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Oxford Instruments New Application Note: Video-Rate AFM Opens New Research Possibilities into Surfactant Behavior at Solid-Liquid Interfaces

Learn How Video-rate AFM can image surfactant micelle dynamics

Opens new research possibilities into surfactant behavior at solid-liquid interfaces

application note about using atomic force microscopy to study surfactant dynamics at solid-liquid interfaces

(Free download, compliments of Asylum Research, the Technology Leader in Atomic Force Microscopy)

Download the application note to learn:

  • Introduction to the self-assembly of surfactant micelles at solid-liquid interfaces
  • Challenges associated with characterizing the dynamic behavior of these systems
  • New capability provided by video-rate AFM to visualize these dynamics
  • Several example datasets and links to the full movies (see below)



Watch the Full Movies From the Application Note

Figure 2: Video captured at 5.8 fps (173 ms per frame), showing clearly the rows of CTAB hemimicelles on the HOPG surface and the orientation of the domain boundaries. Tapping mode phase data is shown here for optimum contrast. The video plays back at 23.2 fps (i.e. 4× the acquisition rate). 


Figure 3: Video captured at 0.48 fps (250 Hz line rate) showing two CTAB grains of opposite row orientation (upper-left and lower-right) bounded on the left and right by two grains with parallel orientation. Over time, the two grains narrow at their boundary, eventually separating and drifting apart while the adjacent grains on the left and right merge together. Note the three different row orientations, corresponding to the three directions perpendicular to the HOPG symmetry axes. Video is shown at a playback speed of 1.92 frames per second (i.e. 4× the acquisition rate).
Figure 4: Video captured at 0.95 fps (250 Hz line rate) showing the spontaneous formation of a narrow CTAB grain along the boundary of two orientation domains (upper left). The grain continues to grow for about 20 s until a broader grain in the same orientation begins to emerge behind it. This new grain continues to grow and push the smaller grain out of the field of view. The video plays back at 3.8 fps (i.e. 4× the acquisition rate). Figure 5: The video here was acquired at 0.95 fps (250 Hz line rate). Images in the application note highlight two examples, both of which show small features that seem to absorb into surrounding grains. The process appears analogous to Ostwald ripening, except in this two-dimensional system instead of a bulk dispersion. In both cases, the feature appears with higher phase contrast and appears less structured than the surrounding hemimicelles. The video plays back at 3.8 frames per second (i.e. 4× the acquisition rate).

The movies about were taken using the Cypher VRS Video-Rate AFM

The Cypher VRS AFM is the first and only full-featured video-rate AFM. Finally, researchers can measure nanoscale dynamic processes at video-rate speeds with all of the resolution, versatility, and ease of use that are the hallmarks of an Asylum Research Cypher AFM.

  • High resolution video-rate imaging at up to 625 lines per second
  • Exceptional ease of use—even at 10 frames per second
  • Full range of modes and accessories—all the capabilities of Cypher ES at normal scan speeds
Cypher VRS, the first and only full-feature video-rate atomic force microscope