Nanoforces in Nature: Using Atomic Force Microscopy to Explore Microbe-Mineral Interactions

by: Andrew S. Madden, Michael F. Hochella Jr., George E. Glasson, Julie R. Grady, Tracy L. Bank, André M. Green, Mary A. Norris, Andrew N. Hurst, and Susan C. Eriksson

This lesson uses computer simulations of an atomic force microscope to investigate bacteria-mineral forces of interaction on the order of nanonewtons over nanoscale distances of interaction. In this lesson, students
• learn about the atomic force microscope (AFM), one of the most important tools used in nanoscale science and technology;
• see how the AFM is a versatile tool that can be used to study many things, including both organic and inorganic systems;
• discover how the AFM can be used to measure the forces of interaction among individual molecules, bacteria, and minerals;
• construct a model AFM;
• use the model AFM to generate data relating magnetic force to distance;
• plot actual research data collected from the AFM to generate a force curve; and
• relate changes in AFM force curves to changing conditions in the column experiments.


Type Book ChapterPub Date 7/1/2011Stock # PB296X_5L

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