Electrostatic forces between sharp tips and metallic and dielectric samples
A detailed analysis of electrostatic interactions between a dc-biased tip and a metallic or insulating sample is presented. By using a simple method to calculate capacitances and forces, tip shape effects on the force versus tip-sample distance curves are dicussed in detail. For metallic samples the force law, except for a constant background, only depends on the tip radius of curvature. In contrast, for dielectric samples the forces depend on the overall geometry of the tip. Interestingly, we found that the contact ¿¿adhesion¿¿ force does not depend on the tip size and is bound by a simple expression which only depends on the applied bias and the sample dielectric constant.