Application of atomic force microscopy in formulation engineering

Lawrence Shere, Zhenyu Jason Zhang*, Jon A. Preece

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) an analytical technique based on probing a surface or interface with a microcantilever, has become widely used in formulation engineering applications such as consumer goods, food and pharmaceutical products. Its application is not limited to imaging surface topography with nanometre spatial resolution, but is also useful for analysing material properties such as adhesion, hardness and surface chemistry. AFM offers unparalleled advantages over other microscopy techniques when studying colloidal systems. The minimum sample preparation requirements, in situ observation and flexible operational conditions enable it to act as a versatile platform for surface analysis. In this review we will present some applications of AFM, and discuss how it has developed into a repertoire of techniques for analysing formulated products at the nanoscale under native conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-452
Number of pages15
JournalJohnson Matthey Technology Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Johnson Matthey.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrochemistry


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