We developed a new technique to measure elastic properties by using the atomic force microscope (AFM) tip to press samples into grooves etched in a GaAs substrate. We measured the Young's modulus of β-chitin fibres with cross-sections less than 40 nm x 20 nm to be 1-2 x 1011 N/m2. In the isotropic approximation, the Young's modulus of the S-layer sheath of the archaeobacterium Methanospirillum hungatei was 1-3 x 1010 N/m2. By testing the sheath to breaking strength we estimated the bacterium can sustain an internal pressure as high as 100-200 atmospheres (1-2 x 107 N/m2).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1994|
- Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
- Methanospirillum hungatei
- internal pressure
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