What do you think about the reproducibility of AFM?

kangning kangning at stanford.edu
Mon Feb 27 14:17:36 PST 2012

Hi all, 
I am doing modification to a surface and I want to track the change of the depth of some nano-cavities on polymeric substrate. They are typically 300-nm deep, 800-nm wide and the possible change in their depth after modification, which I am going to measure, is about several to several tens of nanometer. I was wondering whether the AFM is capable to of telling the difference, as the modification would take several hours, and during that time others could have used the AFM or changed the cantilever. 
I would really like to get suggestions from those who know AFM well. Could anyone tell me your idea on the reproducibility of AFM? Concerning the experiments at different time, are they reliable on telling the change of several nanometers on the measure scale of several hundreds of nanometers? Also, will it affect much if the measurement last several days or the cantilever is heavily used or replaced? Any response will be highly appreciated. 


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