Instruments


 
       
 

Atomic Force Microscopy

The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) belongs to the family of scanning probe microscopes (SPM). It consists of a cantilever, typically silicon, with a sharp tip at its end which is scanned very precisely over the specimen surface with piezo-electric motors. When the tip is brought into proximity of a sample surface, forces between the tip and the sample lead to a deflection of the cantilever following Hooke's law, which is precisely measured with a laser.

The versatility of the technique with regard to materials analysis relies on the fact that a large variety of forces can be used to induce the deflection of the cantilever. Depending on the situation it is possible to use van der Waals, electrostatic, magnetic, capillary, solvation, chemical bonding forces, among many others. Correspondingly the technique can be applied to a wide range of materials, from very soft to very hard, from conductive to non-conductive, etc. Furthermore it is possible to use specialized tips that allow to measure simultaneously additional quantities such as local temperature, thermal conductivity, heat capacity and so on.

Spatial resolution is strongly influenced by the shape of the tip. For flat samples lateral resolution depends on its radius of curvature. With the adequate tip it is in principle posible to achieve atomic resolution. Nevertheless with standard tips nanometer scale observations are more realistic. Vertical sample varations can be measured with sub-nanometer resolution. For large aspect ratios it has to be considered that the actual surface topography is modulated by the tip shape.

 

Asylum MFP-3D Standard System with Low Force Indenter

Operation Modes:
Contact and tapping (AC) mode; lateral force mode (LFM); phase imaging; electric force microscopy (EFM); nanolithography; force curve mode; ramp mode; force mapping mode.

Features:
90 micron travel in (x,y) and 15 micron in z; X-Y closed loop (non-linearity <0.5%) with sensitivity < 150pm noise; Z-closed loop (<0.2%) with sensitivity < 35pm noise; ARgyle-3D imaging in real time; AFM control program integrated with IGOR pro.

MFP 3D
 

Asylum MFP-3D Bio

Application:
The AFM is mounted on an inverted optical microscope (Olympus IX71) and is equipped with a closed fluid cell for liquid AFM studies. It allows combined optical and atomic force microscopy on biological samples but can be used also for any other materials applications.

Operation Modes:
Contact and tapping (AC) mode; lateral force mode (LFM); phase imaging; electric force microscopy (EFM); nanolithography; force curve mode; ramp mode; force mapping mode.

Features:
90 micron travel in (x,y) and 15 micron in z; X-Y closed loop (non-linearity <0.5%) with sensitivity < 0.5nm noise; Z-closed loop (<0.2%) with sensitivity < 25pm noise; ARgyle-3D imaging in real time; AFM control program integrated with IGOR pro.

MFP 3D Bio