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Applications and potentialities of Atomic Force Microscopy in fossil and extant plant cuticle characterization
- Benítez, José J., Guzman-Puyol, Susana, Domínguez, Eva, Heredia, Antonio, Heredia-Guerrero, José A.
- Review of palaeobotany and palynology 2019 v.268 pp. 125-132
- atomic force microscopy, fossils, paleobotany, plant cuticle
- Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is a versatile technique of surface characterization, providing accurate information about the topography and other wide variety of magnitudes at submicron scale. It is extensively utilized in materials science, but its use in other disciplines such as paleobotany is infrequent. In this review, we introduce the main concepts of AFM to paleobotanists, comparing the characteristics of this technique to common electronic and optical microscopies. Then, main works with extant plants, in particular plant cuticles, are described. Finally, realistic applications with fossils are reviewed and their potential use in the characterization of plant fossils discussed. AFM is proposed as a complementary technique to common microscopies to characterize plant cuticle fine details at nanoscale.