Hybrid AFM for Nanoscale Physicochemical Characterization: Recent Development and Emerging Applications

Wanyi Fu, Wen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has evolved to be one of the most powerful tools for the characterization of material surfaces especially at the nanoscale. Recent development of AFM has incorporated a suite of analytical techniques including surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) technique and infrared (IR) spectroscopy to further reveal chemical composition and map the chemical distribution. This incorporation not only elevates the functionality of AFM but also increases the resolution limitation of conventional IR and Raman spectroscopy. Despite the rapid development of such hybrid AFM techniques, many unique features, principles, applications, potential pitfalls or artifacts are not well known to the community. This review systematically summarizes the recent relevant literature on hybrid AFM principles and applications. It focuses specially on AFM-IR and AFM-Raman techniques. Various applications in different research fields are critically reviewed and discussed, highlighting the potentials of these hybrid AFM techniques. Here, the major drawbacks and limitations of these two hybrid AFM techniques are presented. The intentions of this article are to shed new light on the future research and achieve improvements in stability and reliability of the measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1603525
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 21 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Biotechnology
  • General Materials Science
  • Biomaterials


  • AFM-IR
  • AFM-Raman
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • atomic force microscopy
  • infrared spectroscopy


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