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Instruments is your one source for a variety of AFM systems, probes, accessories,
and related nanoscience tools.
Products include the easy-to-use Nanosurf®
easyScan 2 AFM/STM and Nanosurf®
Mobile S SPMs, as well as a wide variety of AFM probes, AFM add-on accessories,
and post processing software for virtually any SPM system.
Service packages include detailed project reports containing digital images, interpretation of images, summary of findings, and description of experimental procedures.
Typical information that can be obtained using AFM includes: nanoscale surface roughness and structure for all types of materials; the morphology and texture of polymer blends; the size and structure of nanoparticles; the dispersion of nanoparticles in polymers and composites; the structure and thickness of surface films and functional coatings; and interface structure for fiber-reinforced composites and multi-layered materials.
Nanoscience Services provides unique sample preparation capabilities, such as cryomicrotomy, which allow AFM analyses of the internal structure of materials at nanometer spatial resolution, rivaling transmission-electron microscopy (TEM). In conjunction with AFM imaging, we utilize optical microscopy to give you a complete picture of your material, from micro- to nano-scale. And for extracting quantitative data from your materials, we have several image processing and analysis packages available.
Dynamic-force mode AFM
The sample surface is analyzed with dynamic-force mode AFM, also known as tapping or non-contact mode. Surface topography and phase lag signals are collected for each image and can be obtained at multiple magnifications (scan sizes) and/or at multiple locations on the sample surface. Standard silicon cantilevers with resonance frequencies ranging from 150 - 300 kHz are used.
Contact mode AFM
The sample surface is analyzed with contact mode AFM. Two data signals may be collected for each image, typically the surface topography and the deflection (error) signals. Images can be obtained at multiple magnifications (scan sizes) and/or at multiple locations on the sample surface. We use standard silicon nitride or contact-mode silicon cantilevers.
Specialty modes such as electric-force and force-modulation are available upon request and consultation.
Cryo-microtome sample preparation
This is a special sample preparation technique where a smooth surface is created by precision slicing of a material using a diamond knife. The sample and diamond knife are maintained at temperatures ranging from -140 °C to room temperature, depending on the type of material. The surface created by this technique is extremely smooth and generally reflects the internal structure of the material. This type of preparation is appropriate for polymers, rubbers, multi-layer films, epoxy-embedded particles, and more.
The sample is examined with a polarized light microscope under either reflected or transmitted light. Bright-field and dark-field modes are available. Images are collected using a high resolution digital camera at multiple magnifications (objective lenses) and/or multiple locations on the sample, depending on your needs.
Advanced image analysis
Includes complex image analysis procedures, such as image thresholding and particle counting. Requires the use of 3rd-party software such as SPIP or Fovea Pro.