LensAFM — AFM for optical microscopes

LensAFM - Extend the resolution of your upright microscope or 3D profilometer

Extend the resolution of your upright microscope or 3D profilometer

Perform AFM measurements within minutes with the instrument you are used to
Boost the capabilities of your optical microscope
Mounts on virtually any upright optical microscope or 3D optical profilometer

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.

Perform AFM measurements with the instrument 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.

Defects in a hard-coated metal surface
Defects in a hard-coated metal surface as observed through a 100× microscope objective lens (NA 0.9). The nature and exact structure remain unclear.
optical view
The same area as observed through the LensAFM‘s built-in 8× objective lens. The AFM cantilever is visible in the optical image and allows easy positioning of the sample before measurement.
AFm topography
AFM topography of the same defect recorded by the LensAFM. 3D data of the area clearly identify the defect as a hole in the coating layer, partially filled with debris.

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.

Easy mounting on virtually any upright optical microscope or 3D optical profilometer

The LensAFM mounts just like a standard objective lens, and is compatible with all commonly used optical microscopes and 3D profilometers (Zeiss, Olympus, Leica, Nikon, Mitutoyo) via the wide variety of mounting adapters available.

Zeiss/Olympus adapter
BF RMS W20.32 x 0.706, 45 mm
Zeiss adapter
DF M27 x 0.75, 45 mm
Olympus adapter
DF RMS W26x0.706, 45mm
Leica adapter
M25x0.75, 45 mm
Nikon adapter
M25x0.75, 60 mm
Leica adapter
M32x0.75, 45 mm
Nikon adapter
M32x0.75, 60 mm
Mitutoyo adapter
RMS W26x0.706, 95 mm

Want to know if the LensAFM fits your application?

Contact one of our application experts to discuss your needs!

The Nanosurf advantage

Easy to mount
Easy to operate

User feedback

  • Dr. Paul S. Keatley

    Dr. Paul S. Keatley

    The unique combination of compact design, optical access, and intuitive operation of the LensAFM made it the perfect platform for our instrument development

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