Nano Research

Article Title

Mode-synthesizing atomic force microscopy for 3D reconstruction of embedded low-density dielectric nanostructures


nanoscale subsurface imaging, atomic force microscopy, 3D reconstruction, nanoscale tomography, acoustic microscopy, dielectric


Challenges in nanoscale characterization call for non-invasive, yet sensitive subsurface characterization of low-density materials such as polymers. In this work, we present new evidence that mode-synthesizing atomic force microscopy can be used to detect minute changes in low-density materials, such as those engendered in electro-sensitive polymers during electron beam lithography, surpassing all common nanoscale mechanical techniques. Moreover, we propose 3D reconstruction of the exposed polymer regions using successive high-resolution frames acquired at incremental depths inside the sample. In addition, the results clearly show the influence of increasing dwell time on the depth profile of the nano-sized exposed regions. Hence, the simple approach described here can be used for achieving sensitive nanoscale tomography of soft materials with promising applications in material sciences and biology.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press