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Measurement of quartz particles by means of an atomic force microscope for planetary exploration

By S. Gautsch, T. Akiyama, R. Imer, N. F. de Rooij, U. Staufer, Ph. Niedermann, L. Howald, D. Brändlin, A. Tonin, H.-R. Hidber and W. T. Pike


Within the last 2 years our consortium has developed, built and tested an atomic force microscope for planetary science applications, in particular for the study of Martian dust and soil. An array of eight cantilevers and tips provides redundancy in case of tip or cantilever failure. Images can be recorded in both static and dynamic operation modes. As we plan to investigate Martian dust, our interest focuses on the behaviour of the instrument when measuring loose particles in the above-mentioned modes. During scanning, tip contamination with a particle occurs quite frequently, altering the quality of the images. Before changing the cantilever, reverse-imaging the contaminated tip on a tip calibration sample will be performed in order to increase the scientific throughput. We present the results of our test measurements on respirable α-quartz

Publisher: 'Wiley'
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1002/sia.1182
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