Control and minimization of tip-sample interaction forces are imperative tasks to maximize the performance of Atomic Force Microscopy. In particular, when imaging soft biological matter in liquids, the cantilever dragging force prevents identification of the tip-sample mechanical contact, resulting in deleterious interaction with the specimen. In this work we present an improved Jumping Mode procedure that allows detecting the tip-sample contact with high accuracy, thus minimizing the scanning forces (aprox. 100 pN) during the approach cycles. To illustrate this method we report images of human adenovirus and T7 bacteriophage particles which are prone to uncontrolled modifications when using conventional Jumping Mode.
A. Ortega-Esteban, I. Horcas, M. Hernando-Perez, P. Ares, A.J. Perez-Berna, C. San Martin, J.L. Carrascosa, P.J. de Pablo, J. Gomez-Herrero