Atomic Force Microscopy

Scanning Probe Microscopy techniques are used for studying the surface properties of materials from the atomic to the micron level. Because of its unprecedented 3-D resolution, the application of SPM techniques are very diverse and continue to evolve in wide variety of disciplines, including fundamental surface sciences, material sciences, biological applications, and many more.

The two main SPM techniques associated with the PicoSPM instrument (Molecular Imaging Inc.) at the SSSC are atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM). AFM experiments may be done in either contact mode or alternating-contact modes (both acoustic and magnetic modes are available), while STM experiments can be done in either constant current mode or constant z-mode.

Available Modes of Operation

The SSSC has purchased additional instrumental components.

PicoSPM Instrument Components

Isolation Chamber
Acoustic and vibration isolation chamber for high resolution work

AFM Medium Scanner, AFM Small Scanner, STM Small Scanner

MAC Mode Controller
Operates both AAC and MAC modes of AFM
Simultaneous amplitude/phase imaging reveals differences in surface adhesion and viscosity

Pulsed Force Mode AFM
Simultaneously imaging of topography, local adhesion and stiffness

PicoStat Controller
Accurate potential/current control of electrodes
Use AFM (all modes) or STM mode to image samples

Environmental Chamber
Control the humidity and atmosphere over the sample

Heating/Cooling Sample Stages
Study samples at variable temperatures (-30 C to +250 C)

Olympia Inverted Optical Microscope
Reduce "blind fishing" for molecules
Locate molecules of interest with optical setup, and then move the AFM tip over it

CCD Camera Attachment
Locate relatively large particles on surface
Save pictures of the particles that were imaged using video capture software

Flow-through Cells
Change buffer during imaging. Useful for studying conformational changes as a function of ion, protein, and other chemical concentrations

PicoSPM & AccessoriesView SpecificationsBook this InstrumentRelated Publications

©2003 Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre
Design by Open Design & Publishing