Frontiers of Force Microscopy in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Frontiers of Force Microscopy in  Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

This presentation aims to provide an overview of some recent developments as well as some challenges faced by force microscopy in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Specifically, the focus will be oriented to applications to study a wide range of systems, from biomolecules to polymers to novel 2D electronic materials, in air and liquid environments. The presentation is divided in three sections. The first section provides an introduction to the physics and key instrumental aspects of advanced force microscopes. The second section describes some applications to generate high resolution (atomic, molecular or nanoscale) maps of soft matter interfaces (polymer and biomolecules). Those maps combine topography and nanomechanical properties. A method to generate three-dimensional and atomically-resolved maps of solid-liquid interfaces will be presented. The third section illustrates how the nanoscale control afforded by scanning probe microscopes has enabled the development of scanning probe-based patterning methods.

Ricardo Garcia applies a combined theoretical and experimental approach to develop advanced microscopes that combine high spatial resolution, quantitative analysis with the capability to manipulate molecules, materials and devices in the 0.1 to 100 nm length scale. A key feature of Garcia’s approach is that nanoscale control should be compatible with operation in technological relevant environments (air or liquids). He has contributed to the development of the most robust and common force microscope method (tapping mode AFM) used in research and technology. Garcia is the inventor of bimodal AFM. This is one of the most advanced methods to measure nanomechanical properties with sub-1 nm resolution. He has also contributed to the emergence and optimization of scanning probe lithography.  Some of his scientific results have been incorporated into technological tools.

Garcia has received several honours. The most recent is the Nanotechnology Recognition Award by the American Vacuum Society (2016). In 2013 he was one of the recipients of the most prestigious research grants given by the European Research Council.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Currently he is a professor of nanotechnology at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid.

Vicky Wan
Physics Department
Physical Sciences Center F Wing, Room 101, Tempe campus