Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) is the original scanning probe technique. Because STM requires a conductive surface, its applications are somewhat limited. STM is useful in industry for examining carbon materials.
Tapping Mode height and phase imaging is the most widely used AFM technique. It is very gentle, allowing imaging of single polymer molecules on surfaces. It highlights surface regions of different composition and the presence of very thin coatings and contaminant deposits (e.g. oil residues, photoresist residues).
Magnetic Force Microscopy shows the fine details of bit and domain structure on media, as well as the magnetic fields emanating from operating recording heads. Also shows domain structure in new magnetic materials.
Electric Force Microscopy distinguishes fixed charges, conductive and insulating regions and identifies short and open circuits.
Surface Potential Imaging (Scanning Kelvin Probe) distinguishes materials based on the work function and related electronic properties. For example, the data marks in CD-RW (rewritable compact disc) are amorphous spots surrounded by crystalline regions of the quaternary alloy AgInSbTe.
Force-Volume Imaging provides arrays of specimen-tip response curves to document stiffness, adhesion and other effects involving surface and near-surface mechanical properties.
Nano-Indentation and Nano-Scratching tests stiffness, hardness and wear resistance of surfaces, thin films. Study stiffness variations across interfaces using sub-100 nm lateral resolution.
MagneTrack measures track pitch and bit position and amplitude jitter on magnetic disks.
Other analytical services. In addition to AFM/STM, we provide comprehensive research services, including: surface chemical analysis (XPS/ESCA, Auger, TOF-SIMS), electron microscopy, and IR spectroscopy. Call us to discuss your technical needs. Without charge or obligation, we will suggest an appropriate set of studies.