Scanning and Local Probe Equipment / Instrumentation


Agilent AFM


  • 90μm ✕ 90 μm ✕ 7 μm closed-loop scanner
  • 9 μm ✕ 9 μm ✕ 2 μm open loop scanner

Noise floor

  • <5 Å (large scanner)
  • <1 Å (small scanner)


  • Ten 16-bit channels input
  • Four 24-bit channels out


  • Contact, tapping, lateral force, force spectroscopy, SKPM, MAC and Top MAC


  • Ambient, purged gas, fluid


Applications: Controlled-environment AFM (fluid, purged gas, temperature- programmed). Polymers, electrochemistry, force spectroscopy. Magnetically- excited AFM.

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Asylum AFM

Modes available

  • Contact, AC (tapping) and Dual AC, 1-D forces, lateral force, nanolithography, Electrostatic Force, Kelvin probe, conductive AFM, Magnetic Force, piezoelectric force, thermal AFM

Scan axes

  • 90μm x 90μm ✕ 15μm closed loop

Z noise

  • <0.06nm 0.1Hz-1kHz BW

Cantilever noise

  • <0.02nm Adev, 0.1Hz-1kHz BW.

Analog to Digital Converters

  • One 16-bit, 5 MHz channel

Digital to Analog Converters

  • Five 16-bit 100kHz channel

Direct Digital Synthesizer

  • Six 24-bit 100kHz channels, plus two 10-bit 10MHz summed on a singleDAC

Applications: Force curves in contact or AC modes, frictional force imaging. Nanolithography, electrostatic force microscopy, and scanning surface potential. Conductive AFM, magnetic and piezoresponse force microscopy.

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Bruker Icon AFM

X-Y scan range

  • 90μm × 90 μm × 10 μm

Vertical noise floor

  • <30 pm RMS

Current sensitivity

  • pA to μA

Motorized position stage (X-Y axis)

  • 180mm × 150mm
  • 210mm vacuum chuck

AFM modes

  • PeakForce (with quantitative nanomechanics), tapping, contact, lateral force, magnetic force spectroscopy, Kelvin probe, conductive AFM, tunneling AFM, electrostatic force, magnetic force, piezoelectric force, torsional resonance mode.

Applications: Nano-mechanics, whole-wafer inspection, scanning conductivity/resistance microscopy. Electrical measurements of soft materials.

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Omicron STM-1 scanner

  • 2 μm XY range
  • 20-50 pA min current

RHK SPM 1000 controller

  • 10 channel input
  • 26-bit resolution
  • complete signal access

Vacuum capability

  • 10-8 mtorr


  • LEED, sample annealing, lockin amplifiers, optical excitation

Applications: Atomically resolved imaging, density of states/bandgap analysis, photon-stimulated electrical properties, and nano-gap electrodes

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Probe Station

Probe arms

  • 4 ✕ 0-1GHz
  • 2 ✕ 1-20 GHz


  • 10-6 torr

Lockin amplifiers

  • SRS 830, SRS 844

Impedance analyzer

Agilent E5061B 5Hz-3GHz

Network analyzer

  • Agilent N5230C 10MHz-20GHz

Temperature Range

  • LHe-50 °C


  • Kiethley 6517A

Function generators

  • SRS DS345 30MHz

Programming interface

  • Labview

Applications: Conductance, resistance, impedance, capacitance measurements of circuits, devices, and resonators.

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AFM scanners

  • 1μm, 10μm, and 100μm XY range
  • 532 and 660 nm laser sources

Optical heads

  • 7 NA 100 x upright air lens
  • 3 NA 100 x inverted

Confocal Raman

  • Adjustable pinhole size and objective lens alignment


  • 1800, 600, and 150/mm gratings and 75/mm Echele. Cooled CCD/EMCCD detector.

AFM modes

  • Contact, tapping, force mapping, Kelvin probe, conductive AFM, lateral force. Tuning fork AFM allows custom-cut and etched metal probes.

Environmental control

  • Enclosures for each scanner for gas purge. Heated sample stage, fluid cell.

Simultaneous AFM/Raman

  • Keeps samples of varying topography in focus

Near Field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM)

  • AFM-aperture optical microscopy is available in transmission mode

Applications: Simultaneous chemical and topographic/mechanical analysis. In situ temperature measurement. AFM-aperture optical microscopy. Optical devices such as semiconductor lasers, waveguides, and plasmonic devices Investigation of cellular tissue, DNA, viruses and other biological objects. Nanotubes, nanowires, and quantum dots.

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Modes available

  • Contact, AC (tapping) and dual AC, 1-D forces, lateral force, nanolithography, electrostatic force, Kelvin probe, conductive AFM, magnetic force, piezoelectric force, thermal AFM

Scan axes

  • 90μm ✕ 90μm ✕15 μm closed loop

Z noise

  • <0.06nm 0.1Hz-1kHz BW

Cantilever noise

  • <0.02nm Adev, 0.1Hz-1kHz BW


  • Micromanipulator, nano-injector, temperature-controlled chamber

Bio prep-space

  • CO2 incubator, Bio-safety cabinet


  • 641, 532, 488 nm lasers
  • Cascade II EMCCD camera with dual view filter
  • Nikon inverted optical microscope
  • 10✕, 40✕, 100 ✕ objectives

Applications: Mechanics of cells, tissues, and polymers. Tagging and identification of cells, proteins, and molecules. Controlled dosing of samples via micropipette. Controlled environment (fluid, temperature) experiments.

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Scan range

  • 10 μm x 10 μm x 1.5 μm

Z – resolution 0.01 nm

  • 01 nm

Tunneling current:

  • < 1pA – 330 nA

Gap voltage

  • ± 5 mV to ± 10 V; applied to tip/cantilever, sample grounded

Vacuum achievable:

  • 10-11 mbar or better

Sample size

  • 3mm x 9mm 7mm diameter

Temp range

  • 100K – 1500 K

Imaging modes

  • Contact, tapping, and FM noncontact


  • LEED, Auger electron spectroscopy
  • Evaporator, leak valves for controlled gas environment, sputter gun


  • 20-bit, <25μV noise @ 60kHz up to 24 data acquisition signals

Applications: Atomically-resolved imaging of surfaces. Surface reconstruction. Friction and adhesion measurements. Surface potential and conductive AFM. Scanning Gate Microscopy. Scanning Kelvin Probe + Local dielectric AFM.

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