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Measuring the Size Dependence of Young s Modulus Using Force Modulation Atomic Force Microscopy



William J. Price, C. Leighton, Stephen M. Hsu, Timothy Patten, Gang-Yu Liu


The question of whether the Young s modulus of organic thin films depends on the size of the materials at the nanometer scale is systematically investigated. Using atomic force microscopy (AFM) based imaging and lithography, nanostructures with designed size, shape and functionality are preenginerred, e.g. nanostructures of octadecanethiols inlaid in decanethiol self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). The structure, size and shape of these nanostructures are characterized using AFM, followed by force modulation spectroscopy and microscopy measurements. Young s modulus is then extracted from these measurements using a continuum mechanics model. The apparent Young s modulus is found to decrease nonlinearly with the decreasing size of these nanostructures. This systematic study presents conclusive evidence of the size-dependence of elasticity in the nanoregime. The approach utilized may be applied to study various materials and other mechanical properties.
Journal of Physical Chemistry B


force modulation, size dependence, Young's modulus


Price, W. , Leighton, C. , Hsu, S. , Patten, T. and Liu, G. (2021), Measuring the Size Dependence of Young s Modulus Using Force Modulation Atomic Force Microscopy, Journal of Physical Chemistry B (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created October 12, 2021