Surface immobilized biochemical macromolecules studied by scanning Kelvin microprobe
The measurement of work function is a particularly effective method for the characterization of surfaces because of the sensitivity of the parameter to interfacial structure, modification and overall chemistry. Accordingly, techniques for the analysis of work function offer a powerful tool for monitoring surface chemical changes, especially for situations involving the immobilization of new moieties at the interface. In the present paper, we describe the performance of a new, modified scanning Kelvin microprobe which is capable of the tandem measurement of contact potential and surface topography with resolutions of 1 mV and 10 nm, respectively. The lateral resolution is 1 μm. The instrument has been applied to the study of substrates modified by the attachment of biochemical macromolecules such as oligonucleotides and DNA. This preliminary work confirms the great potential of the technique in the study of biocompatibility, macromolecular structure and microarray devices.