The aging of a surface and the evolution of conservative and dissipative nanoscale interactions

Carlo A. Amadei, Tzu Chieh Tang, Matteo Chiesa, Sergio Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A method to monitor variations in the conservative and dissipative forces in dynamic atomic force microscopy is proposed in order to investigate the effects of exposing a surface to different sets of environmental conditions for prolonged periods of time. The variations are quantified by proposing and defining two metrics, one for conservative and another for dissipative interactions. Mica and graphite are chosen as model samples because they are atomically flat and easy to cleave. It is found that long term exposure to high relative humidity (RH), i.e., 90% > RH > 70%, affects the magnitude and distance dependencies of the forces, as quantified by the respective metrics, more drastically than the actual environmental conditions at which the samples are probed. Attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy experiments further indicate that accumulation of water and carbonates on the surfaces with time is responsible for the variations in force measurements. This study has implications in surface functionality, reactivity, and longevity.

Original languageBritish English
Article number084708
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 28 Aug 2013


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