Atomic force microscopy is a powerful new technique for to allow imaging of non-conducting surfaces down to the sub-nanometer level without the need for any additional sample preparation. The AFM consists of a sharp tip (10-20 nm diameter) attached to a stiff cantilever. The tip is brought close to the surface and the sample is scanned beneath the tip. The tip moves in response to tip-surface interactions, and this movement is measured by focusing a laser beam onto the back of the cantilever and detecting the position of the reflected beam with a photodiode.

Other Features

  • Imaging of conducting and non-conducting surfaces
  • Sub-nanometer resolution
  • Imaging in air and liquid, allowing in situ measurements and real time imaging of biological and chemical processes
  • AFM can be used to measure and localize many different forces including: adhesion strength, magnetic forces and mechanical properties
  • True 3D imaging and measurements
  • Magnetic, friction, chemical, and phase imaging