Bruker’s PeakForce Tapping AFM Mode in >4,000 Publications

Bruker is celebrating the 10th anniversary of PeakForce Tapping. It’s the fastest growing AFM mode, cited in over 4,000 peer-reviewed scientific research publications.

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10 Year Anniversary of PeakForce Tapping

Bruker is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of their PeakForce Tapping AFM mode, which was first introduced in December 2009. It’s the fastest growing AFM mode, cited in over 4,000 peer-reviewed research publications. Over 30% of these publications have been in journals with impact factors in the top 10%.

PeakForce Tapping is outpacing all other recently developed atomic force microscopy modes in research impact and productivity. It’s been widely adopted in materials, data storage and semiconductor research.

We launched PeakForce Tapping in 2009 because it had the potential to provide new quantitative data, as well as make AFM radically easier to use. We are very pleased to see its wide adoption and praise by AFM researchers around the world.
David V. Rossi - Executive Vice President & General Manager, Bruker AFM

PeakForce QNM (Quantitative Nanomechanics) alone has been cited specifically in over 2,000 scientific publications.

Thanks to PeakForce QNM, we were able to rapidly obtain pertinent information on the mechanical properties of very soft and sticky polymer materials, such as adhesives or adaptive hydrogels, that other classical SPM techniques were not able to provide.
Dr. Philippe Leclère - University of Mons (UMONS), Belgium

Associated AFM Modes

  • ScanAsyst – Self-optimising AFM to help you achieve high quality images easily.
  • PeakForce QNM – Quantitative nanoscale mechanical characterisation
  • PeakForce TUNA – Current mapping on fragile samples.
  • PeakForce KPFM – Highest spatial resolution and surface potential measurement.
  • PeakForce SECM – Correlated electrochemical and nanomechanical data.

Milestones and Achievements

There have been many firsts and milestones achieved using PeakForce Tapping, which has been involved in ground-breaking publications in many fields.

In 2D materials PeakForce Tapping was used by Professor Konstantin Novoselov and Professor Andre Geim, the 2010 Physics Nobel Laureates for the discovery of graphene. They revealed a commensurate-incommensurate state transition in graphene on boron nitride, published in their Nature Physics article.

Bruker AFM Image of Graphene
2µm scan of graphene using PeakForce Tapping. Several monoatomic steps and small islands are clearly visible.

In biology it has enabled new studies, including:

  • Ligand receptor interactions
  • Individual microvilli on live cells
  • Variations in the DNA double helix structure.
PeakForce Tapping provided my lab with the force control and resolution necessary to produce ground-breaking ligand-receptor interaction maps using functionalised probes on live cells in a very time efficient and controlled way.
Prof. Daniel Müller - ETH Zürich, Switzerland

In soft matter studies it is relied on for quantifying properties at interfaces and interphases, including in adhesives, which had previously been a challenge for other AFM modes.

PeakForce Tapping is my favorite mode to study soft matter. It is uniquely suited for robust and repeatable quantitative imaging, while being a rather simple mode to use. In addition, it is an amazingly flexible platform for developing new AFM modalities.
Prof. Igor Sokolov - Tufts University, USA

In energy research it has been used to study:

  • Conductivity along individual lamellae in organic photovoltaics.
  • Nano-contact pinch-off in solar fuel device development.
  • SEI layers in Li ion batteries – both in operando and ex situ.

Recently an article about battery research involving PeakForce Tapping was published in Nature Communications, co-authored by Professor John Bannister Goodenough, 2019 Chemistry Nobel Laureate for the development of Li ion batteries.

More abut battery research with AFM…

The introduction of PeakForce QNM was a milestone in the history of AFM. Much of the research we do in my lab would not be possible without it.
Professor Georg Fantner - EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland
It was previously impossible to resolve the finest structures of a live cell like microvilli, but now with PeakForce Tapping on BioScope Resolve AFM systems I can image them easily.
Prof. Hermann Schillers - University of Münster, Germany
30µm scan of a Teflon membrane, comparing PeakForce Tapping to regular TappingMode.

Advantages of PeakForce Tapping

PeakForce Tapping increases resolution by using pN-level controlled imaging forces. There are no damaging lateral forces or spatial averaging like in TappingMode.

A complete force curve is acquired at every pixel. This enables nanomechanical mapping (with PeakForce QNM), which separates modulus from adhesion and gives you quantitative data.

It eliminates the need for contact in electrical modes (eg conductive and tunneling AFM such as PeakForce TUNA). This makes it possible to achieve high resolution on soft, fragile samples, and even in liquids, with PeakForce SECM.

PeakForce Tapping is not subject to air damping. This means you can track high aspect ratio structures accurately – particularly useful for industrial applications eg nanometre roughness and deep trenches.

The linear feedback enhances control over resonant modes. This enables robust self-optimisation (using ScanAsyst) without prior knowledge of the sample.

Bruker PeakForce Tapping Brochure

PeakForce Tapping Brochure

More about PeakForce Tapping and how it can be used in various fields, with example images:

More Information

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