I am interested to measure the force of adhesion of micron (1-10 micron) sized particles to conducting and insulating substrates. I searched for literature and found Force spectroscopy and tapping methods are used to measure the adhesion forces. Are there any other methods?


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When I was doing this sort of work about 25 years ago our group used to do it by flowing a liquid (typically water) though a couette and measuring the density of the adhered particles using image analysis. The velocity gradient produces a force on the adhered particles, so by measuring the flow rate at which the particles detach from the surface you measure the force needed to pull them off.

On the downside it's a somewhat indirect measurement, and strictly speaking you're measuring the force at which the particles can roll, though in practice the particles generally detached cleanly. It works best for larger particles. The 10$\mu$m particles will be fine though I can't remember how well it worked at the 1$\mu$m end of your range.

On the upside, if the surface and/or particles are heterogenous you can measure the distribution of binding forces because the particles detach over a range of flow rates.


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