Basic Atomic Force Microscope
For routine scanning and education

The B-AFM is a complete system that includes a computer with software, a stage, and control electronics; everything needed for AFM scanning. The electronics are located at the rear of the B-AFM stage, and only a single USB cable is connected between the computer and the stage. For scientists and engineers with bigger ideas than budgets.


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The B-AFM has everything you need to perform routine scanning on a variety of samples. An intuitive design makes this nanoscience instrument ideal for education and straightforward. Built with high quality yet at a more affordable price point, the Basic Atomic Force Microscope is the best option for scientists looking for routine sample scanning and for researchers and students alike.

B-AFM Details

Video Microscope
Probe Holder
B-AFM Overview
Sample Sizes: 30 mm x 30 mm x 5 mm
Standard Scanning Modes: Vibrating, Non-Vibrating, Phase, LFM, Force Distance
Scanner: 50 micron x 50 micron x 17 micron scanner
Video Optical Microscope: 200X
Pricing $19,495+
Download: B-AFM Product Datasheet PDF

Basic AFM Overview

The B-AFM is a basic AFM that provides essential AFM scanning. This AFM is ideal for scientists and engineers that want to visualize nanostructures on surfaces, as well as for educators that want to teach their students about AFM operation and its applications.

7-Step Scanning Software

The B-AFM 7-Step Scanning Software is designed for casual AFM users that want to obtain AFM images without the expertise. A user-friendly design makes the B-AFM ideal for teaching students the basics of AFM theory and operation.

Intuitive Light Lever Design

A unique design of the light lever makes aligning the system a routine procedure for users with limited experience. A removable probe holder makes changing probes quick and easy.

Linearized X, Y, and Z Scanners

Piezoelectric X, Y (50 µm) and Z (17 µm) scanners incorporate strain gauges that provide linear scans and rapid zoom-to-feature capabilities.

Standard AFM Scanning Modes

Scanning modes for the B-AFM include vibrating (tapping), non-vibrating (contact), phase, and LFM (Force/Distance). These modes will allow users to scan the most common types of samples.

Acoustic Enclosure

The B-AFM is encased in an acoustic cabinet made from ¾” MDF and acoustic foam, creating a vibration isolation environment that will provide high-quality scans on almost any lab bench.


The B-AFM is designed for routine scanning and educational applications. With a low price point, it is ideal for scientists and engineers with bigger ideas than budgets. Routine scanning of basic samples is possible with the 7-Step Scanning Software, which is also helpful for students and first-time operators learning the mechanics of an atomic force microscope.

For more advanced users and complex samples, AFMWorkshop offers the AFM Control Software for the B-AFM. This is the same software used on all other AFMWorkshop products. Our AFMs are capable machines for the research, industry, and educational communities with applications ranging from nanotechnology to biology.

B-AFM Stage

Integrated Stage and Electronics

The B-AFM is designed with an integrated stage and electronics, making it a compact and portable solution for researchers and engineers.

Simplified Key Operational Steps

Aligning the AFM light lever

A unique feature of the B-AFM light lever is that the probe is moved to a pre-established position identified with the video optical microscope, therefore removing inaccuracy when aligning the laser.

Exchanging probes

With the removable probe holder, probes can be exchanged in less than a minute. A special support is provided for holding the probe holder when it is not in the light lever force sensor.

Exchanging samples

Samples mounted on metal disks are held in place with a magnetic holder at the top of the piezoelectric stage.

Key Components of the B-AFM

Video Optical Microscope

Included with the stage is a video optical microscope with 200X magnification. The video optical microscope is used for locating features on samples for scanning, aligning the light lever, and facilitating probe approach. LED lights at the bottom of the video microscope illuminate the sample.

XY Sample Stage

The location on a sample can be selected for scanning with the XY positioner mechanism, with a range of 6 x 6 mm. The controls for the XY positioner are located conveniently inside the acoustic enclosure on the surface of the AFM stage.


Both structural and acoustic vibrations are reduced with the front opening enclosure. The enclosure is made from high-density material and is lined on the inside with noise reducing foam. Handles on the sides of the enclosure make transporting the AFM easy.

Atomic Force Microscope front opening enclosure


The control electronics circuits in the B-AFM are the same as those used in over 250 AFMs by AFMWorkshop customers globally, ensuring reliability. The electronics include a high fidelity analog control loop for measuring topography, and 24-bit scan DACs for driving the X and Y piezoelectric ceramics. Our unique design offers high resolution as well as a high dynamic range.

B-AFM Software

Scanning and Image Processing Software

The B-AFM software is designed for casual users that want to obtain high-quality AFM images without being AFM experts. Furthermore, the B-AFM is great for teaching students the basics of AFM operation and training.

7 Step Scanning Software

Get an AFM Image in 7 Steps

At the left side of the B-AFM Control software is a list of the 7 steps necessary for measuring an AFM image. By moving through each of the steps, an operator is able to easily obtain AFM images. When one of the steps is selected, the specific window that is required is highlighted. Instructions for each step are provided at the top of the screen.

Atomic Force Microscopy Image Software

Gwyddion Image Processing Software

Images created with the B-AFM are compatible with the free image processing software Gwyddion. Gwyddion is capable of displaying images in 2D and 3D formats in a vast range of pallets. Additional analysis capabilities include line profiles and surface texture measurements.

Atomic Force Microscopy Image Processing

B-AFM Video Microscope

Basic AFM Video Microscope

The B-AFM is equipped with an adjustable focus video microscope with 200X zoom. This optical video microscope is used to locate areas of interest on the sample, as well as align the laser to the cantilever.

Adjustable Focus Video Microscope

Video optical

Field of view showing probe chip and aligned cantilever

Field of view showing probe chip and aligned cantilever

B-AFM Probe Holder

B-AFM Probe Holder/Exchange Tool

The probe holder for the B-AFM is designed to hold a probe chip using a small spring clamp. The unique design makes it easy to exchange probes and load the probe holder. Once secured into the B-AFM, the probe holder is held in place to scan the sample.

Atomic Force Microscope Loaded probeLoaded probe
Basic Atomic Force Microscope Inserting probe holderInserting probe holder into the B-AFM
B-AFM Image Gallery

Basic AFM Image Gallery

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm rows

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm rows

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm tall circular columns

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm tall circular columns

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm tall columns

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm tall columns

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm tall column

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm tall column

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm tall rows

50 x 50 micron image of standard test sample with 100 nm tall rows


B-AFM Modes

Basic AFM Modes

Standard with every B AFM are non-vibrating (NV) mode and vibrating (V) modes for making topography scans. Additional modes included with the product are lateral force imaging as well as phase mode imaging. All of the scanning modes that can be implemented with a light lever AFM are also possible with the B AFM.

Vibrating Mode

Vibrating mode (tapping) is the most common mode for measuring topography images with an AFM. Probe/sample forces as small as a few piconewtons are possible with vibrating mode.

Non-Vibrating Mode

In Non-Vibrating mode (contact), topography images are measured with a cantilever/probe having a very low force constant. Non-vibrating mode is most often used for large area scans on hard materials.

Phase Mode

Phase Mode images, measured simultaneously with vibrating mode images, show regions of different relative hardness on a sample's surface. Phase mode is especially useful when scanning polymer samples.

Lateral Force Mode

Using a four quadrant detector, the torsion of the cantilever is measured during a non-vibrating mode scan. The amount of torsion depends on the friction between the probe and sample while scanning.

Force/Distance Mode

The interaction forces between a probe and surface are measured with F/D mode. In this mode, the deflection of the cantilever is measured as the sample is moved towards the probe.


B-AFM Options

Basic AFM Options

Advanced Software

Unlocking the full scanning potential of the B-AFM is possible with the optional advanced AFM Control Software. This software is used for controlling AFMWorkshop’s more advanced products such as the TT-2 AFM, LS-AFM, and NP-AFM. With this advanced software, operators will be able to control:  

Scan Parameters

Including scan rate and scan lines for higher resolution images.

Frequency Range

Allowing measurements with the use of many types of probes

Amplifier Gain Control

Allowing for noise floors under 120 picometers*

B-AFM Specifications

Basic AFM Specifications

Acoustic Cabinet
L x W x H 16” x 16” x 16”
Weight 20 lbs.
Material MDF, foam

Light Lever
Power 1 mw
Focus 20 microns
F.L. 34 mm
Photo Detector 
Quadrants 4
Signals TL, TR, BL, BR
Probe Holder 
Type Spring Clamp
Probes Industry Standard
Probe Approach 
Motor Type Stepper
Min Step Size 200 nm

XYZ Sample Scanner
XY Range 50 microns
Z Range  17 microns
Motion Sensor Strain Gauge
XY Feedback GPID

Sample Holder:
Type Magnetic
Sample Thickness < 4 mm
Sample size < 1” x 1”

Video Microscope:
Focus Adjustable
Magnification 200 X

Scan Modes:
Vibrating Soft, Hard Samples
Non-Vibrating Hard Samples
Phase Polymers
Scan Control 20 Bits
Z Feedback Analog GPID
PLL 5-600 K



B-AFM Product Datasheet PDFBasic Atomic Force Microscope Datasheet

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