Atomic Force Microscope

Atomic force microscopy involves using a cantilever with a nanometer-scale tip to scan the specimen surface for local structure and properties.

The AIF just acquired a new Asylum MFP-3D classic Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The instrument comes with a variety of advanced capabilities, including variable magnetic field module for in- and out-of-plane measurements, a probe station adapter for concurrent 2- and 3-point probe electrical measurements, viscoelastic mapping mode, conductive AFM, and a closed fluid cell for measurement in gases or liquids. This instrumentation acquisition was enabled by the Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development (ORIED).

Strain-induced corkscrew pattern on MBE grown AlGaAs, 12 µm scan. Image courtesy of S. MacLaren, UIUC


Sapphire crystal following annealing at 1400°C leaving a clean surface with atomic steps (~3Å tall) and occasional defects, 12 µm scan. Image courtesy of S. MacLaren, UIUC


Block copolymer self-organized into a close-packed lattice of spherical microdomains, 16 µm scan. Image courtesy of Asylum research