- Video Microscope
- Probe Holder
|Open Frame Design||Any sized sample can be scanned|
|Includes bottom plate||Allows for scanning small samples|
|Probe Exchange Tool Included||Reduce time for probe exchange|
|Includes top view video microscope||Facilitates tip approach and laser alignment|
|Includes vibrating, non-vibrating, phase, LFM, and advanced F/D||Most common scanning modes included for many applications|
|Flexible Sample holder||Can be used with most commercially available probes|
|Labview software with USB communication||Readily adaptable to new operating systems|
*Plus selected Z Scanner
|Download:||SA-AFM Product Datasheet PDF|
Overview: Stand-Alone Atomic Force Microscope (SA-AFM)
Use the SA-Atomic Force Microscope for scanning life science samples, large samples, routine scanning of technical samples, or for nanotechnology research. The SA-AFM is a complete system and includes everything required for scanning all sizes and shapes of samples. It is easily integrated with all manufacturer's inverted microscopes.
Using the industry standard light lever force sensor, all standard scanning modes are included with the system. Vibrating mode is used for high resolution and soft samples, while non-vibrating mode can be used for routine scanning. Also included with the system are phase and lateral force modes.
Control software, written in LabVIEW, is simple and intuitive to use. Differing windows walk users through the process: a pre-scan window helps align the AFM probe, a scanning window aids in acquiring images, a force position window measures force distance curves, and finally, a system window assists in altering system parameters.
In addition to measuring surface structure, the SA-AFM is ideal for modes measurements.
For example these images are of a polymer sample. The image at left is a topography image, and the image at right is the phase image, measuring the relative hardness of the polymer sample.
More Details about the SA-AFM
To read more about the SA-AFM, return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs detailing the SA-AFM and its Stage; Ebox; Software; Video Microscope; Probe Holder; Modes; Options; Specifications; and Images.
High Resolution Z Stage
Light Lever Force Sensor
XY Piezo Scanner
Electronics in the SA-AFM are constructed around industry standard USB data acquisition electronics. The critical functions, such as xy scanning, are optimized with a 24-bit digital to analog converter. With the analog z feedback loop, the highest fidelity scanning is possible. Vibrating mode scanning is possible with both phase and amplitude feedback using the high sensitivity phase detection electronics.
24-bit Scan DAC
Phase and Amplitude Detector Circuit
Precision analog feedback
Variable Gain High Voltage Piezo Drivers
Software for acquiring images is designed with the industry standard LabVIEW™ programming visual interface instrument design environment. There are many standard functions, including setting scanning parameters, probe approach, frequency tuning, and displaying images in real time. LabVIEW™ facilitates rapid development for those users seeking to enhance the software with additional special features. LabVIEW also enables the SA-AFM to be readily combined with any other instrument using LabVIEW.
A pre-scan window includes all of the functions that are required before a scan is started. The functions are presented in a logical sequence on the screen.
Once all of the steps in the pre-scan window are completed, the scan window is used for measuring images. Scan parameter, Z feedback parameters, and image view functions may be changed with dialogs on this screen.
There is a tab for measuring F/D curves in the AFMWorshop software. Data is exported to a .csv file for analysis in standard programs such as Microsoft Excel™.
Industry standard programming environment. Readily customized and modified for specialized applications. Instrumentation already using LabVIEW can be added to the SA-AFM to create new capabilities.
Image Analysis Software
Included with the SA-AFM is the Gwyddion open source SPM image analysis software. This complete image analysis package has all the software functions necessary to process, analyze and display SPM images.
- visualization: false color representation with different types of mapping
- shaded, logarithmic, gradient- and edge-detected, local contrast representation, Canny lines
- OpenGL 3D data display: false color or material representation
- easily editable color maps and OpenGL materials
- basic operations: rotation, flipping, inversion, data arithmetic, crop, resampling
- leveling: plane leveling, profiles leveling, three-point leveling, facet leveling, polynomial background removal, leveling along user-defined lines
- value reading, distance and angle measurement
- profiles: profile extraction, measuring distances in profile graph, profile export
- filtering: mean, median, conservative denoise, Kuwahara, minimum, maximum, checker pattern removal
- general convolution filter with user-defined kernel
- statistical functions: Ra, RMS, projected and surface area, inclination, histograms, 1D and 2D correlation functions, PSDF, 1D and 2D angular distributions, Minkowski functionals, facet orientation analysis
- statistical quantities calculated from area under arbitrary mask
- row/column statistical quantities plots
- ISO roughness parameter evaluation
- grains: threshold marking and un-marking, watershed marking
- grain statistics: overall and distributions of size, height, area, volume, boundary length, bounding dimensions
- integral transforms: 2D FFT, 2D continuous wavelet transform (CWT), 2D discrete wavelet transform (DWT), wavelet anisotropy detection
- fractal dimension analysis
- data correction: spot remove, outlier marking, scar marking, several line correction methods (median, modus)
- removal of data under arbitrary mask using Laplace or fractal interpolation
- automatic xy plane rotation correction
- arbitrary polynomial deformation on xy plane
- 1D and 2D FFT filtering
- fast scan axis drift correction
- mask editing: adding, removing or intersecting with rectangles and ellipses, inversion, extraction, expansion, shrinking
- simple graph function fitting, critical dimension determination
- force-distance curve fitting
- axes scale calibration
- merging and immersion of images
- tip modeling, blind estimation, dilation and erosion
SA-AFM Video Microscope
A video optical microscope in an AFM serves three functions: aligning the laser onto the cantilever in the light lever AFM, locating surface features for scanning, and facilitating probe approach. The SA-AFM includes a high performance video optical microscope along with a 3 mega pixel ccd camera, light source, microscope stand, and Windows software for displaying images.
Laser alignment is greatly facilitated with the video optical microscope. This non-vibrating cantilever is 450 µ long. The red spot is from the laser reflecting off the cantilever.
SA-AFM Probe Holder / Exchange
The SA-AFM utilizes a unique probe holder/exchange mechanism. Probes are held in place with a spring device that mates with a probe exchange tool. This combination makes changing probes fast and easy on the SA-AFM.
AFM Workshop Image Gallery
DNA; 1 µm x 1 µm AFM image
DNA; 1.5 µm x 1.5 µm
DNA; 1.5 µm x 1.5 µm AFM
Marks made with AFM Lithography; 20 µm x 20 µm
Nanolithography, Changing Probe Force. 25 µm x 25 µm image of lines made in PMMA surface. Each line is 1 µm apart; each has differing probe force.
1 nm and 3 nm particles test sample. 500 nm x 500 nm AFM image
1 nm and 3 nm particles, test sample. 100 nm x 100 nm
Highly Oriented Pyrolitic Graphite (HOPG), 4 µm x 4 µm
Ruled Grating Irregularities, 3-D image, 4 µm x 4 µm
Ruled Grating Irregularities, 4 µm x 4 µm ruled diffraction grating, irregularities at edges of the apex on grating lines.
Multiphase Polymer Film - 3D shape from topography with phase signal overlaid as color
AFM image of defects on 0.3 nm Si Terraces, 4 µm x 4 µm
Latex spheres; 3 µm x 3 µm image of 173 nm latex spheres
Latex spheres; 3 µm x 3 µm; 173 nm latex spheres AFM Image
Aluminum foil, 3D AFM image; 50 µm x 50 µm.
SiC Terraces; 6 µm x 6 µm, AFM image
Aluminum foil, dull side, 3D image; 50 µm x 50 µm.
Self-assembled lipid nanotubes; 20 µm x 20 µm, AFM image.
Self-assembled lipid nanotubes, 5 µm x 5 µm
Red blood cells, 30 µm x 30 µm 2D red color scale
Red blood cells 3D AFM image
Polymer used in common glue, 10 µm x 10 µm images, 2-D light shaded view
MFM image of magnetic disk; 40 µm x 40 µm
Polymer used in common glue 10 µm x 10 µm image, 3-D color scale view
20 µm X 20 µm AFM image of SHS 100 nm test pattern, color view
Inverted Optical microscope image of Caco-2 cells; box indicates area selected for AFM scanning
AFM image of Caco-2 cells; 48 µm x 48 µm. AFM scan of area selected by box in previous inverted optical microscope photo
Inverted optical image of neutraphil a1 cells, inverted optical microscope view, AFM probe is shadow
Neutrophil & erythrocyte cells; 50 µm light shaded
Caco-2 cells. Left: Epiflourescence image of Caco-2 cells treated with quantum dots. Right: 50 µm x 50 µm AFM image of Caco-2 cells
Tip checker sample, 2-D color scale 20 µm x 20 µm image
Tip checker sample, 3-D color scale view; 20 µm x 20 µm.
Silicon test pattern 40 µm x 40 µm grey scale image
Holes in polymer film, 10 µm x 10 µm AFM Image
Silicon test pattern, 7 µm x 7 µm zoomed in image of particle viewed in the upper center of the left image.
Patterns on ferroelectric material 50 µm x 50 µm light shaded image.
Multiphase polymer height image; 10 µm x 10 µm
Multiphase polymer 10 µm x 10 µm, phase image.
Light shaded image of cell, 7 µm x 7 µm AFM Image
Vibrating mode image showing three different species of bacteria
Amplitude Image of Leishmania parasites 25 µm x 25 µm
Scratch mark in a metal surface, 10 µm x 10 µm color scale image
Bacteria spore mutants 30 µm x 30 µm AFM image
Waffle test pattern, 2100 lines per mm, 8 µm x 8 µm color scale image
Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), 2 µm x 2 µm color scale image
Tobacco Mosaic Virus, 1.2 µm x 1.2 µm color scale image of 17 nm diameter single TMV
Conductive AFM scan, standard reference sample, 10 µm x 10 µm conductivity image
Atomic terraces on metal surface, 5 µm x 5 µm AFM image
0.3 nm terraces on Si, 5 µm x 5 µm color scale image
Gold nanoparticles, 2D color scale 2 µm x 2 µm image of 14 nm diameter particles
Gold nanoparticles, 3-D color scale 2 µm x 2 µm image of 14 nm diameter particles
Phase mode image of PMMA 300nm x 300nm AFM image
DVD: 6 µm x 6 µm AFM image
STEPP sample: 3 µm x 3 µm, small scan zoom of microterraces observed on the previous 16 µm x 16 µm image
STEPP scan: 3 µm x 3 µm, smaller scale zoom to view microterraces seen on previous 16 µm x 16 µm scan
Epithelial Cell 35 µm x 35 µm, 3D AFM image
Epithelial cell in liquid, 32 µm x 32 µm AFM image
STEPP: 16 µm x 16 µm, showing microterraces on terrace, see features in smaller scans
Cardiomyocytes; inverted optical miroscope image showing location of AFM probe from below
Cardiomyocytes from the LS-AFM inverted optical microsope
Polystyrene Nanoparticles: Binodal distribution of nanoparticles, 20 nm and 100 nm
BOPP Polymer; 2 µm x 2 µm biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film.
Single E. coli bacterial cell, displaying fimbriae & polar flagellum
Gold Nanoparticles, 100 nm
Gold Nanoparticles, 20 nm AFM Image
Donut shaped nanoparticles, 2.5 µm x 2.5 µm.
Structures on patterned wafer after CMP; 50 µm x 50 µm
Polished surface, 3D AFM image; 30 µm x 30 µm
Three component polymer, AFM phase image; 5µm x 5µm
Oriented polypropylene showing network of fibers; 10 µm x 10 µm.
Thermoplastics and rubbers blend. AFM phase image shows differentiation of components in sample; 5 µm x 5 µm.
SEBS polymer (styrene/ethylene/butylene polymer); AFM phase image, 1 µm x 1 µm.
SEBS polymer (styrene/ethylene/butylene polymer); AFM topography image, 1 µm x 1 µm.
SEBS polymer, phase image. 500 nm x 500 nm, smallest domains ~10 nm easily visible
Quantum dots, 3D AFM image, 1.5µm x 1.5 µm
Polymer, AFM phase image; 19 µm x 19 µm.
Polymer, AFM topography image; 19 µm x 19 µm.
Calibration reference - 40 µm x 40 µm x 1 µm
Silicon wafer, AFM scan; 10 µm x 10 µm.
Silicon wafer, 3D AFM scan; 10 µm x 10 µm.
Patterned wafer polished by CMP 10 µm x 10 µm on left; square shows area selected for AFM scanning at .5 µm x .5 µm. AFM scan reveals pockmarks on surface.
Patterned wafer polished by CMP, 3-D color scale. Analysis revealed surface roughness (Sa) of 1.69 nm
Nanoparticles, 3D projection 3 µm x 3 µm image w/nanoparticles from 4 nm to 12 nm in diameter
Graphene sample, AFM image 11 µm x 11 µm
MEMS Multiple Level Gear, Courtesy TX Tech, Sandia Ntl. Labs
MEMS High Performance Comb-Drive Actuator. Courtesy TX Tech, Sandia Ntl. Labs
Standard with every SA-AFM are nonvibrating (NV) mode and vibrating (V) modes for creating topography scans. Additional modes included with the product are lateral force imaging and phase mode imaging. Any scanning mode that can be implemented with a light lever AFM is possible with the SA-AFM.
With the window above the resonance frequency of a cantilever is readily measured. Additionally, the phase characteristics of the probe-sample interaction may be captured.
Open vessel probe holder used for scanning samples submerged in a liquid.
Package of six samples that can help students learn how to operate an AFM, and can help new AFM operators learn various AFM Applications
Reduces unwanted acoustic and structural vibrations.
Measures the 2-D conductivity of sample surfaces.
Measures the surface magnetic field of a sample.
Uses an AFM probe to alter the physical or chemical property of a sample surface.
Measures the deflection of a cantilever as it interacts with a surface. Monitors parameters such as: Adhesion, Stiffness, Compliance, Hardness, and Contaminate Thickness.
Field of view
2 x 2 mm
300 x 300 µm
Back and side view of the SA-AFM stage without the AFM/video microscope. The feet at the bottom may be removed if the stage is rigidly mounted to a surface.