The SFA when coupled with the FECO (Fringes of Equal Chromatic Order) multiple-beam interferometry technique measures forces (static- equilibrium or dynamic- non-equilibrium) between two surfaces in vapors or liquids with a sensitivity of a few nN and a distance resolution of 1Å (0.1 nm).
It can also measure the refractive index of the medium between the surfaces, adsorption isotherms, capillary condensation, surface deformations arising from surface forces, dynamic interactions such as viscoelastic and frictional forces, thin film rheology, surface deformations and contact area changes, along with other time-dependent phenomena in real time at the molecular (nano-) scale.
The molecularly smooth surfaces of hard materials such as mica, silica, sapphire, polymers, serve as suitable substrate surfaces in most measurements; these can also be coated with thick or thin layers of surfactants, lipids, polymers, metals, metal oxides, proteins and other biomolecules.
Included in each purchase is detailed advice on the design of any facilities required for setting up a fully functional SFA lab, together with a list of instruments and materials needed for different types of experiments. Additionally, SurForce offers engineering design, prototyping and testing services to support customization of existing product offerings or to develop entirely new attachments to fulfill specific research and measurement needs.
* See US patents:
- 5,861,954 Instrument for measuring static and dynamic forces between surface in three dimensions.
- 6,194,813 B1 Extended-range XYZ linear piezo-mechanical scanner for scanning-probe and surface force applications.
- 6,578,410 B1 Resistive cantilever spring for probe microscopy.