Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) for Topography and Recognition Imaging at Single-Molecule Level

  • Memed Duman
  • Yoo Jin Oh
  • Rong Zhu
  • Michael Leitner
  • Andreas Ebner
  • Peter HinterdorferEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_496-1



High-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) topography has become a powerful bioanalytical tool when utilized for single-molecule force spectroscopy or simultaneous “topography and recognition imaging” (TREC). These modes allow for mapping of specific ligand-binding sites on biological samples under physiological conditions with nanometer resolution.


Atomic force microcopy (AFM) is a version of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) that is extensively used in life sciences because it can be operated in physiological salt solution. In AFM imaging, a sharp probe tip mounted on a microcantilever scans over the specimen line by line, whereby the topographic image of the sample surface is generated by “feeling” rather than “looking.” Tips with high sharpness provide high resolution, and cantilevers with low spring constants allow precise control of the forces between tip and sample....
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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Memed Duman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yoo Jin Oh
    • 1
  • Rong Zhu
    • 1
  • Michael Leitner
    • 1
  • Andreas Ebner
    • 1
  • Peter Hinterdorfer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for BiophysicsJohannes Kepler University of LinzLinzAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Science, Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine DivisionHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Section editors and affiliations

  • Nils G. Walter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA