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User-Friendly Asylum AFM Can Be Programmed to Operate Unattended with Innovative Software

Published on October 11, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (AFM/SPM), provides its full-function MFP-3D and Cypher Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs) with superior capabilities which require no programming to perform advanced imaging and measurements. For more advanced, automated, and out-of-the-box experiments, Asylum also provides a user-driven programming language called IGOR.

MacroBuilder screen shot showing the Pallette of available ‘Modules’ from which the user can select to create a ‘Macro’ to automate the Cypher or MFP-3D AFM. Over 50 Modules are currently available with more being added.

While programming can be a daunting task for the novice, our new MacroBuilder interface allows users to easily implement IGOR customization like a pro - without writing any code - by simply dragging MacroBuilder "Modules" together to form Macros that can automate many measurements and analyses and be saved for repeated use.

Each Module performs a specific operation, such as moving the tip to a position, collecting thermal data, or displaying the next saved force plot. Automation can range from simple tasks where the user might want to make a sequence of measurements − say take a series of images with different setpoints or a series of force curves at different positions on a sample − to more sophisticated procedures where the MacroBuilder software makes intelligent decisions; for example, MacroBuilder can decide to change subsequent measurement routines depending on the outcome of previous experiments.

An additional benefit is that automated data acquisition can vastly improve throughput and even increase repeatability by removing arbitrariness from the imaging and measurement process. The options are virtually limitless with over 50 Modules included with the Asylum software and more being actively added.

MacroBuilder comes standard in the Asylum Research software at no additional cost to the user. No other AFM system offers this kind of customizability and automation, another example of the power and flexibility of Asylum Research AFMs.

Commented Roger Proksch, President of Asylum Research, "MacroBuilder is a major advancement for automating AFM experiments. We expect it will revolutionize the way researchers work by allowing our users to run experiments completely unattended, including decision-making by the software based on pre-set 'if-then' instructions. It has already made big changes in the way I use our AFMs - I am really excited to see what our users do with it."

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