New Partnership Provides Quality Training Programs in Atomic Force Microscopy

Dalia Yablon, Ph.D. and Paul E. West, Ph.D, two leading experts in scanning probe/atomic force microscopy (SPM/AFM) with decades of experience between them, are teaming up to help de-mystify their field and make it more accessible to scientists and engineers.

Yablon, of SurfaceChar LLC, and West, of AFMWorkshop, Inc. are announcing a new partnership to provide quality training programs in AFM for professionals and students. The first two courses are two-day intensives in April 2015 in Norwood, Ma.15 miles from Boston, Ma. One course covers AFM for polymers, the other focuses on AFM for nanoparticles.

The new program's goal is to increase the number of individuals tapping into the technology, ultimately pushing forward advances in research and development by encouraging a wider group of skilled users and applications.

"Scanning probe/atomic force microscopy was invented only about 30 years ago, and we're really fortunate to be in an age when there's such a quick commercialization process that industry and academia can gain access to the instrumentation," says Yablon. "But, after a lot of development of the hardware, we felt like it was time to focus on how researchers can put these techniques to use in understanding material properties and behavior."  Yablon continued, "These applications-oriented courses are initially focusing on two important and popular areas – polymers and nanoparticles - where atomic force microscopy has excelled in yielding new insights and capabilities."

The courses combine lecture and labs, and are customized to accommodate users with any make or model of atomic force microscope (AFM), as well as researchers without AFM experience.

The first course, April 27-28, 2015, covers AFM to Characterize Polymers.  AFM yields an unmatched capacity to provide contrast with minimal sample preparation in polymer research. The ability to discriminate materials based on their mechanical properties, coupled with nanometer lateral resolution, makes AFM the method of choice to characterize a variety of polymer materials including blends and composites.

The second course, April 29-30, 2015 is AFM to Characterize Nanoparticles.  AFM allows for 3D characterization of nanoparticles with sub-nanometer resolution and provides powerful information on their size, distribution, geometries, and physical properties, such as magnetic fields. For more details visit:

With its 1986 invention, atomic force microscopy (AFM) is one of the newest members in the microscopy family with impressive atomic-scale resolution. Combining its unparalleled resolution with the ability to work in flexible environments and on any material, AFM's have become ubiquitous in characterization and microscopy labs as a must-have tool for nanoscale three-dimensional measurements of surfaces and their properties.


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