Atomic Force Microscope – MFP-3D Infinity™

5 Great Reasons to Attain an Infinity AFM

Gain a research advantage by choosing an Asylum Research AFM

The Asylum Research MFP-3D Infinity™ is the most enhanced AFM in the MFP-3D family. It offers the widest range of capabilities, high performance and an improved system architecture designed for future expansion. The MFP-3D Infinity makes regular imaging tasks easy and fast to complete, while continuing to provide the flexibility and power to support the most ambitious research projects.

Atomic steps imaged on gypsum

Atomic steps imaged on gypsum. Surface reconstruction was imaged in tapping mode in air after brief exposure to water. Z sensor topography data is shown, 45 μm scan.

  1. Stunning high performance for a large sample AFM
  2. Easy to use without sacrificing flexibility and capability
  3. Productive and robust - thrives in busy labs
  4. Broadest spectrum of modes and accessories transforms ideas into results
  5. Best customer support in the AFM industry

Big Performance on Large Samples

Reach farther into the nanoscale with greater resolution performance

Infinity outperforms every other large-sample AFM

Superior mechanical stability - Noise floor is 33% lower than any other large-sample AFM

The stability of the mechanical path between the sample and tip sets the limit on AFM resolution. The unique tripod support of the Infinity head makes this path stiffer and shorter than other large-sample AFMs. Infinity attains a noise floor of <20 pm - at least 33% lower than other large-sample AFMs.

Atomic lattice resolution

Atomic lattice resolution on calcite - imaged in tapping mode in water, 8 nm scan.

Lowest-noise control electronics

Electronic noise sources have been carefully identified and then eliminated. Performance is enhanced by keeping the most critical electronics close to the AFM. Careful electronic design prevents periodic artifacts that could be confused with real features or obscure fine details.

Low-noise, high-stability position sensors

Infinity employs Asylum’s latest generation of proprietary linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) position sensors. These sensors have greater stability compared to strain gauge and capacitive sensors and do not need routine calibration, as well as providing exceptional low-noise performance.

Excellent acoustic and vibration isolation

Infinity includes a custom-engineered acoustic isolation hood and high performance active vibration isolation. Besides improving performance, the side-swinging door provides a safe, ergonomic, user experience, while the integrated accessory expansion module bay decreases clutter and allows accessories to be used without compromising isolation.

Simple to Use. Dependable and Robust.

An AFM that thrives in busy research groups and multi-user facilities


  • Supports both advanced and basic imaging techniques
  • Makes switching between modes simple and fast
  • Automatically configures the software for the selected mode


ModeMaster helps you get a quick start. Only a few of the many modes are shown here.


  • Calibrates the cantilever sensitivity and spring constant without touching the tip to the sample, keeping it undamaged and clean
  • Automatic process is fast, accurate and simple
  • Helps make AFM results more quantitative and more consistent


  • Automatically sets optimal tapping mode parameters including drive amplitude, setpoint, scan rate and gains
  • Predictive algorithm is more robust than iterative optimization approaches that diverge to slow scan rates and high forces
  • Pre-scan optimization generates high-quality data from the very first scan line - no tip or sample damage while the system searches for appropriate gain and setpoint values

DNA on mica - imaged in air using tapping mode with GetStarted, 2 μm scan.

Robust construction. Dependable performance.

  • Built to survive the rigors of daily use and multiple users in central microscopy facilities and various other multi-user labs.
  • Just because it's precision instrumentation doesn't mean it has to be delicate. There are no piezo tubes or other components that are easily broken by occasional mishandling.
  • Asylum AFMs do not need routine scanner calibration.
  • Asylum AFMs have a remarkably low rate of failures, even throughout a long lifetime of heavy usage.

Accessories that Expand Research Horizons

Go beyond ambient conditions — so many variables under user control

Accessories that meet the practical wants of real research applications

The MFP-3D Infinity accessories are carefully designed to provide unique capabilities while maintaining ease of use and AFM performance. Many have been designed in collaboration with customers to ensure they meet the practical requirements of real research applications.

Magnetic skyrmions in Co-based thin film pads

Magnetic skyrmions in Co-based thin film pads imaged with MFM under out-of-plane magnetic fields applied with the VFM3. Each pad is ~900 nm in diameter. Images courtesy of K. Bouzehouane, Unité Mixte de physique CNRS, Thales, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, France.

Temperature Control

  • PolyHeater™ – sealed cell heats samples up to 400 °C
  • BioHeater™ – coverslip-based heater for liquids, up to 80 °C
  • Petri Dish Heater – heats petri dishes up to 45 °C
  • CoolerHeater – sealed cell heats or cool from, -30° to 120 °C

External Driving Forces

  • Variable Field Module – apply in-plane or out-of-plane magnetic fields
  • High Voltage Field – apply up to ±150 V to the sample or tip
  • Probe Station – apply external electric signals to samples
  • NanoRack™ – tensile or compressive stress up to 80 N
  • Photovoltaic (PV) option – apply controlled, bottom-side illumination

Anodic oxidation on silicon

Anodic oxidation on silicon was used to print this “nano-lithograph” of Hokusai’s 19th century masterpiece The Great Wave off Kanagawa. The Humidity Cell was used to maintain optimal conditions. 30 μm scan.

Controlled Gas or Liquid Environments

  • Electrochemistry Cell – also available with heating
  • Fluid Cell Lite – operate in liquid without perfusion
  • Humidity Cell – sealed cell with humidity sensor
  • Electrical Closed Cell – control gas environment in sealed cell
  • Petri Dish Holder – minimizes evaporation from dish
  • Closed Fluid Cell – sealed cell allows gas and liquid perfusion
  • MicroFlow Cell – small volume fluid exchange

CdSe on indium tin oxide (ITO) imaged with conductive AFM, showing current on 3D topography. The PV option was used to irradiate the sample with 0.9 W/cm2 intensity light only during the middle of the scan, inducing the measured photocurrent (blue strip). 2 μm scan.

Most Powerful Tools for Quantitative Nanomechanics

Measure viscoelastic properties including both loss and storage moduli

There is no single best nanomechanical technique for each application.

The following are a few techniques from the Asylum Research NanomechPro™ Toolkit:

AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode

  • Tapping mode technique capable of measuring both the elastic storage modulus (E’) and the viscoelastic loss tangent - tan δ = E"/E’
  • Fast — same speed as regular tapping mode
  • Good for samples from 50 kPa to 300 GPa

Polypropylene (E’~2 GPa) - polystyrene (E’~3 GPa) blend

Polypropylene (E"~2 GPa) - polystyrene (E’~3 GPa) blend imaged using AM-FM mode. Elastic modulus is shown on 3D topography, 8 μm scan.

Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode

  • Good for samples from 1 GPa to 300 GPa
  • Contact mode technique that measures both storage modulus (E’) and loss modulus (E’’)

Titanium (E’~110 GPa) thin film on silicon (E’~160 GPa)

Titanium (E’~110 GPa) thin film on silicon (E’~160 GPa) imaged using Contact Resonance Mode. Elastic modulus is shown on 3D topography, 10 μm scan.

Fast Force Mapping Mode

  • Good for samples from 10 kPa to 100 GPa
  • Force-distance (F-D) curve mapping technique that operates at up to 300 Hz pixel rate
  • Captures both deflection and height sensor data for accurate measurement of the whole F-D curve
  • Captures every force curve in the image, with no hidden data manipulation or missing curves
  • Real-time and offline analysis models can be employed for calculating adhesion, modulus and other properties. Models are completely accessible by users for modification and verification.

Polystyrene (E’~3 GPa) - polycaprolactone (E’~350 MPa) blend

Polystyrene (E’~3 GPa) - polycaprolactone (E’~350 MPa) blend imaged with Fast Force Mapping Mode. Elastic modulus is shown on 3D topography, 4 μm scan.

Highest-Sensitivity Electrical Measurements

Unmatched range of nanoelectrical and electromechanical techniques

Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM)

  • Measures electrostatic force gradient

Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM)

  • Measures sample surface potential and work function

KPFM image

KPFM image of a carbon-impregnated polyolefin film, 3 μm scan.

Conductive AFM (CAFM)

  • Measures DC current from 1 pA to >10 μA

CAFM image

CAFM image of europium-doped ZnO sample, 2 μm scan. Sample courtesy of the Krishnan Lab, Univ. of Washington.

Fast Current Mapping Mode

  • Measures current in Fast Force Mapping Mode to lower lateral forces
  • Collects complete current vs. Z curves at each pixel

Scanning Microwave Impedance Microscopy (sMIM)

  • Measures both conductivity and permittivity in contact or Fast Force Mapping Mode
  • Operates on semiconductor, insulating and conductive materials

sMIM DC capacitance image

sMIM DC capacitance image of an SRAM sample, 30 μm scan.

Piezoresponse Force Microscopy (PFM)

  • High-sensitivity and crosstalk-free measurements
  • Higher sensitivity is allowed by operating at high voltages (up to ±150 V) and at the tip-sample contact resonance frequency (DART Mode)

PFM amplitude image

PFM amplitude image of a lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMNT) film, 6 μm scan.

Electrochemical Strain Microscopy (ESM)

  • Probe electrochemical reactivity and ionic flows in energy generation materials and energy storage
  • Directly measures effect of ionic currents on mechanical strain

Precise, Ultra-Low Noise Closed-Loop Scanner

Z range >15 μm (>40 μm option)
Z sensor <35 pm noise
X and Y range 90 μm
X and Y sensors <150 pm noise

Low-Noise, High Bandwidth Optical Lever

Cantilever deflection sensing employs an inverted configuration (incident beam off-vertical) to dramatically lower interference from light reflected by the sample.

Light source Low-coherence infrared (860 nm) superluminescent diode, FDA/IEC Class 1M (Non-hazardous)

Detector bandwidth 7 MHz

DC detector noise <10 pm

High Resolution System Performance

AC height noise <20 pm
DC height noise <20 pm

Top-View Optics

Field of view Exceeds 1.5 × 2 mm
Resolution Better than 3 μm
Camera Color, 5 megapixel with digital pan and zoom

   Type Köhler with aperture and field diaphragms
   Source White LED
   Intensity Software controlled
   Coupling Multimode fiber, 600 μm core, SMA905 connector

Sample Stage

Sample thickness Up to 10 mm (up to 27 mm option)
Sample size Up to 80 mm diameter

Service and Support

Warranty Full two-year comprehensive warranty
Support No-charge technical support and expert applications support for the lifetime of the AFM

Acoustic and Vibration Isolation Enclosure

A custom enclosure completely incorporates both acoustic and vibration isolation, part of the Infinity controller electronics and the accessory expansion module bay.

Vibration isolation Active vibration isolation offers superior damping without the instability and compressed air needs of passive isolation tables.

Acoustic isolation Design provides effective isolation of acoustic noise in typical labs.

Ergonomics The door of the enclosure easily swings to the side in order to open and is reversible to accommodate various laboratory floor plans. A smaller access window allows users to reach into the enclosure in order to make adjustments.

Precise, Ultra-low Noise Closed-loop Scanner

Included Operating Modes

Contact mode; Dual AC™; Dual AC Resonance Tracking (DART); DART™ PFM, Electrostatic force microscopy (EFM); Force curve mode; Fluid imaging; Force mapping mode (force volume); Force modulation; Frequency modulation; Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM); Lateral force mode (LFM); Loss tangent imaging; Magnetic force microscopy (MFM); Nanolithography and nanomanipulation; Phase imaging; Piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM); Switching spectroscopy PFM; Tapping mode (AC mode); Tapping mode (AC mode) with Q control; Vector PFM.

Optional Operating Modes

AM-FM Viscoelastic Mapping Mode; Band Excitation; Conductive AFM (CAFM) with ORCA™ and Eclipse™ mode; Contact Resonance Viscoelastic Mapping Mode; Current mapping with Fast Force Mapping; Electrochemical Strain Microscopy (ESM); Fast Force Mapping Mode; High Voltage PFM; iDrive™ (magnetically actuated AC mode in liquid); Nanoscale Time Dependent Dielectric Breakdown (nanoTDDB); Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM); Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM); Ztherm™ Modulated Thermal Analysis.

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