Extend the Resolution of Optical Microscopes

The Nanosurf LensAFM is an atomic force microscope that picks up where optical microscopes and profilometers reach their resolution limits. It is mounted like a normal objective lens, thus extending the resolution and measuring capabilities of these instruments. The LensAFM not only provides 3D surface topography information, but can also be used to analyze various physical properties of a measurement sample.

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Seamless Integration

In an ever-increasing number of situations, researchers are looking to combine optical and atomic force microscopy techniques. The ease of use, screening capability, and minimal sample preparation requirements of optical microscopes are almost unparalleled. However, when the resolution of a 100x objective is not sufficient to examine small features beyond the instrument's resolution, the LensAFM comes into play. Its exceptionally small design and clever mounting mechanism mean you only need to rotate the turret on your optical microscope or profilometer and run the scan.


Enhance Your Optical Microscopy with AFM for Advanced Insights

Since the resolution of optical microscopy is limited by the wavelength of light, there is a barrier in the resolution you can achieve with your optical system. In an ever-increasing number of applications, this calls for the combination of optical and atomic force microscopy. In addition, AFM overcomes problems characterizing transparent samples or samples otherwise difficult to assess optically. But not only the coarse topography of a sample is of interest: AFM also allows knowledge of other material properties to be acquired, e.g. surface roughness, hardness variations, magnetism, or electrical conductance/resistance.

Image: Optical images (left) and AFM topography image (right) of a defect in a hard-coated metal surface.


defect in a hard-coated metal surface

Precision Mounting

Featuring a quick-release mechanism, the LensAFM is easily mounted and unmounted from the turret. Its kinematic mounting guarantees replacement with better than 10 µm accuracy. Furthermore, alignment grooves on the chip mount ensure that the tip of the next cantilever is within 4 µm of the same position, allowing you to find the same feature again, even after a cantilever exchange.

Time-Saving Features

The LensAFM not only enhances the precision of measurements but also saves time. Thanks to the alignment grooves, there's no need to perform a laser alignment on the cantilever, which streamlines the process and saves additional time. This makes the LensAFM an invaluable tool in any research setting that requires the detailed analysis provided by atomic force microscopy.


Workflow Efficiency

The LensAFM integrates perfectly into your existing workflow. Once mounted on your optical microscope's turret – just like a regular objective lens – you can screen the sample with optical methods to find areas of interest. Subsequently, these areas of interest are easily found again using the integrated 8x optical lens, and then you can perform your AFM measurement for higher resolution 3D information. This approach allows you to work in the way you are used to but with a significant boost in resolution and capabilities.

LensAFM on Zeiss (mounting)

Dr. Paul S. Keatley, University of Exeter

"The unique combination of compact design, optical access, and intuitive operation of the LensAFM made it the perfect platform for our instrument development. We believe that much of the success of our project has been achieved through the excellent communication that we have enjoyed between ourselves, Nanosurf, their UK distributor Windsor Scientific, and AFM probe manufacturer Nanosensors. We now look forward to future developments with the LensAFM to optically probe magnetic materials deep into the nanoscale."


Read Dr. Keatley's full statement

LensAFM Features


Mountable on virtually any optical microscope or 3D optical profilometer


Sample positioning using the optical microscope’s position manipulators

Optical View

Equipped with an 8x objective lens for a clear view of sample and cantilever

Large Z-Range

The large Z-range allows measurement of high structures

Automatic Cantilever Approach

Bring your sample into optical focus and the LensAFM does the rest

Easy to Use

From imaging to electrical properties and spectrocopy

LensAFM Imaging Modes

Standard imaging modes

  • Static Force Mode
  • Lateral Force Mode
  • Dynamic Force Mode (Tapping Mode)
  • Phase Imaging Mode

Electrical properties

  • Conductive AFM (C-AFM)
  • Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM)
  • Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)

Mechanical properties

  • Force Spectroscopy 
  • Force Modulation
  • Force Mapping

Lithography and Nanomanipulation

Available Mounting Adapters


BF RMS W20.32 x 0.706, 45 mm


DF M27 x 0.75, 45 mm


DF RMS W26x0.706, 45mm


M25x0.75, 45 mm


M25x0.75, 60 mm


M32x0.75, 45 mm


M32x0.75, 60 mm


RMS W26x0.706, 95 mm

Nanosurf C3000 Software

The control software for Nanosurf AFMs is an intuitive platform made for performing your AFM measurements efficiently and easily. Our software engineers are constantly developing and implementing new features and enhancements to further improve the user experience. We regularly publish new and improved versions, which you can download for free.
  • Established software solution for all Nanosurf AFM systems
  • Automatic, parameter-free frequency tuning based on cantilever characteristics
  • Distance and surface roughness measurement tools
  • Automated deflection sensitivity calibration and Force Spectroscopy wizard
  • Easy to learn for novice users, all the flexibility for the expert user
  • Instrument control is fully scriptable
  • Free lifetime updates
Learn more

Download the LensAFM Brochure

The PDF brochure includes details on the LensAFM's technology, application examples for different areas of interest and system specifications.

Download Brochure

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Interested in LensAFM?

Get to know the LensAFM! Reach out to us to discuss your application with one of our seasoned AFM experts, to get a budgetary quote or schedule a product demonstration or exploratory meeting. 

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LensAFM on Zeiss (mounting)