Scanning probe microscopy in nano mechanical testing has started with the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in the year 1981. Till then based on the type of principles there are number of models developed and are in use. Scanning probe microscopy found popularity owing to its ease in versatility in dealing with a number of issues, typically it is used to identify the material properties on nano to even pico scales. Scanning probe microscopy techniques such as atomic/friction force microscopy(AFM/FFM) are increasingly finding applications in tribological studies of engineering surfaces as well for finding surface texture etc. Atomic and molecular level details can be assessed using Scanning probe microscopy with great ease and the instruments are highly versatile. AFMs with suitable tips are being used to study issues like scratching, wear etc. Scratch and wear properties of variety of materials have been measured. Mechanisms of material removal are also studied. Localized surface elasticity maps of composite materials with penetration depths less than 10nm can be found using SPM with nano mechanical testing procedures. Nano indentation hardness and the young’s modulus of elasticity can be measured with a depth of indentation as low as 1nm. Scratching and indentation on the nano scale are powerful ways to screen for adhesion and resistance to deformation of ultrathin coatings. These studies provide insight into failure mechanisms of the materials and thin coatings. SPM in nano mechanical testing provides insight into the surface characterization and provided glimpse of failure mechanisms study. (Bhushan, 2001). The manner of using interactions between the probe and the surface to obtain an image is generally called a mode. There are number of modes actually being used in the study of the structure of the materials. Scanning probe microscopy actually requires a sharp tip, the characteristics of the tip actually provides the image resolution. For atomic scale resolutions the SPM tip is usually selected to end with an atomic size. SPM principle is surprisingly simple, the process consist of applying the bias voltage between the sharp tip of the Scanning probe microscope and the conducting sample to be evaluated. The spatial resolution used is far better than the wavelength used to create the image.
Scanning tunneling microscope is the first of the series of the scanning probe microscopes. The development of the family of scanning probe microscopes starts with the original invention of the STM in 1981. Gerd Binning and Heinrich Rohrer developed the first working STM in IBM.
The STM works by scanning a very sharp metal wire tip over a surface. By brining the tip very close to the surface, and by applying an electrical voltage to the top or sample, we can image the surface at an extremely small scale-down to resolving individual atoms. The STM is based on several principles. One is the quantum...