Novel parallel plate condenser for single particle electrostatic force measurements in atomic force microscope

Jin Wang Kwek, Ivan Uriev Vakarelski, Waikiong Ng, Jerry Heng, Reginald Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A combination of small parallel plate condenser with Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) glass slides as electrodes and an atomic force microscope (AFM) is used to characterize the electrostatic behavior of single glass bead microparticles (105-150 μm) glued to the AFM cantilever. This novel setup allows measurements of the electrostatic forces acting on a particle in an applied electrical field to be performed in ambient air conditions. By varying the position of the microparticle between the electrodes and the strength of the applied electric field, the relative contributions of the particle net charge, induced and image charges were investigated. When the microparticle is positioned in the middle of the electrodes, the force acting on the microparticle was linear with the applied electric field and proportional to the microparticle net charge. At distances close to the bottom electrode, the force follows a parabolic relationship with the applied electric field reflecting the contributions of induced and image charges. The method can be used for the rapid evaluation of the charging and polarizability properties of the microparticle as well as an alternative to the conventional Faraday's pail technique. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The project was supported by the Science and Engineering Research Council of A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) in Singapore.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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