The Use of Atomic Force Microscopy in Membrane Characterization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been shown to be an excellent asset to understand engineering processes. This chapter describes the application of AFM to study membrane separation processes and characterization of membrane surfaces, including the surface topography, pore size, and pore-size distribution, in addition to the basic principles of operation of AFM. It has also been used to study surface electrical properties by the direct quantification of the forces of interaction between colloidal particles, cells, and membrane surfaces in both air and liquid environments. In addition to this, the technique has been used to study the adhesive forces (fouling) between colloidal particles and membrane surfaces under different conditions. The chapter explains the use of this technique for the development of biofouling-resistant membranes. This technique is potentially very valuable in the development of new process engineering surfaces and the modification of existing surfaces for specific applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBasic Aspects of Membrane Science and Engineering
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780080932507
ISBN (Print)9780444532046
StatePublished - Jul 9 2010


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Colloid probe
  • Filtration membrane
  • Force measurements
  • Membrane characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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