Atomic force microscopy studies of surface contamination on stainless steel weights

Richard Högström, V. Korpelainen, K. Riski, M. Heinonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The SI unit of mass will probably be redefined within the next few years using an invariable natural constant. Nevertheless, dissemination of the kilogram will still be realized by weighing using physical weights prone to contamination. Published data on cleaning, humidity effects and long term stability of weights show large discrepancies, indicating that not all factors affecting adsorption characteristics of weights are known. In the work reported here, an atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to study surface effects of stainless steel weights at the nanometre scale. Effects of transfer between air and vacuum as well as effects of cleaning were studied by recording topography images of the surface before and after each procedure. An image processing method was developed for improving the sensitivity of detecting changes in images. Ultrasonic cleaning in ethanol removed contamination mainly from the grooves in the surface, while vacuum exposure caused contamination to build up in the grooves. The results show that the surface microstructure of stainless steel weights affects adsorption of contaminants in such a way that grooves seem to be preferential sites for adsorption. AFM has proven to be a valuable tool for studying surface effects of standard weights at ambient pressure with near nanometre resolution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)670-676
    Number of pages7
    JournalMetrologia
    Volume47
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Fingerprint

    Atomic force microscopy
    Contamination
    Stainless steel
    Adsorption
    Cleaning
    Microscopes
    Ultrasonic cleaning
    Vacuum
    Weighing
    Topography
    Atmospheric humidity
    Image processing
    Ethanol
    Impurities
    Microstructure
    Air

    Cite this

    Högström, Richard ; Korpelainen, V. ; Riski, K. ; Heinonen, M. / Atomic force microscopy studies of surface contamination on stainless steel weights. In: Metrologia. 2010 ; Vol. 47, No. 6. pp. 670-676.
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    Atomic force microscopy studies of surface contamination on stainless steel weights. / Högström, Richard; Korpelainen, V.; Riski, K.; Heinonen, M.

    In: Metrologia, Vol. 47, No. 6, 2010, p. 670-676.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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    T1 - Atomic force microscopy studies of surface contamination on stainless steel weights

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    AU - Korpelainen, V.

    AU - Riski, K.

    AU - Heinonen, M.

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    AB - The SI unit of mass will probably be redefined within the next few years using an invariable natural constant. Nevertheless, dissemination of the kilogram will still be realized by weighing using physical weights prone to contamination. Published data on cleaning, humidity effects and long term stability of weights show large discrepancies, indicating that not all factors affecting adsorption characteristics of weights are known. In the work reported here, an atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to study surface effects of stainless steel weights at the nanometre scale. Effects of transfer between air and vacuum as well as effects of cleaning were studied by recording topography images of the surface before and after each procedure. An image processing method was developed for improving the sensitivity of detecting changes in images. Ultrasonic cleaning in ethanol removed contamination mainly from the grooves in the surface, while vacuum exposure caused contamination to build up in the grooves. The results show that the surface microstructure of stainless steel weights affects adsorption of contaminants in such a way that grooves seem to be preferential sites for adsorption. AFM has proven to be a valuable tool for studying surface effects of standard weights at ambient pressure with near nanometre resolution.

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