Relating polymer indentation behavior to elastic modulus using atomic force microscopy

M. R. Vanlandingham, S. H. McKnight, G. R. Palmese, R. F. Eduljee, J. W. Gillespie, R. L. McCullough

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The atomic force microscope (AFM) has become a popular tool for characterizing surfaces of many different types of materials. In this paper, an AFM is used to probe the mechanical properties of polymer samples through examination of force curves produced during tip-sample contact and indentation. Three types of cantilever probes with spring constants estimated to be 1-5 N/m, 20-100 N/m, and 400-500 N/m respectively, were used to study different polymer samples with known modulus values ranging from 20 MPa to 3 GPa. A technique is developed that relates the measured sample response to elastic modulus, and illuminates the importance of the relative stiffnesses of the cantilever probe and the sample to the material response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-200
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 1996 MRS Fall Symposium - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Dec 2 1996Dec 5 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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