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Elastic mapping and quantitative nanoscale modulus measurements of SnO2 nanobelts



Yuegui Zheng, Robert E. Geer, Malgorzata Kopycinska-Mueller, Donna C. Hurley


A comparative study of the elastic uniformity and modulus of single-crystal SnO2 nanobelts is presented employing two nondestructive techniques based on atomic force microscopy: differential ultrasonic force microscopy (d-UFM) and atomic force acoustic microcopy (AFAM). In mapping mode both techniques revealed uniform elastic response across the surface of the nanobelts as expected for single crystal nanostructures. Comparative analyses of the local indentation modulus (probe area 100 nm2) were undertaken using both techniques at multiple points on the same SnO2 nanobelt exhibiting a (102) surface crystalline orientation as determined by electron backscatter diffraction. Both d-UFM and AFAM exhibited excellent quantitative agreement yielding indentation moduli of 154 ± 14 GPa and 154 ± 18 GPa, respectively. These values are significantly below the expected value of the (102) indentation modulus of 358 GPa for crystalline SnO2 determined from the Green?s function model of Barnett and Lothe adapted by Vlassak and coworkers. This observation is consistent with recent nanoindentation (destructive) measurements of (110) oriented SnO2 nanobelts that yielded an indentation modulus of 66 ± 10 GPa, well below the expected value of 308 GPa. In addition to confirming the quantitative consistency and overall accuracy of nanoscale modulus measurements using d-UFM and AFAM, the overall trend in these data contradict recent molecular dynamics studies that call for increased elastic moduli in similar nanobelt structures.
Journal of Applied Physics


atomic force acoustic microscopy, elastic modulus, nanobelts, ultrasonic force microscopy


Zheng, Y. , Geer, R. , Kopycinska-Mueller, M. and Hurley, D. (2006), Elastic mapping and quantitative nanoscale modulus measurements of SnO2 nanobelts, Journal of Applied Physics, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created December 20, 2006, Updated October 12, 2021