The effect of atomic force microscope probe size on indentation tests simulated using realistic surface forces Academic Article uri icon


  • The effects of the size and shape of an indenter tip used in a nanoscale indentation test (such as with an atomic force microscope) are studied using realistic, finite-range surface forces to describe the contact and extended-range interaction of the indenter and sample. Sphero-conical indenters with tips ranging from sharp-pointed to very rounded tips (similar to spherical tips) are studied. A continuum Lennard-Jones adhesion potential and a Poisson-Boltzmann exponential repulsion law are used to study adhesive and repulsive-only interactions, respectively. The size of the tip affects the qualitative response for an adhesive surface force potential, with increasingly rounded tips exhibiting a more pronounced jump into contact and a greater overall adhesion. The effects of tip size are less pronounced for pure repulsion. Copyright 2010 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Materials and Structural Integrity

author list (cited authors)

  • Graham, M. A., Grasley, Z. C., & Rub, R.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Graham, Michael A||Grasley, Zachary C||Rub, Rashid K Abu Al

publication date

  • September 2010