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Asylum research MFP 3D atomic force microscopy system AFM

The atomic force microscope (AFM) is a non-optical imaging instrument that allows 3D topographical measurements and physical properties investigations of a surface in contact with a very sharp probe. Typical contact radius of an AFM probe is in the order of few tens of nanometers.
The magnification rates attainable by AFM can reach 100,000,000X in the horizontal and vertical axies and its sensors can detect PicoNewtons interaction forces.

The AFM applications range from the material sciences: nanostructures and polymeric materials imaging, electrostatic, magnetic and chemical force microscopy through to life sciences: DNA imaging and cell adhesion.

The facilities at ANFF-Q Node will cover all major fields of atomic force microscopy from material to life sciences. The Asylum Research MFP-3D, the JPK’s Nanowizard® II and the WITec Alpha 300 AFM combination together create a unique configuration in Australia. The WITec Alpha 300 AFM is capable to perform pulsed force microscopy in combination with Confocal Raman spectroscopy.

Examples of use

  • Synthesized block-copolymer designed to encapsulate bone prostheses. AFM can be used to create 3D topographic images of the polymer film, roughness analysis, adhesive force maps, interaction force curves or phase images obtained in air or/and fluid.
  • For microfluidic devices the feature dimensions and surface characteristics are critical to the device design. AFM can provide 3D and 2D topographic images of a device together with cross sections and roughness analysis.
  • Patterned glass substrates are fabricated for controlled cell deposition and culture. AFM can be used to create 3D and 2D topographic images of the patterned substrate and adhesive force maps of interactions between the cells and the desired areas.

Fabrication step: Characterisation
Function: Surface - thin films
Location: University of Queensland
Purpose: AFM built on a Nikon inverted microscope. Used to investigate surfaces materials and take quantitative nanoscale measurements.
Material systems: Organic, inorganic and biological
Node: Queensland
Scale/volume: 100x100um topographical maps
Specifications/resolution: Subnanometre resolution in Z kelvin force probe/ adhesion and stiffnees maps, conductivity maps and single molecule spectroscopy