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Scanning Probe Microscopy

The Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) Facility provides nanometer-scale characterization of materials surface and related physical properties by using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM), Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM), Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), Piezoresponse Microscopy (PFM),  Surface Potential Microscopy (PeakForce KPFM), PeakForce Tunneling AFM (PF-TUNA) and Quantitative Nanomechanical Property Mapping (PF-QNM), etc. 
It can provide three-dimensional high contrast topographic images with sub-nanometer resolution in air routinely, including line width, grain size, pitch and depth, roughness measurements, sectioning of surfaces, power spectral density, particle analysis, surface defects, and pattern recognition, etc. Depending on the interaction of scanning probe and sample surface, a variety of surface physical properties can be measured in addition to surface morphology, such as electrical, magnetic, and nanomechanical properties. 


  1. Brucker Dimension ICON SPM
    Bruker Dimension Icon® Atomic Force Microscope is equipped with proprietary ScanAsyst® automatic image optimization technology, which enables easier, faster, and more consistent results.
    Material Mapping:
  2. Dimension 3100 SPM system
    The Digital Instruments Nanoscope IIIa Dimension 3100 SPM system can provide high resolution, 3D images for a large variety of materials, such as nanoparticles, polymers, DNA, semiconductor thin films, magnetic media, optics and other advanced nanostructures.
    MFM image mode can scan samples in external magnetic fields, which is useful for in-situ imaging magnetic domain structures and magnetic switch behavior. The available magnetic fields using permanent magnets can be applied perpendicular (± 0.25 T) and/or parallel (± 0.35 T) to the sample surface. 
  3. EnviroScope Atomic Force Microscope (ESCOPE)

    The Digital Instruments EnviroScope combines AFM imaging with environmental controls and hermetically sealed sample chamber to perform Contact Mode and TappingMode atomic force microscopy in air, vacuum, or a purged gas, as well as a heating environment. With advanced environmental capabilities, users can observe sample reactions to a variety of complex environmental conditions while scanning.