org/10.1143/JJAP.51.025703