Colloid probe characterization: Radius and roughness determination

Chiara Neto, Vincent S.J. Craig*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    97 Citations (Scopus)


    In the last 10 years the atomic force microscope (AFM) has routinely been applied to the direct measurement of surface forces. A particle is often attached to the tip of the force-sensing cantilever in order to control the chemistry and the geometry of the interaction. Usually a spherical particle (colloid probe) is employed, and the measured interaction force is normalized by the radius, enabling comparisons to be made with both theory and other techniques. Here we report a simple method for characterizing the radius, surface roughness, and regularity of colloid probe particles. The colloid probe is "reverse imaged" by employing a surface with very sharp features. A standard calibration grating is suitable. No further equipment is required. The method is straightforward and will be of value to researchers employing the AFM for force measurement.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2097-2099
    Number of pages3
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2001


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