Surface Analysis of a Butterfly Wing with AFM

By Staff Writers

Topics Covered

Optical Microscopy vs. Atomic Force Microscopy
P100 AFM
About Ardic Instruments


In recent years, biologists and engineers have shown significant interest in obtaining functional properties from nano-sized structures in plants and animals.

For instance, the natural long-range ordered photonic structures on the wings of butterflies have been extensively analyzed for their role in iridescence and color. These photonic structures have been mimicked in innovative display technologies like the Qualcomm Mirasol and extrapolated for engineering purposes

Optical Microscopy vs. Atomic Force Microscopy

However, such nano-sized structures cannot be observed through traditional optical microscopy. In scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), a thin conductive layer needs to be deposited and the sample has to be placed in a vacuum. This environment usually modifies the biological surface’s physical properties.

In contrast, atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides an optimal method for the analysis, measurement, and imaging of surfaces at this scale.

P100 AFM

By simplifying the setup and scanning process, the P100 AFM designed by Ardic Instruments enables engineers and biologists to instantly achieve highly detailed three-dimensional (3D images) with the least amount of training.

Figure 1. 15um x 15um AFM topography scan of a butterfly wing

Figure 2. 5um x 5um AFM topography scan of a butterfy wing

With a sub-nanometer Z resolution, the P100 can be utilized for high-resolution measurement and imaging. The integrated open-loop and low-noise scanner allows for fast and effective experiments up to 15µm by 15µm. The novel astigmatic optical design produces a small 0.56µm laser spot size, which allows users to experiment with compact and faster AFM cantilevers.

In addition, the P100 features a PSX control software, which is highly intuitive and enables users to complete experiments with minimal training. The one-click scan feature automates the setup and scan process, allowing users to achieve high quality scan results easily and quickly. Moreover, the integrated scan library management feature simplifies the flagging of scan data and enables users to easily export or delete scans.

About Ardic Instruments

Ardic Instruments is an analytical equipment manufacturer aiming to serve the global scientific community with the best customer experience possible. Through a transparent, accessible, and community-driven approach, Ardic Instruments fosters a direct channel of communication between the end-user and the manufacturer.

Ardic Instruments produces atomic force microscopes, MEMS analyzers, and label-free molecular diagnostic platforms for both academic and industrial applications.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Ardic Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Ardic Instruments.

Date Added: Oct 3, 2013 | Updated: Oct 4, 2013
Ask A Question

Do you have a question you'd like to ask regarding this article?

Leave your feedback