The Pulsed Force Mode (PFM) is a non-resonant, intermediate-contact mode for Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), extending its possibilities enormously. It avoids the surface damage that can result from operating in contact mode on soft samples.
When added to an AFM System, the PFM extends the capabilities of the microscope beyond simply measuring topography to include the investigation of all properties described by Pulsed Force and Force Distance curves. Properties such as local stiffness, adhesion, viscosity, energy dissipation, contact-time, long range forces and many more can be analyzed and imaged simultaneously along with topography. This can be done at normal scan rates, because the system works at up to several thousand pixels per second.
The electronics of the D-PFM include a high speed data-acquisition system, a freely programmable modulation generator and a real-time data evaluation module. With the storage of the complete measurement, extensive post-processing data evaluation is easily performed. This can be done with the included software package, which can also be used for controlling the measurement and for visualization of the results. The user-friendly software enables the operator to focus on the experiment and to get the most out of the measurement.