Nevin Manimala Statistics

Atomic Force Microscopy beyond Topography: Chemical Sensing of 2D Material Surfaces through Adhesion Measurements

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2024 Apr 3. doi: 10.1021/acsami.3c19254. Online ahead of print.


Developing new functionalities of two-dimensional materials (2Dms) can be achieved by their chemical modification with a broad spectrum of molecules. This functionalization is commonly studied by using spectroscopies such as Raman, IR, or XPS, but the detection limit is a common problem. In addition, these methods lack detailed spatial resolution and cannot provide information about the homogeneity of the coating. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), on the other hand, allows the study of 2Dms on the nanoscale with excellent lateral resolution. AFM has been extensively used for topographic analysis; however, it is also a powerful tool for evaluating other properties far beyond topography such as mechanical ones. Therefore, herein, we show how AFM adhesion mapping of transition metal chalcogenide 2Dms (i.e., MnPS3 and MoS2) permits a close inspection of the surface chemical properties. Moreover, the analysis of adhesion as relative values allows a simple and robust strategy to distinguish between bare and functionalized layers and significantly improves the reproducibility between measurements. Remarkably, it is also confirmed by statistical analysis that adhesion values do not depend on the thickness of the layers, proving that they are related only to the most superficial part of the materials. In addition, we have implemented an unsupervised classification method using k-means clustering, an artificial intelligence-based algorithm, to automatically classify samples based on adhesion values. These results demonstrate the potential of simple adhesion AFM measurements to inspect the chemical nature of 2Dms and may have implications for the broad scientific community working in the field.

PMID:38567570 | DOI:10.1021/acsami.3c19254

By Nevin Manimala

Portfolio Website for Nevin Manimala