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Atomic Force Microscopes

The AFMs are located in room 045 of the ASTeCC building. It has a scanning area of 10 microns by 10 microns. They have atomic resolution and can function in Contact or Non-contact scanning modes. These microscopes are also capable of liquid cell viewing. Images can be stored via 3.5 inch floppy, USB memory cards, or CD-RW. Long term storage of images on the microscope hard drive is not advised. No printer is available.

CeNSE does not provide cantilevers. This system uses cantilevers common to Molecular Imaging, Veeco, DI, and other AFMS. Cantilevers can be ordered from:, and Recommended non contact catilevers are 300khz Al coated. Contact catilevers are also best if Al coated. If you are unsure what type you will be using or if it will be varied and intermittent the best value would be the all in one probe.


  • Can produce images as small as 1nm.
  • Provides a true 3d image of the surface.
  • Requires no vacuum or sample treatments that would irreversibly change the sample.

More Information

Using a laser, the deflection of a silicon tipped cnatilever is measured as it passes across a sample's surface. This information is then sent to a computer where the provided software compiles a topographical image of the sample. In static(contact) mode the tip remains in contact with the sample. In dynamic mode, changes in the cantilever's oscillation frequency due to tip-sample interactions are measured to form the topographical image without physically touching the sample.