Petr Klapetek, Miroslav Valtr, David Nečas, Ota Salyk, Petr Dzik
Atomic force microscopy analysis of nanoparticles in non-ideal conditions
Nanoscale Research Letters 6 (2011) 514
Nanoparticles are often measured using atomic force microscopy or other scanning probe microscopy methods. For isolated nanoparticles on flat substrates this is a relatively easy task. However, in real situations we often need to analyze nanoparticles on rough substrates or nanoparticles that are not isolated. In this article we present a simple model for realistic simulations of nanoparticle deposition and we employ this model for modeling nanoparticles on rough substrates. Different modeling conditions (coverage, relaxation after deposition) and convolution with different tip shapes are used to obtain a wide spectrum of virtual AFM nanoparticle images similar to those known from practice. Statistical parameters of nanoparticles are then analyzed using different data processing algorithms in order to show their systematic errors and to estimate uncertainties for atomic force microscopy analysis of nanoparticles under non-ideal conditions. It is shown that the proper choice of data processing algorithm is a key step for obtaining accurate results while analyzing nanoparticles measured in non-ideal conditions.
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