Seeing beyond the naked eye has been a reality for many years, but seeing at the nano-level is a recent science with many implications for business. When it comes to fluid power and many other areas, seeing the most minute particles can find answers that otherwise are unfathomable.
Research and education at the nano-scale is becoming more critical each year as research and development focuses on nano-scale phenomena, ultrafine structures and interfaces between matter. Atomic Force Microscopy (“AFM”) allows the force between a small tip and a chosen sample surface to be measured with atomic-scale resolution. Initially lateral forces between the tip and the sample can also be measured to better understand the origins of friction at the molecular scale.
Other types of AFM surface measurement models include: plastic deformations, electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. All these capabilities make the AFM an indispensable tool for characterization and manipulation in all areas of the emerging field of technology called nanotechnology. Leveraging the state-of-the-art AFM capabilities, research will be conducted in the areas of wear reduction and surface enhancement. Other areas include Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) of metal matrix composites and numerous projects for biological and industrial applications (e.g., MEMS).