Products and services for AFM, STM, and SEM
Applications of AFM and STM
Cast, extruded, or molded polymers
New materials including ultra high strength magnets
Optics & Photonics
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Topographic/height imaging: The core of AFM analytical
services. Topographic images are three dimensional maps of the surface
made by AFM scanning in contact or tapping mode. From these images a
wealth of results can be compiled:
- Phase imaging: Done in tapping mode, phase imaging allows mapping of
material domains on the surface. Phase images are sensitive to
stiffness and adhesion (stickiness) of the surface as well as edges and
boundaries. Phase images can provide important information on a
variety of characteristics of the sample at the micron to nanometer scale.
- Material distributions and chemical domains in polymer blends and copolymers
- Presence of contaminants.
- Inhomogeneity of the sample surface.
- Lateral Force/Friction imaging:
Done in contact mode, Friction
imaging measures the twist of the probe as it is scanned across the
surface. This twist corresponds to the sideways force on the tip from
factors like surface slope and coefficient of friction between the surface
and the tip.
- Force Volume imaging: While being scanned over the surface, the tip
is pressed into the surface at each point and the response of the tip
measured. Allows mapping of surface stiffness and adhesion.
- Techniques involving long range forces:
- Lift Mode for measuring long range forces: Most
electrical and magnetic are done using "Lift Mode." The tip first scans each the surface, then repeats the motion over that
line, following a trace a preset distance above the surface. During
this second trace, the response of the tip to long-range forces such as
magnetic or electrical forces is measured and an image is generated based on
- MFM: In this a magnetized or magnetically sensitive tip
is used for the lift mode image. The tip reacts to magnetic forces
near the sample allowing mapping of magnetic domains on the nanometer
- Electrical Techniques involving long range forces:
- EFM: Similar to MFM but an electric charge is applied to
the tip. The tip then reacts to electric fields near the surface
and allows them to be mapped on the nanometer scale.
- Scanning Kelvin/Surface Potential
imaging: Maps the work
function or surface potential of the surface. This technique is
sensitive to many surface phenomena. Some characteristics that can be
mapped include catalytic activity, doping and band-bending of
semiconductors, charge trapping in dielectrics and electrochemical
differences such as those involved in many kinds of corrosion.
- Electrical measurements in contact with surface:
- Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM) A powerful tool in
studying semiconductor samples. Scanning Capacitance Microscopy allows
direct measurement of activated carrier concentration on non-uniformly doped
semiconductors with nanometer scale accuracy.
- Scanning Spreading Resistance Microscopy (SSRM) Another powerful
tool for studying semiconductors and conductive polymers. SSRM allows
mapping both the topography and the dopants on the surface of conductive
- Conductive AFM (CAFM) Maps variations in electrical
conductivity. Can be used to do things like study semiconductors,
nanotubes, conductive polymers and even certain organic materials.
- Tunneling Atomic Force Microscopy (TUNA). Similar to CAFM
but with much higher current sensitivity (< 1 pA). Can measure
conductivity through thin films and work with low conductivity samples.
- Nanoindentation and Scratching. Measure and test hardness,
wear resistance on the Micro and Nano scale. The AFM presses a diamond
tip into the sample surface and either withdraws, leaving an indent, or
drags the tip across the surface leaving a scratch, the AFM then produces an
image of the resulting indent or scratch.
- Tribology on the nanometer scale. The combined use of height and friction
imaging, roughness measurement, and Nano-scratching and indenting, allows
studying the tribology of materials on the nanometer and micrometer scales.
can apply these analysis techniques to a variety of materials including:
And can be used to test the results of numerous processes including:
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