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Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for Polymer- and Forest-based materials

Course content:

This course is designed to provide the background, fundamental concepts, and practical knowledge of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in its relation to polymer- and forest-based materials. Doctoral students of this course will learn from experts in the field, get hands-on experience preparing samples, operating various AFM imaging modes and analysing AFM data. Following this course doctoral students will have a firm understanding of AFM and how it can be applied to their own research in polymer- and forest-based materials.

The course will consist of:

  • The working principles and the components of atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • What information and results that can be obtained with AFM in relation to polymer- and forest-based materials
  • How AFM can be utilized in applied research and/or industrial settings
  • Be able to recognize common artifacts, analyse surface force measurements, interpret results with relation to surface interactions
  • Design AFM experiments with relevance to own research

Learning objectives:

After completion of the course the doctoral student should have the knowledge and ability to:

  • Describe the working principles and the components of the atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • Explain and differentiate between the various AFM operation modes
  • Interpret, process and discuss results obtained by AFM
  • Critically interpret AFM data both own and in literature with relation to polymer and forest-based materials
  • Prepare samples suitable for AFM experiments
May 16-20, 23-25, 31 and June 7, 2022




May 2, 2022


Torbjörn Pettersson, Michael Reid, Magnus Johnson, Mark Rutland, Liubov Belova and Matthew Fielden.


Hand-outs from presentations, scientific articles and instruction manuals.


Course fee:

Course responsible:

Michael Reid and Torbjörn Pettersson
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Course disposition

The course comprises of approximately 130 full-time study hours, whereof 16 hours obligatory lectures and tutorials, 20 hours laboratory project and 9 hours of seminar in addition to self-studies. The lectures include basic principles atomic force microscopy, and a survey of a number of the most important AFM techniques. In this context specific instrumental aspects, sample preparation, optimization and problem solving will also be discussed.


All information related to the course will be available on Canvas. This includes lecture notes, instructions in the preparation of the proposal and schedules for the laboratory work. The Canvas page will continuously be updated throughout the course.

Laboratory work (20h)

The schedule and group divisions for the laboratory work will be published on Canvas in connection to the start of the course.

Maximum number of participants: 20


If you have problems with the registration please contact