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Int J Mol Sci. 2012 Oct 8;13(10):12773-856. doi: 10.3390/ijms131012773.

Theoretical models for surface forces and adhesion and their measurement using atomic force microscopy.

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Nanoneurobiophysics Research Group, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), P.O. Box 3031, CEP 18052-780, Sorocaba, São Paulo, Brazil.


The increasing importance of studies on soft matter and their impact on new technologies, including those associated with nanotechnology, has brought intermolecular and surface forces to the forefront of physics and materials science, for these are the prevailing forces in micro and nanosystems. With experimental methods such as the atomic force spectroscopy (AFS), it is now possible to measure these forces accurately, in addition to providing information on local material properties such as elasticity, hardness and adhesion. This review provides the theoretical and experimental background of afs, adhesion forces, intermolecular interactions and surface forces in air, vacuum and in solution.

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