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Visualization of Nanoscale Components Using Atomic Force Microscopy

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Capstone Projects and Experiential Learning

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1465.1 - 25.1465.14

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Paper Authors


Salahuddin Qazi State University of New York, Institute of Technology

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Salahuddin (Sala) Qazi holds a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Technology, Loughborough, U.K. He is a Full Professor (Emeritus) and Past Chair in the School of Information Systems and Engineering Technology at SUNYIT, Utica, N.Y. Qazi has been a visiting summer research faculty member at the Air Force Research Lab, where he also spent his sabbatical. He has co-edited a CRC Press Taylor & Francis handbook on “Nanotechnology for Telecommunications” and has published several articles, books, and chapters in the area of fiber doped amplifiers, wireless security, and nanotechnology for wireless communications. He is a member of ASEE and a Senior Life Member of IEEE.

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Robert C. Decker Mohawk Valley Community College

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Robert Decker is a professor in the Center for Math, Physical Science, Engineering, and Applied Technology at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y. He holds a master's degree in electrical engineering and is a member of IEEE. Decker was a Co-principal Investigator in the NSF-CCLI project "Instructional Laboratory for Visualization & Manipulation of Nanoscale Components for Engineering Technology Students" with Professor Salahuddin Qazi of the SUNY Institute of Technology, Utica-Rome.

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Visualization of Nanonscale Components Using Atomic Force MicroscopyABSTRACT Visualization of nanoscale components is an important technique that can enhance theundergraduate students’ understanding of the properties of matter at the nanometer level andhow they change at the interface between the domains of macroscopic and nanoscale world.Commonly used optical microscopy using light for visualization lacks the necessaryresolution at the nanoscale because of diffraction effects and the need for shorterwavelengths of light. The scanning electron microscopy achieves higher resolution throughelectron beam scattering, but requires a high vacuum environment and cannot be used fornonconductive biological samples. The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), a scanning probeinstrument, uses a sharpened probe scanning over the sample while maintaining a very closespacing to the surface. It is a high-resolution microscopy tool with resolution of more than1000 times the optical diffraction limit. The use of atomic force microscopy for visualizationof nanoscale components is currently applied to various types of materials such as metal,semiconductors, soft biological samples, conductive and nonconductive materials inenvironments of air, liquid, and vacuum. The AFM is capable of measuring nanometer scaleimages of surfaces with little or no sample preparation as well as measuring threedimensional images of surfaces and studying the topography. Atomic force microscopy is anondestructive technique and can also be used as a manipulation tool to move and arrangenano-particles and to build nanostructures. The purpose of our paper is to discuss the results of the use of atomic force microscopyfor visualization and manipulation of nanoscale components in various courses at the twoyear Community College and four year College. The paper will also discuss the results ofnanoscale imaging of various samples obtained while using AFM for different courses. Bothof these institutions have collaborated in an NSF CCLI/TUES award. ________________________________

Qazi, S., & Decker, R. C. (2012, June), Visualization of Nanoscale Components Using Atomic Force Microscopy Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas.

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