AIST-NT SmartSPM 1000 Atomic Force Microscope

The 100% automated SmartSPM system that offers its cutting-edge technology of ultra-fast, metrological and high resolution measurements for the most advanced materials research at the nano scale in all AFM and STM modes.


With the SmartSPM the automated click-on-a-button laser-to-tip alignment sets researchers free from this routine operation. This feature also provides a high level of system adjustment reproducibility that doesn’t depend on operator’s experience. But this is just the beginning of all the automation built-in into the SmartSPM!

In the automatic mode the operator should only specify the main probe parameters and required scan area to let the SmartSPM perform the full system adjustment, engage the probe with the sample surface and start scanning. The minimal learning period as well as the very quick start of measurements (less than 5 minutes!) makes the SmartSPM a perfect solution for any multi-user facilities.

Test your cantilever before running measurements

Only with the SmartSPM it’s become possible to test cantilever’s reflective backside coating before starting any measurements by mapping the distribution of cantilever’s oscillation amplitude. In addition, after the mapping is done, the operator can manually choose the most appropriate position of the laser spot on the cantilever based on his specific measurement requirements.

Quickly find the right place on your sample

The combination of the motorized sample positioning in the horizontal plane and the high resolution top-view optics allows researchers to easily find the surface area where the further scanning is to be done. This combination is also powered by the calibrated software video grabbing, so the user can identify interesting locations on the sample surface and move the cantilever there by clicking on the video image on the computer screen. During this process there are no irritating blinking lights. The optical image remains absolutely clear, because the AFM laser is 1300 nm IR.

Break the software limits

For advanced users both the embedded scripting language (Lua) and DSP programming macro language are available. They allow the user to easily personalize and automate their SPM experience by extending the SmartSPM software with custom program extensions in such categories as scanning, force curves, nanolithography, high throughput screening (HTS) and more.

Resolution. Stability. Accuracy

Due to the combination of the low-noise registration system, unique scanner, advanced electronics and smart scanning procedures that incorporate over 100 years of combined SPM research experience, with AIST-NT’s SmartSPM users can perform unique measurements which are extremely difficult, if possible at all, for other SPM instruments.

The extra-safe and at the same time fast tip-sample engagement procedure makes it possible to protect even very sharp fragile tips from any possible damage. Due to the availability of the true non-contact scanning mode one can measure even the most delicate and mechanically sensitive samples. The unique smart scanning procedures allow the user to obtain high quality images on very challenging objects like 120 nm Ag nanoparticles, DNA or polymer lamellar structures.

Due to the very well designed and calculated construction of the AFM and the scanner, only AIST-NT’s instrument features such outstanding mechanical stability, which allows the user to get atomic resolution images with the same 100 micron scanner and at the same time to produce high quality images without any vibration isolation tables. This is of extreme importance for the integration of the AFM with the optical facilities on top of an optical table.

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