Application of atomic force microscopy in the study of microbiologically influenced corrosion

Li Chong Xu, Kwong Yu Chan, Herbert H.P. Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


This paper demonstrates the use of the atomic force microscope in high-resolution topographical imaging of bacteria, biofilm, and corroded steel surfaces, and in the quantification of localized corrosion. The nanometric physicochemical and mechanical properties of a single cell and bacterial biofilm surface are characterized by force mapping. The corrosion results in two different sulfate-reducing bacteria cultures showed that the patterns of pitting and the degree of corrosion of mild steel were related to the bacterial isolates. Results from measurement of the tip-biofilm and the tip-cell adhesion forces indicated that the extracellular polymeric substances were mainly distributed in the cell-substratum periphery or the cell-cell interface in the biofilm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Characterization
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Apr 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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