Atomic Force Microscopy

Structural & Morphology Characterization (Scanning probe microscopy)

AFM is a surface sensitive technique permitting to obtain a microscopic image of the topography of a material surface. Typical lateral image sizes are within a range of only a few Nanometers to several 10 Micrometers, whereas height changes of less than a Nanometer may be resolved.

A fine tip attached to a cantilever is scanned across the material surface and enables to measure height changes via a laser that is reflected from the rear side of the cantilever onto a segmented photodiode. The position of a laser spot on the photodiode permits to track height changes as e.g. due to a nano-particle on the surface or an atomic terrace of a single crystal surface. A feedback loop controls the tip-surface distance and therefore ensures stable imaging conditions.

Different operation modes like contact or non-contact mode can be used to optimize the imaging conditions with highest lateral resolution on one hand and least sample interaction on the other hand.

Additional surface properties may be obtained for each point of the scan like friction force by lateral force imaging and magnetization properties by magnetic force imaging. Elasticity maps of heterogeneous sample surfaces can be obtained by non-contact phase imaging utilizing the phase shift arising from the local penetration behaviour of the tip into the surface.

i
@
          provided at NFFA-Europe laboratories by:
CNR-IOM (TS)
Italy
CNR-IOM (PG)
Italy
CNR-DSCTM
Italy
CEA/LETI
France
C2N-CNRS
France
CSIC-CNM
Spain
CSIC-ICMAB
Spain
FORTH
Greece
JCNS @MLZ
Germany
JRC - ISPRA
Italy
KIT
Germany
LUND + MAX IV
Sweden
PSI
Switzerland
UMIL
Italy
EURONANOLAB
France
INESC-MN
Portugal
CEA/LETI
France
AFM
Surface topography of hard or soft samples Acquisition in Tapping or Peak Force Tapping modes
Bruker Dimension Icon/Fast Scan
Optical microscope to visualize sample: 5 Mpixel digital camera; 180 µm to 1465 µm viewing area; digital zoom and motorized focus
spatial resolution < 10 nm Height resolution around 0.1 nm
Typical X-Y scan range of 90 µm by 90 µm, Z range of 10 µm (Z sensor noise level < 50 pm in closed-loop) Motorized position stage (X-Y axis) 180 mm × 150 mm (< 3 µm repeatability)
From a few mm2 to 200 mm wafer
Air or controlled atmosphere (AFM inside a glove box with N2 : level of O2 and H2O around ppm)
Surface potential mapping by Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) Dopant mapping by scanning capacitance microscopy (SCM) or scanning spreading resistance microscopy (SSRM) Mechanical information by force curve analysis (Peak Force quantitative nanomechanics, Force volume, nano-indentation)
Heater-cooler (-30 to 200 °C)
CEA/LETI
France
UHV AFM
Surface topography of samples Acquisition in non-contact mode
Omicron/ AFM VT-XA
Optical microscope to visualize sample: 5 Mpixel digital camera; manual zoom and focus
Spatial resolution < 10 nm Height resolution around 0.1 nm
Typical X-Y scan range of 8 µm by 8 µm, Z range of 3 µm Motorized position stage (X-Y axis) 10 mm × 10 mm
10 x 10 mm2 maximum
Ultra-High Vacuum (10-10 mbar)
Surface potential mapping by Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) Surface photo-voltage measurement with visible sources (red, green and blue)
Analysis at variable temperature (50 to 500 K) Ar sputtering for surface cleaning Sample heating up to 1000K. LEED Auger spectroscopy Sample transfer through vessel or UHV suitcase
DESY + PETRA III
Germany
AFM @ DESY NanoLab
Topographic imaging of surfaces AFM contact and tapping mode, STM tunnelling spectroscopy, Lateral force mode
CP-II instrument from Digital Instruments
Optical microscope for laser and sample alignment
Sub-atomic resolution in x, y, z by piezo scanner
Large area scanner (90 µm) High resolution scanner (5 µm)
Sample size: 10 mm x 10 mm
Ambient room temperature and pressure
JCNS @MLZ
Germany
AFM
Surface topography of hard and soft samples, acquisition in tapping or contact mode, magnetic force microscopy
Keysight Technologies N9414A Series 5500 microscope
Optical microscope for laser and sample alignment
Spatial resolution < 10 nm Height resolution around 0.5 nm
X-Y scan range of max. 90 µm by 90 µm, Z range of 7 µm Noise level <5Å in XY, <0.5Å in Z
From a few mm2 to 20x20 mm2
Temperature control -5°C - 40°C Ambient pressure Liquid cell for 1x1cm2 samples
LUND + MAX IV
Sweden
AFM: Bruker Dimension 3100 AFM
Scanning modes: tapping and contact
x/y: 2-5 nm z: 0.05-1 nm
Scan Range x/y: 90 μm, z: 6μm Motorized sample stage
Sample size: 150 mm dia
Ambient
Optical system: 410-1845X magnification range, color video camera, motorized zoom system
PSI
Switzerland
Surface Science Lab @ Laboratory for Micro- and Nanotechnology
AFM, LFM, MFM, PFM, TRM, PF-QNM, PF-Tuna:, TR-Tuna, SSRM
Bruker Dimension Icon Scanning Station
Z range 10 μm in imaging and force curve modes
1Å x 1Å x 0.1Å
Max scan size 90 μm x 90 μm typical
Full 6" wafer, 180mm x 150mm inspectable area
Air/Liquid/Gas/Bad Vacuum
Digital camera, digital zoom, motorized focus