Although stiction is a cumbersome problem for microsystems, it stimulates investigations of surface adhesion. In fact, the shape of an adhered cantilever carries information of the adhesion energy that locks one end to the substrate. We demonstrate here that the system is also sensitive to the dispersion forces that are operative very close to the point of contact, but their contribution to the shape is maximum at about one third of the unadhered length. When the force exceeds a critical value, the cantilever does not lose stability but settles at a smaller unadhered length, whose relation to adhesion energy is only slightly affected by the force. Our calculations suggest the use of adhered cantilevers to measure the dispersion forces at short separations, where other methods suffer from jump-to-contact instability. Simultaneous measurement of the force and adhesion energy allows the separation of the dispersion contribution to the surface adhesion. Published by AIP Publishing.
- SURFACE NANOBUBBLES