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Atomic Force Microscopy beyond Topography: Chemical Sensing of 2D Material Surfaces through Adhesion Measurements

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posted on 2024-06-10, 10:47 authored by Isaac Brotons-Alcázar, Jason S Terreblanche, Silvia Giménez-Santamarina, Gerliz M Gutiérrez-Finol, Karl S Ryder, Alicia Forment-Aliaga, Eugenio Coronado

Developing new functionalities of two-dimensional materials (2Dms) can be achieved by their chemical modification with a broad spectrum of molecules. This functionalization is commonly studied by using spectroscopies such as Raman, IR, or XPS, but the detection limit is a common problem. In addition, these methods lack detailed spatial resolution and cannot provide information about the homogeneity of the coating. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), on the other hand, allows the study of 2Dms on the nanoscale with excellent lateral resolution. AFM has been extensively used for topographic analysis; however, it is also a powerful tool for evaluating other properties far beyond topography such as mechanical ones. Therefore, herein, we show how AFM adhesion mapping of transition metal chalcogenide 2Dms (i.e., MnPS3 and MoS2) permits a close inspection of the surface chemical properties. Moreover, the analysis of adhesion as relative values allows a simple and robust strategy to distinguish between bare and functionalized layers and significantly improves the reproducibility between measurements. Remarkably, it is also confirmed by statistical analysis that adhesion values do not depend on the thickness of the layers, proving that they are related only to the most superficial part of the materials. In addition, we have implemented an unsupervised classification method using k-means clustering, an artificial intelligence-based algorithm, to automatically classify samples based on adhesion values. These results demonstrate the potential of simple adhesion AFM measurements to inspect the chemical nature of 2Dms and may have implications for the broad scientific community working in the field.

History

Author affiliation

College of Science & Engineering Chemistry

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Volume

16

Issue

15

Pagination

19711 - 19719

Publisher

American Chemical Society (ACS)

issn

1944-8244

eissn

1944-8252

Copyright date

2024

Available date

2024-06-10

Spatial coverage

United States

Language

en

Deposited by

Professor Karl Ryder

Deposit date

2024-06-07

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