Instructor: Ron Reifenberger (pictured on right)
Course Name: Fundamentals of Atomic Force Microscopy, Part 1: Fundamental Aspects of AFM
Course Location: Online
Class Times: Twenty-four hours per day/Seven days per week
Prerequisites: Good working knowledge of integral and differential calculus; undergraduate-level ordinary and partial differential equations; standard introductory two-semester survey course in Physics; and an undergraduate-level course in mechanics. Your understanding of the material to be discussed will be greatly enhanced if you have taken a second course in electromagnetism and an introductory course in quantum mechanics.
Course Learning Objectives
The world-wide interest in nanoscale science and nanotechnology has largely been driven by rapid developments in scanning probe microscopy. The wide-spread availability of the atomic force microscope (AFM) has allowed large numbers of researchers across the globe to obtain structural and compositional insights into materials at sub-micron length scales. Because of these capabilities, the AFM has quickly become an essential tool in any modern research laboratory.
This course is designed to provide the inter-disciplinary background required to understand the fundamental principles underlying the operation of an AFM.
The lectures are designed to be broadly accessible to students in any branch of science or engineering. Due to the inter-disciplinary nature of the course, some lectures may appear more challenging to certain students, depending on their prior preparation and understanding.
- Week 1: Non-contact tip-surface interactions
- Week 2: The tip in contact with the surface
- Week 3: AFM – the instrument
- Week 4: Force spectroscopy and contact mode scans
- Week 5: Computer simulations of AFM experiments
The materials for the course have been divided into units, referred to as “weeks”. Each week is comprised of six video lectures, including PDF copies of the lecture notes.
Along with each week of lectures, Quiz, Homework and Practice exam questions are provided to help your understanding of the course material. It is assumed that answers to these exercises will be obtained independently by each student enrolled in this course.
Quiz questions are multiple choice and are designed to quickly test whether you understood the lecture material. Each of the six lectures for the week of material is followed by a quiz. The quiz questions are not graded.
Homework is also used to help you understand the lecture material. For the self-paced course, homework is not graded. The homework questions are multiple choice and solutions are provided.
Practice exam exercises are “open book.” You may refer to the lecture videos and notes at any time. You will have an option to take any exam a second time to improve your score; we will record the best of the two scores. The exam is multiple choice and solutions are provided.
Grades will be solely based on the answers you provide for the Exam exercises: Exams are graded on an absolute scale.
- Copies of the slides used in lecture are available for download from the course web page.
Required Course Supplies
- A computer with web access and current software updates. To run AFM simulations using the free VEDA software, you will need JAVA version 1.4 or later installed and enabled in your web browser.
Academic regulations and procedures are governed by Purdue University policy. Academic dishonesty cases will be handled in accordance the Purdue University’s policies.
If you have a disability that could affect your performance in this class or that requires an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please complete a support ticket so that we can make appropriate arrangements.
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