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Atomic Force Microscopy

Generally, AFM is used to investigate the dispersion and aggregation of nanomaterials, in addition to their size, shape, sorption, and structure; three different scanning modes are available, including contact mode, non-contact mode, and intermittent sample contact mode [10,14,151155]. AFM can also be used to characterize the interaction of nanomaterials with supported lipid bilayers in real time,which is not achievable with current electron microscopy (EM) techniques [113]. In addition, AFM does not require oxide-free, electrically conductive surfaces for measurement, does not cause appreciable damage to many types of native surfaces, and it can measure up to the sub-nanometer scale in aqueous fluids [156,157]. However, a major drawback is the overestimation of the lateral dimensions of the samples due to the size of the cantilever [158,159]. Therefore, we have to provide much attention to avoid erroneous measurements [160]. Furthermore, the choice of operating modeno contact or contactis a crucial factor in sample analysis [160].

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