New GetStarted Feature on Asylum Research AFMs Calculates Optimum Parameters for Easier, More Productive Imaging

Researchers sometimes struggle to get good images using atomic force microscopy (AFM) because of the complexity of optimizing imaging parameters. The new GetStarted™ feature on Oxford Instruments Asylum Research AFMs eliminates this challenge, making AFM operation much simpler and more productive.

MDMO-PPV:PCBM polymer/fullerene. Solar cell phase data overlaid onto topography, 2 µm scan. Image courtesy of P. Cox, M. Glaz, S. Vorpahl, D. Ginger, University of Washington

GetStarted guides users through initial setup and then automatically calculates optimal imaging parameters before the AFM even starts scanning. This ensures that you get high quality data from the first scan line and avoids the likelihood of tip and sample damage that can occur while optimizing parameters, whether manually or using one of the several auto-optimization features released in recent years.

Notably, while some AFM companies have abandoned tapping mode in pursuit of ease of use, GetStarted uses conventional tapping mode and does not require special probes. Tapping mode is by far the most widely used AFM imaging mode. It remains the gold standard because it is extremely gentle, enables high speed imaging when combined with small cantilevers, and is the basis of many other modes that go beyond topography to measure nanoelectrical and nanomechanical properties of the sample.

“GetStarted will help all users of Asylum AFMs, from novices to pros, get great results,” said Nicholas Geisse, Product Line Manager for the MFP-3D AFM family.

“Until now, the prevailing opinion was that tapping mode was too complex to automate, but we saw that tapping mode offers too many unique advantages to abandon it. Our scientists discovered universal principles that can guide the selection of optimal imaging parameters including free amplitude, setpoint, scan rate and gains. Using that knowledge, we found that we can consistently get excellent imaging from the very first scan lines. There’s no waiting for optimization and the settings will not drift as an algorithm continuously searches for slightly better parameters. GetStarted delivers simple operation without compromising high performance, just as you would expect from an Asylum Research AFM.”

GetStarted is included with all new Asylum Research MFP-3D Infinity and Cypher family AFMs. It is also available as a no-cost upgrade to all current owners of these AFMs. Additional information, including a video of GetStarted in action, may be found on our website at: www.oxford-instruments.com/GetStarted

About Oxford Instruments Asylum Research

Oxford Instruments Asylum Research is the technology leader in atomic force microscopy for both materials and bioscience research. Asylum Research AFMs are used for a wide variety of nanoscience applications in material science, physics, polymers, chemistry, tribology, biomaterials, and bioscience, including emerging applications in energy storage and generation, low-dimensional materials,
and biophysics.

Asylum’s MFP-3D family of AFMs includes four different models that span a wide range of performance, applications, and budgets. The new MFP-3D Infinity is the flagship of the family, offering the highest performance, simplest operation, and widest range of capabilities. The MFP-3D Classic, the original MFP-3D offered for mid-range budgets, provides high performance and versatility that exceeds most AFMs. The MFP-3D Origin is the most affordable model, offering the same performance as the MFP-3D Classic with many accessories and an easy upgrade path to advanced capabilities. Finally, the MFP-3D-BIO integrates with an inverted light microscope to support biological and photonic applications.

Cypher is the highest resolution fast scanning AFM and is available in two configurations, the Cypher S and the Cypher ES Environmental AFM. They provide low-drift closed loop imaging for the most accurate images and measurements possible today, >20X faster imaging with small cantilevers, exceptional ease of use, and integrated thermal, acoustic and vibration control – all in a small footprint. Cypher AFMs routinely achieve higher resolution than other AFMs, as demonstrated by single point atomic defects in crystal lattices and imaging of the DNA double helix. The Cypher ES adds gas and liquid environmental control, temperature control, and enhanced chemical compatibility to the extraordinary performance of the
Cypher S.

In addition to the best AFMs, Asylum Research also offers unmatched customer support that is free for the lifetime of the AFM and industry-leading warranties for the lowest cost of ownership of any AFM. Asylum has sales, applications and service staff in offices in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, France, China and Taiwan and global distribution.

About Oxford Instruments plc

Oxford Instruments designs, supplies and supports high-technology tools and systems with a focus on research and industrial applications. Innovation has been the driving force behind Oxford Instruments' growth and success for over 50 years, and its strategy is to effect the successful commercialisation of these ideas by bringing them to market in a timely and customer-focused fashion.

The first technology business to be spun out from Oxford University, Oxford Instruments objective is to be the leading provider of new generation tools and systems for the research and industrial sectors with a focus on nanotechnology. Its key market sectors include nano-fabrication and nano-materials. The company’s strategy is to expand the business into the life sciences arena, where nanotechnology and biotechnology intersect.

This involves the combination of core technologies in areas such as low temperature, high magnetic field and ultra high vacuum environments; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; x-ray, electron, laser and optical based metrology; atomic force microscopy; optical imaging; advanced growth, deposition and etching.

Oxford Instruments aims to pursue responsible development and deeper understanding of our world through science and technology. Its products, expertise, and ideas address global issues such as energy, environment, security and health.

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