Probing the microelastic properties of nanobiological particles with tapping mode atomic force microscopy

L. Shao, N. J. Tao, R. M. Leblanc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


We have studied untreated photosystem II (PSII) membrane using tapping mode atomic force microscopy (AFM). The individual PSII particles distribute randomly in the membrane. Near the center of each particle, our AFM reveals an intramolecular cavity which confirms the previous electron microscopy of stained samples. The cavity can be reversibly enlarged from a few nm to as many as 40 nm in diameter by increasing the force on the AFM tip. A study of the particle's apparent height and cavity size under various forces provides unique information about the microelastic properties of single PSII particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 11 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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