National Physical Laboratory

Charles Clifford

Current interests

Charles Clifford
  • Nanomechanical measurements of polymers and soft samples using AFM and nanoindentation.
  • AFM quantification, calibration and standardisation including AFM spring constant and tip shape.
  • High resolution imaging of soft structures using novel AFM imaging modes.


Charles is a senior research scientist in the nanoanalysis group. Charles's research has a focus on developing and understanding scanning probe microscopy techniques in order to give quantitative information on a surface at the nanoscale beyond 'pretty pictures'. He also has an interest in novel probe techniques such as scanning ion conductance microscopy (SICM). He obtained his PhD from the university of Sheffield supervised by Prof Graham Leggett. Charles is the chair of the British standards institute panel on characterisation and measurement techniques in nanotechnologies (BSI NT1/1 Panel 2), a mirror committee for ISO TC229/JWG2. He is a UK expert for ISO/TC229 (nanotechnologies) as well as the liaison officer between ISO TC201 and TC229. He is a key member of the international standardisation committee on scanning probe microscopy (ISO TC/201/SC9) including convenor of the probe properties sub-committee. He is the winner of the 2005 NPL Rayleigh award and organised the first three highly successful NMAET conferences and the RMS UK SPM 2009.

Charles is a member of the Institute of Physics and Royal Microscopical Society (RMS).

Selected publications

  1. Improved methods and uncertainty analysis in the calibration of the spring constant of an atomic force microscope cantilever using static experimental methods
    C. A. Clifford, M. P. Seah
    Meas. Sci. Technol., 20, 125501 (2010)
  2. Nanoindentation measurement of Young's modulus for compliant layers on stiffer substrates including the effect of Poisson's ratios
    C. A. Clifford, M. P. Seah
    Nanotechnology, 20 145708 (2009)
  3. Simplified drift characterization in scanning probe microscopes using a simple two-point method
    C. A. Clifford, M. P. Seah
    Meas. Sci. Technol., 095103 (2009)
  4. Quantification issues in the identification of nanoscale regions of homopolymers using modulus measurement via AFM nanoindentation
    C. A. Clifford, M. P. Seah
    Applied Surface Science, 252, page 1915 (2005)
  5. The determination of atomic force microscope cantilever spring constants via dimensional methods for nanomechanical analysis
    C. A. Clifford, M. P. Seah
    Nanotechnology, 16, page 1666 (2005)

ResearcherID page

Contact details

Tel: 020 8943 6620

Last Updated: 8 Sep 2015
Created: 5 Nov 2010


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