ASTM International Committee on Surface Analysis Develops Guide to Assist New Scanning Probe Microscopy Users

ASTM International Committee E42 on Surface Analysis has approved a new standard, E 2382, Guide to Scanner and Tip Related Artifacts in Scanning Tunneling Microscopy and Atomic Force Microscopy. The guide, under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E42.14 on STM/AFM, was proposed in order to assist new scanning probe microscopy users with more rapid recognition and assessment of artifacts in imaging.


"E 2382 includes the latest thinking in the identification and classification of artifacts in scanning probe microscopy," says Greg Meyers, Dow Chemical Company. While the subcommittee identified at least nine classes of artifacts based on literature observation and the experiences of subcommittee members, it was decided that E 2382 would focus on the two classes most likely to confound new users: (1) artifacts related to the performance of the positioning elements, or piezoscanners, used to position the tip or test surface, and (2) artifacts that arise out of the geometric mixing problem associated with proximal probe methods.


"This guide should be a valuable learning resource," says Meyers. "The ability to recognize artifacts should assist in reliable evaluation of instrument operation and in reporting of scanning probe microscopy data."


Other classes of artifacts that the subcommittee identified include signal processing and conditioning; mechanical, acoustic, and electric noise; thermal and mechanical drift; signal detection methods; image processing; tip-surface interactions; and sample and substrate. Meyers says some of these artifact classes could become subjects for future E42.14 standards. He also notes that E 2382 is the second standard developed by E42.14; the other one is E 1813, Practice for Measuring and Reporting Probe Tip Shape in Scanning Probe Microscopy. The subcommittee invites any interested parties to join the subcommittee in both future revisions to E 2382 and E 1813, as well as in developing new standards.


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For further technical information, contact Greg Meyers, Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich. (phone: 989/636-4149; Committee E42 meets March 15, in Orlando, Fla., in conjunction with the Florida Chapter of the American Vacuum Society (AVS), Florida Society for Microscopy and Applied Surface Analysis (Surface Analysis 05) Joint Symposium. The committee will also meet Oct. 30 to Nov. 2, in Boston, Mass., in conjunction with the AVS 52nd International Symposium and Exhibition. For membership or meeting details, contact Carolyn Sheahan, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9804;


Release #7100

February 1, 2005