Presence of Particles on Melt-Cut Mica Sheets
We show the presence of numerous particles on mica surfaces melt-cut for use in the surface force apparatus (SFA). The particles, as observed by atomic force microscopy, are typically 20-25 nm in diameter and 2-3 nm high, and cover up to 0.05% of the surface area. They consist of solidified droplets of molten mica, scattered across the surfaces during the cutting of cleaved mica with a white-hot platinum wire. The particles adhere strongly to the mica surfaces in inert atmospheres but become...[Show more]
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