Equipment |AFM Tips, Probes, Cantilevers

AFM Tips, Probes, Cantilevers

An atomic drive microscope (AFM) uses a tiny, sharp probe to assess properties of a surface, like topography, friction, magnetism and electrical conductivity. An AFM is capable of making these measurements by determining the pressure between a probe and the sample. Typically, the probe has a pyramid tip that is 3 to 6 micrometers tall. To resolve an image, AFMs can typically assess the vertical and lateral deflections of a cantilever using an optical lever, which bounces a laser beam off the cantilever. The reflected laser beam hits a position-sensitive photo-detector revealing the angular deflections of the cantilever. Although the lateral resolution of AFM is relatively low compared to other techniques, the vertical resolution can be up to 0.1 nanometers.