May 21

Atomic Force Micrsoscopy: take 1

CDstamper9microns, originally uploaded by NDeRC2.

This is an image of a CD stamper (which does what you might imagine it does) taken with an NanoSurf Easyscan AFM. The scale is ~9 microns (9 thousandths of a millimeter) across the image.

AFM is a cool technology: imagine a mirror taped to the back of your hand, a laser focused on the mirror, and a detector on a wall where the laser beam’s reflection moves around as your finger drags across a bumpy surface. With apologies for the rough analogy, that’s atomic force microscopy.

This image was taken while a new crowd of high school students and their parents visited the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center to preview the range of QuarkNet and NDeRC projects available for student activity this coming summer.

To see AFM at work in the context of a research project, work through the following voicethread presentation by Saint Joseph’s High School student Leslie Mark: