Recent advancements in liquid atomic force microscopy make it an ideal technique for probing the structure of solid-liquid interfaces. Here, we present a structural study of a two-dimensional amorphous silica bilayer immersed in an aqueous solution utilizing liquid atomic force microscopy with sub-nanometer resolution. Structures show good agreement with atomically resolved ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy images obtained on the same sample system, owing to the structural stability of the silica bilayer and the imaging clarity from the two-dimensional sample system. Pair distance histograms of ring center positions are utilized to develop quantitative metrics for structural comparison, and the physical origin of pair distance histogram peaks is addressed by direct assessment of real space structures.
Resolving amorphous solid-liquid interfaces by atomic force microscopy
Kristen M. Burson, Leonard Gura, Burkhard Kell, Christin Büchner, Adrian L. Lewandowski, Markus Heyde, Hans-Joachim Freund; Resolving amorphous solid-liquid interfaces by atomic force microscopy. Appl. Phys. Lett. 16 May 2016; 108 (20): 201602. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4949556
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