Scanning Probe Microscopes

  • Update:Aug 03, 2018
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The SPMs are particular types of microscopes that exploit physical variables in order to construct an image with very high magnification (resolution up to atomic resolution).

Product Introduction

Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPM)

The SPMs represent the basic instrumentations for Nanotechnologies. The SPMs are particular types of microscopes that exploit physical variables in order to construct an image with very high magnification (resolution up to atomic resolution).

In these microscopy techniques a very sharp probe is positioned close to the sample surface (a few nanometers), and it runs scanning the surface and measuring the interaction between the probe and the sample at each point. The image obtained is the result of signals acquisition in xyz axis: these techniques provide an accurate real three-dimensional image of the sample surface (3D Topography).

It is possible to acquire different physical properties (electric, magnetic, optical, etc.) of the sample, obtaining different images of the sample, using different type of probe.

STM, AFM and SNOM represent different type of SPM Microscopes that are characterized by a different measuring probe.

 

ST-STM (Scanning Tunneling Microscopy)

STM has proven to be invaluable tool for probing different surfaces and providing both topographic and spectroscopic information with atomic-scale spatial resolution. This technique has been successfully applied to various samples and has widened its field of application from standard metal and semiconductor characterization to the direct visualization of organic molecules deposited on conductive substrate.

We has developed a compact STM able to image the sample surface with sub-angstrom precision vertically and true atomic resolution laterally. Scanning with the pA STM allows easy and fast operation in air for a wide range of materials. Furthermore, with pA STM set-up, it is possible to operate in a controlled environment or perform “in liquid drop” imaging.

Key features:


pA-STM is a very powerful Scanning Tunneling Microscope allowing the mapping with atomic resolution in air even for high resistive materials. The pA-STM can be equipped with different scanners with ranges from 3μm to 25μm.

By tunneling down to 500fA the pA-STM is suitable to measure high resistive materials like the self-assembled molecules (SAM).

pA-STM Scanning Stage

Standard scanner technical data:

X-Y piezo tube

Z piezo tube

high voltage mode scan size:

10 x 10 μm

low voltage mode scan size:

650 x 650 nm

high voltage mode scan size: 1.2 μm

Resolution

Resolution

high voltage mode resolution: 1.5 Å

low voltage mode resolution: 0.1 Å

high voltage mode resolution: 0.2 Å

Translator stage data:

X-Y: 5 x 5 mm

Z: 13 mm (4 mm servo assisted)

Based on specific demands other scanning ranges can be set by the user in different configurations.*

 

ST-AFM (Atomic Force Microscopes)

AFM series are compact and versatile scanning probe microscope (SPM) platforms capable to meet the perse functional needs of AFM/SPM users. The integrated combination of different characterization systems in one stage system makes our AFM systems the most cost effective ultra-high precision SPM platform.

Our AFM systems can be equipped with different type of nano-positioning systems including flexure scanning stages in order to guarantee high planarity for customers interested in large area AFM measurements.

For example the A100 AFM is equipped with a closed loop sample positioning system. It guarantees absolute positioning with an accuracy of 10 nm (up to ten times better than closed loop AFM in the market). This particular feature, together with the specific A.P.E. Research software tool, makes the instrument suitable for nano-lithography.

APE Research AFM can be inpidually configured to handle wide variety SPM specific measurements modes (EFM, MFM, STM, Phase Imaging, CAFM, KPM etc...). This modular structure allows the user to select and continuously improve the selected set-up, according to the personal specific demands.

ST-A100

A100 AFM is a versatile atomic force microscope suited to a wide variety of applications including bioscience, surface science, semiconductor technology, magnetic media, polymer science, optics, chemistry and medicine. The close loop flexure scanning stage guarantees absolute positioning and high planarity.

Key features:

Working modes:

A100 supports major SPM scanning techniques1: Contact AFM mode, Non-contact mode, Semi-contact mode, Phase Imaging, Force Modulation, Lateral Force Microscopy, Force Curves Analysis, Electric properties, Magnetic Force Microscopy , STM, etc.

Standard scanner technical data*:

Scanning stage with absolute positioning system and strain gauge sensors.

X-Y scan size:

Z scan size:

100μm² (high voltage mode)

10μm² (low voltage mode)

10μm (high voltage mode)

1μm (low voltage mode)

Resolution (HV mode)

Resolution

High voltage closed loop resolution: 2 nm

High voltage open loop resolution: 0.2 nm

0.16 nm (high voltage mode)

0.02 nm (low voltage mode)

Closed loop linearity: 0.1%.

A100 SPM scanning system:

Based on specific demands other scanning ranges can be combined by the user in different configurations**.

AFM Head with holder for commercial cantilevers. The holder can be removed to easy mount cantilevers. The head also houses laser, photodiode sensor with preamplifier.

 

ST-TA SPM

TriA SPM is an innovative high resolution imaging and probing system. It is mainly dedicated for the studies of biomaterials (nucleic acids, peptides and proteins, cells and tissues, etc.) as well for thin films samples. The direct observation of the sample using the integrated inverted light microscope widens the range of applications from hard material surfaces to biological sample.

TriA SPM provides simultaneously double optical sample observation (upright and inverted) for common optical microscopy techniques along with SPM techniques for transparent and opaque samples, without sacrificing the SPM (AFM or SNOM) or optical performance.

The optical setup is coupled with high definition video system with real time image capture capabilities, ensuring the sample and probe continuous monitor and documentation.

Key features:

Working modes:

AFM Mode: supports major SPM scanning techniques: Contact AFM mode, Non-contact mode, Semi-contact mode, Phase Imaging, Lateral Force Microscopy, Force Curves Analysis, Electric properties, Magnetic Force Microscopy, etc.

TriA SPM Scanning system:

Scanner technical data:*

Scanning stage with absolute positioning system and strain gauge sensors.

X-Y scan size:

Z scan size:

100μm² (high voltage mode);

10μm² (low voltage mode)

10μm (high voltage mode)

1μm (low voltage mode)

Resolution (HV mode)

Resolution

Closed loop resolution: 2 nm

Open loop resolution: 0.2 nm

0.16 nm (high voltage mode), 0.02 nm (low voltage mode)

Closed loop linearity: 0.1%.

 

Sample size: can accommodate samples with different geometries and sizes up to 30 mm diameter.

 

ST-SNOM (Scanning Near Field Optical Microsope)

The invention and subsequent development of scanning probe microscopy (SPM) methods have produced the necessary tools for a step forward in optical measurements.

The possibility to go beyond the Abbe diffraction limit has been achieved with the Near-field light optical microscopes (SNOM). This is employing the SPMs precision of piezoelectric raster-scanning together with small sharp optical probe to obtain optical images at subwavelength resolution.

 

ST-TASNOM

TriA SNOM combines the potentials of scanned probe technology with the power of optical microscopy. It brings a small optical probe very close to the sample surface, in the region called "near-field", and it allows the collection of optical signals providing image optical resolution below 100nm.

Key features:

Applications:

Imaging the optical properties of a sample with resolution below the diffraction limit with applications in nanotechnology, biological studies, polymer investigations study of semiconductor materials

Working modes:

SNOM Topography:

The image obtained is the result of signals acquisition in xyz axis that allows to measure detailed surface morphology and nanostructures on a nanometric scale.

SNOM Optical Transmission:

the image results from the light transmitted through the whole thickness of the sample. While in conventional optical microscope all the sample is illuminated, SNOM near-field light interacts only locally producing signals point by point. SNOM optical transmission images are comparable with conventional optical images but their lateral resolution is more than 10 times higher.

SNOM Optical Reflection:

image is obtained with near-field light that interacts locally with a superficial layer of the sample, giving information on structures confined within 30-100 nm (depending on the tip aperture) below sample surface.

SNOM Optical Back-Reflection:

image is created by the near-field light that is back-reflected into the fiber, after local interaction with the sample surface.

 

TriA SNOM Scanning system

Scanner technical data:*

Scanning stage with absolute positioning system and strain gauge sensors.

X-Y scan size:

Z scan size:

100μm² (high voltage mode);

10μm² (low voltage mode)

10 μm (high voltage mode)

1 μm (low voltage mode)

Resolution (HV mode)

Resolution

closed loop resolution: 2 nm

open loop resolution: 0.2 nm

0.16 nm (high voltage mode)

0.02 nm (low voltage mode)

Closed loop linearity: 0.1%.

 

Sample size: can accommodate samples with different geometries and sizes up to 30 mm diameter.

Based on specific demands other scanning ranges can be combined by the user in different configurations*.

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