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Modeling of AFM Failure Modes and Image Quality




2: Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Supervisor:

John Liu

Faculty email:


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Project Description

The aim of this project is to create an educational simulation for students to play with Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) tip failure modes to understand its influence on the quality of AFM images. Through a 3D simulation, students would track a surface using dysfunctional tips (common modes: blunt, broken, or contaminated) to observe the modeled interaction between tip and surface and the resulting poor-quality AFM image. AFM failure modes is a topic that is traditionally difficult to teach in an interactive way, as it is difficult to break an AFM tips reproducibly. Would learn physics modeling, and would assess how learners learn nano-scale interactions through simulations and modeling.


1. An ideal candidate should be a junior/senior familiar with and have previous experience physics modeling. 2. Background in mechanics. 3. Preferably can continue the UROP position in Spring 2021. 4. Basic programming skills.