Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2017, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (1): 183-197.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201609282

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research Progress and Applications of qPlus Noncontact Atomic Force Microscopy

Meng-Xi LIU1,Shi-Chao LI1,2,Ze-Qi ZHA1,2,Xiao-Hui QIU1,*()   

  1. 1 Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Standardization and Measurement for Nanotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, P. R. China
  • Received:2016-07-28 Published:2016-12-29
  • Contact: Xiao-Hui QIU
  • Supported by:
    Ministry of Science and Technology, China(2012CB933001);National Natural Science Foundation of China(21425310)


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is used to investigate surface structures by measuring the interaction force between the tip and sample. Non-contact AFM (NC-AFM) that incorporates a qPlus sensor further enhances the spatial resolution of scanning probe microscopy based on traditional AFM principles. In this perspective, we give a brief introduction to the mechanisms of high-resolution imaging and force measurements using NC-AFM. We then summarize recent applications of NC-AFM in the fields of on-surface chemical reactions, low-dimensional materials, surface charge distribution in molecules, as well as technical improvements and developments of NC-AFM technologies. The opportunities and challenges for NC-AFM technologies are also presented.

Key words: Noncontact atomic force microscopy, qPlus sensor, High resolution imaging, Force spectroscopy, Kelvin probe force microscopy