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The NanoBeamBalance: A passive, tensile-test device for the atomic force microscope

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2 Author(s)
Wenger, M.P.E. ; London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College London, 17-19 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH, United Kingdom ; Mesquida, P.

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An add-on device is presented, which significantly expands the force measurement capabilities of the atomic force microscope (AFM). The device consists of a completely passive mechanism, which translates the vertical motion of the AFM tip in force measurements into a horizontal motion of two sample support pads. The advantage is that it is much easier to deposit microscopic samples from suspension onto flat surfaces than to attach them reliably between tip and a surface. The working-principle and the design of the device is comprehensively described and demonstrated on the example of collagen fibres with a diameter of a few μm. Well-defined tensile measurements in longitudinal direction were performed, showing that the tensile stiffness of collagen fibres from rat tail tendon decreases by a factor of 5 when rehydrated from a dried sample and slowly increases upon cross-linking with glutaraldehyde.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:82 ,  Issue: 5 )