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Solvent Compatibility

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Top 10 Contributor
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Bruker Employee
BrukerApplications posted on Thu, May 6 2010 6:04 PM

I was wondering if it was possible to carry out solvent vapor annealing experiments in situ with the AFM. I don't know if we can do such experiments without damaging the electronics parts of the microscope. We have the Veeco temperature controller system. Solvents that we'd like to use are THF and choloroform.

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Top 25 Contributor
55 Posts
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Bruker Employee

Both THF (tetrahydrofuran) and cholorform are strong organc solvents, the vapors of which can soften expoxy used in AFM head / scanner assemblies, and can also cause humid-resistant coatings on the scan piezo to swell and peel. So it is an absoultely no no to do in-situ vapor annealing. With this said, confined liquid imaging in room temperature can be performed following certain protocols.

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Top 50 Contributor
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I had asked a similar question about solvent compatibility from a specific customer request, and I had received the following response at the time:

Operating in solvent vapors is tricky... we have users who have done it (still do it), but we have had several users who damaged their equipment in doing so. We strongly recommend against using the Dimension Icon H/C setup for doing experiments in Toluene vapors. The other gases are probably not much better.

The Dimension H/C environmental cell, and which would be exposed to the gas, would typically have the following materials possibly in contact with the heater-cooler apparatus.  It is up to the user to decide what gases they use, at their own risk.

Here are materials possibly in contact with gas for ICON heater-cooler:

Metals: Stainless Steel, Beryllium Copper, Gold(plating), Silver(electrode), Solder, Brass Alloys, Nickel(plating), Copper, Tungsten Alloys.

Ceramics: Macor, Piezo Electric Material PZT-8.

Rubbers: Silicone, Buna-N.

Glasses: B270, MgF2 coating.

Plastics: Delrin.

Wires: Vacuum wire + various.

Adhesives: Masterbond Supreme 10 HT (high temp adhesive), Cotronics Resbond 989 Alumina Adhesive.

Other: Thermal Electric Cooler(ceramic, solder, diodes, wiring).

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