3D imaging of material properties by a combination of a scanning probe microscope and an ultramicrotome

Alexander Alekseev, Anton E. Efimov, Nadejda B. Matsko, Joachim Loos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Three-dimensional imaging of morphology, structural and functional property distributions in the volume of various soft matter systems has been obtained by scanning probe microscopy (SPM) tomography with nanometer resolution. We have performed SPM tomography with a specially designed instrument, which combines SPM with anultra-microtome. The successive sectioning by the microtome knife and subsequent imaging of the remaining sample block face surface by common variety of SPM modes allows for 3D reconstruction of organisation and different material properties with z-resolution down to ~10 nm and xy resolution of ~1 nm or better. In this chapter we introduce some approaches for SPM tomography and discuss calibration procedures, data acquisition algorithms and volume visualisation routines. We will present some volume reconstruction results from several types of soft matter systems such as bacteria membranes, biomedical implants and few functional polymer systems, and critically discuss limitations and future prospects of SPM tomography by microtoming.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3D Reconstruction
Subtitle of host publicationMethods, Applications and Challenges
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781629482668
ISBN (Print)9781629482651
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)


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