Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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Published in Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 053901 2005. Copyright © 2005 American Institute of Physics. Used by permission.


Electromechanical imaging of tooth dentin and enamel has been performed with sub-10 nm resolution using piezoresponse force microscopy. Characteristic piezoelectric domain size and local protein fiber ordering in dentin have been determined. The shape of a single protein fibril in enamel is visualized in real space and local hysteresis loops are measured. Because of the ubiquitous presence of piezoelectricity in biological systems, this approach is expected to find broad application in high-resolution studies of a wide range of biomaterials.

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