Extend the resolution of your optical microscope
Extend the resolution of your optical microscope
Mountable on virtually any optical microscope or 3D optical profilometer
Extend your resolution capabilities by a factor of up to 100
Combine optical and AFM techniques
The Nanosurf LensAFM is an atomic force microscope that continues 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 be used to analyze various physical properties of a measurement sample as well.
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.
Perform AFM measurements with the instruments you are used to
In an ever increasing number of situations, researchers want to combine optical and atomic force microscopy techniques. The ease of use, screening capability and (lack of) sample preparation requirements of optical microscopes is almost unparalleled. However, sometimes a 100x objective is not enough and you would like to have a closer look at some small features that go beyond the resolution of the instrument. In a regular laboratory setting you would require two dedicated instruments and it would be necessary to transfer the sample from one device to the other. With the LensAFM this is not the case. With its exceptionally small design and clever mounting mechanism all you need to do is rotate the turret on your optical microscope or profilometer and run the scan.
The LensAFM integrates perfectly into your workflow: upon mounting it on your optical microscope's turret — like a regular objective lens — you screen the sample with normal objectives to find areas of interest. Subsequently, the area of interest is readily found again using the integrated 8x optical lens, and you can then perform your AFM measurement to get higher resolution 3D information: work in the way you are used to, but with a huge boost in resolution and capabilities.
The LensAFM has a quick release mechanism to easily mount and unmount the LensAFM to and from the turret. The kinematic mounting guarantees that you will replace it with better than 10 µm accuracy. Alignment grooves on the chip mount additionally ensure that the tip of the next cantilever is within 4 µm of the same position allowing to find the same feature again, even after a cantilever exchange. And thanks to these alignment grooves, you don't even have to perform a laser alignment on the cantilever, saving additional time.
The LensAFM brings all these measurement capabilities to your optical microscope, without rethinking of your whole workflow. Watch the video to see for yourself how easy it is to boost your capabilities.
Boost the capabilities of your optical microscope
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 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.
LensAFM imaging modes
This overview shows which modes the instrument is capable of. Some modes may require additional components or software options. For details, please contact us.
Standard imaging modes
Static Force Mode
Dynamic Force Mode (Tapping Mode)
Phase Imaging Mode
Magnetic Force Microscopy
Conductive AFM (C-AFM)
Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM)
Scanning Spreading Resistance Microscopy (SSRM)
Other measurement modes
Lithography and Nanomanipulation
|LensAFM scan head specifications|
|Maximum scan range (XY)(1,2)||70 µm|
|Maximum Z-range(1)||14 µm|
|XY-linearity mean error||< 1.2%|
|Z-measurement noise level (RMS, static mode)(3)||typ. 350 pm (max. 500 pm)|
|Z-measurement noise level (RMS, dynamic mode)(3)||typ. 90 pm (max. 150 pm)
|Automatic sample approach||Built-in motorized parallel approach with 4.5 mm travel|
|Cantilever alignment||Automatic self-adjustment through alignment chip technology|
|Sample observation(4)||Built-in 8× objective lens with 45 or 60 mm parfocal distance(5)|
|AFM measurement repositioning precision||±10 µm (including cantilever exchange, scan head remounting and approach)|
|(1) Manufacturing tolerance: ±15%
(2) Maximum scan range at 45° rotation of the AFM scan direction
(3) Measured using the C3000i controller, with active vibration isolation on a stable desk, and in a low-noise laboratory environment (no air conditioning)
(4) Adapters with a correct parfocal distance are available for the different optical microscope types
|C3000i controller — Core hardware specifications|
|X/Y/Z-axis scan and position controller||3× 24-bit DAC (200 kHz)|
|X/Y/Z-axis position measurement||1× 24-bit ADC (200 kHz)|
|Excitation & modulation outputs||2× 16-bit DAC (20 MHz)|
|Analog signal input bandwidth||0–5 MHz|
|Main input signal capturing||2× 16-bit ADC (20 MHz)
2× 24-bit ADC (200 kHz)
|Additional user signal outputs||1× 24-bit DAC (200 kHz)|
|Digital synchronization||Sync Out 1/2: digital outputs, signal range 0/5V TTL pulses|
|FPGA module and embedded processor||ALTERA FPGA,
80 MHz, 256 MB RAM,
|Communication||USB 2.0 Hi-Speed to PC and scan head interface|
|System clock||Internal quarts (10 MHz) or external clock|
|Power||90–240 V AC, 70 W, 50/60Hz|
|Width||min. 28 μm|
|Length||min. 225 μm or XY corrected|
|Reflective coating||Required on complete cantilever|
|Liquid measurements||Not possible|
|Resonance frequency dynamic mode||15 kHz to 350 kHz|
|Cantilever shape||Single rectangular cantilevers only|
|Chip thickness||300 μm|