Visualize Molecules and Measure Mass: Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation monitoring combined with Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)


QCM with dissipation monitoring: what is it?
Quartz Crystal Microbalance with dissipation control is intended for thin films characterization. QCM with dissipation monitoring is an extremely sensitive instrument for measuring the formation of thin films (proteins, polymers and cells) onto surfaces in liquid and adsorption / desorption processes in gas. With QCM with dissipation monitoring it is possible to measure label- free in-situ structural properties and mass changes with subnanogram sensitivity in real-time.

QCM with dissipation monitoring: operation principle
Quartz Crystal Microbalance (QCM) uses a thin quartz disc between a pair of electrodes with AC voltage to detect mass changes of a sample. The lateral oscillation of the quartz is excited by AC voltage, applied to the electrodes. By using the resonance frequency, mass changes of a film can be detected.

QCM+AFM = enhanced capabilities for a single platform
The combined QCM/AFM instrument provides simultaneous in-situ observation of the samples topography (up to nm) and change in mass (up to 0.3 ng). So the researchers get more data for comprehensive interpretation from a single platform.

AFM+QCM with dissipation monitoring: why?
Multitechnique approaches have the advantage of providing complementary information for more detailed analysis. QCM with dissipation monitoring is easily integrated with either the NTEGRA or SOLVER AFM platforms by NT-MDT. This supplements QCM with dissipation monitoring capabilities with the full range of AFM techniques. The combined AFM+QCM with dissipation monitoring platform is the perfect system for the following applications: 

  • Study of sensor materials
  • Investigation of viscoelastic properties of thin films (for example, polymer films)
  • Study of tribology
  • Study of self assemled monolayers

For more information, please, visit webpage with description of the experiment held by combined system on the basis of QCM and AFM.

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