An Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is an important tool in modern nanoscience, capable of producing surface maps at resolutions below 1 nanometer, which is impossible for other methods. Despite AFM's often use, it is often difficult for students to understand their work because all measurement processes take place at micro- and nano-scale. The goal of this project is to create a macro scale model, which will serve as an educational tool to introduce the principles behind AFM to undergraduate and high school students. Currently, a fully automatic microprocessor-controlled surface scanning block has been built and successfully tested with a scan area of ca. one square foot. Continued work includes designing and building of a topography measurement block that will work on the same principle as a real AFM does at nano-level. We expect that macro AFM building an image using AFM techniques will empower instructors to show the concepts, and to spark interest of potential students in Bioengineering.
Hoelzen, M.; Athavale, D.; Portilla Rodriguez, M.; Reukov, V.; and Shaporev, A., "Macro-AFM model" (2014). Focus on Creative Inquiry. 47.