MikroMasch APM Probes For Scanning Probe Microscopes
MikroMasch APM Probes For Scanning Probe Microscopes

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MikroMasch supplies a wide range of AFM probes, calibration gratings and other accessories for scanning probe microscopes. General applications include topography imaging, materialsensitive contrast, and researches of conductive and magnetic properties of materials.

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CONTACT MODE

Contact mode AFM is mainly used to image hard surfaces when the presence of lateral forces is not expected to modify the morphological features. In the first AFM applications, the contact mode studies were aimed on getting high-resolution results and, particularly, achieving molecular and atomic resolution on crystalline surfaces such as mica, Au (111), salt crystals, chalcogenides of transition metals, polymer crystals, organic layers, etc. Height, deflection (error signal) and lateral force images of these compounds showed molecular and atomic-scale periodical patterns corresponding to the crystallographic lattices of the samples. The first commercial AFM probes were made of Si3N4 and have triangular cantilevers with pyramidal tips and opening apex angle of 60 – 70 degrees.

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Ambient conditions
HQ:CSC probes for contact mode
HQ:CSC17/Al BS

Under liquid
Probes with stable reflective coating
HQ:NSC18/Cr-Au BS

In aggressive liquid media
Probes with chemically stable coating
HQ:CSC17/Cr-Au

TAPPING MODE

Tapping mode is a type of an amplitude modulation (AM) technique, in which large-amplitude vibrations of the probe are applied for imaging. It allows for measurements to be made at ambient conditions. When the oscillating probe hits the sample, its short-time interactions with minimal shear are less destructive than the tip-sample forces in contact mode.

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Robust samples in air
HQ:NSC probes with high spring constant
HQ:NSC15/Al BS

Soft, weakly-adhering, or fragile, samples in air
HQ:NSC probes with medium spring constant
HQ:NSC14/Al BS

Near-liquid samples in air
HQ:NSC probes with medium spring constant
HQ:NSC19/Al BS

High-resolution in air
Hi’Res-C probes with medium spring constant
Hi’Res-C14/Cr-Au

Under liquid (water)
Probes with resonance frequency 50-70 kHz

HQ:NSC18/Cr-Au BS

Under aggressive liquid medium
Probes with resonance frequency 50-70 kHz having chemically inert coating
HQ:NSC18/Cr-Au

HIGH RESOLUTION

Real-space visualization of atomic- and molecular-scale structures has always attracted researchers, and they welcomed the invention of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) in 1981. STM images of many crystalline compounds revealed their atomic and molecular arrangements as well as various single-atom defects. STM applications, however, were limited due to requirement of sample conductivity. Therefore, atomic force microscopy (AFM), which can be applied to any kinds of samples, became the leading scanning probe method.

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Contact Mode

Hi’Res-C probes with low spring constant
Hi’Res-C19/Cr-Au

Non-contact mode

Hi-Res-C probes with high resonance frequency and large spring constant
Hi’Res-C15/Cr-Au

Tapping mode – Samples of medium hardness
Hi’Res-C probe with medium spring constant
Hi’Res-C14/Cr-Au

Tapping mode – Soft samples
Hi’Res-C probe with low spring constant

Hi’Res-C19/Cr-Au

LONG SCANNING

There are many AFM applications where the scan size exceeds 10 µm while characteristic size of the surface features is larger than 30 nm. For these applications, the lateral resolution is of less importance compared to other characteristics of AFM probes such as mechanical durability and ability of contamination. Furthermore, many AFM applications require blunt tips to allow quantitative measurements of various physical properties of the sample (friction, indentation, adhesion).

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Probes with four different cantilevers
HQ:XSC18/Hard/Al BS

ELECTRIC

AFM is capable of mapping different electric properties of materials to topography images. These data can be used for analysis of the structure and composition of heterogeneous samples, as well as for quantitative characterization of individual grains or defects on surface.

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Probes with four different cantilevers
HQ:XSC18/Hard/Al BS

MAGNETIC

As the feature size of disk surfaces in magnetic recording continues to decrease and the head hovers just 50 nm above the disk surface, there is an increasing need to ensure planar and contaminant-free surfaces. AFM can be employed to check the surface for defects as well as contamination. The mapping of magnetic forces to topography AFM scans can be used to characterize the domain structure of magnetic materials, as well as to visualize information bits recorded to magnetic media.

The AFM technique used for the characterization of the magnetic field distribution over a sample surface is known as magnetic force microscopy (MFM). This is a two-pass mode technique in which the surface topography is measured in tapping mode during the first pass and magnetic forces are mapped on the second pass with respect to the topography data.

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ORDERING INFORMATION

Probes with four different cantilevers
HQ:XSC18/Hard/Al BS

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