attoAFM I+ Head

featuring an alignment-free cantilever holder

microscopes, features, attoAFM I + head, heroshot

The attoAFM I+ head features an alignment-free cantilever holder for tip exchange, and hence takes over the complete mechanical alignment of the cantilever with respect to the fiber used for deflection readout. A folding mechanism allows for easy extraction of the cantilever holder for tip exchange without dismounting the AFM head itself.

To exchange the tip, the holder is simply put into an exchange basis with a leveled platform. This enables to easily slide in and out cantilevers, thus minimizing the danger of damaging the costly and valuable tips during handling. The tip itself is held in place by a spring blade, which can be slid open and closed via another clever quick folding mechanism.

This way, the tip can be replaced within tens of seconds. During re-attachment, a guiding rod automatically centers the cantilever holder. When folding the head back into its initial parking position, the fiber end is perfectly aligned with respect to the cantilever. The desired interference pattern with ideal contrast is thus automatically achieved without any further mechanical alignment.

The attoAFM I+ head incl. the alignment-free cantilever holder is included with every attoAFM I (2” and 1” version, as well as any upgrades such as MFM, PFM, KPFM and ct-AFM), and is compatible with all commercially available XY-auto alignment AFM tips (patented technology by NANOSENSORSTM).

AFM/MFM tip exchange in less than 2 minutes

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Put the cantilever holder into the exchange basis.

microscopes, features, attoAFM+ head, tip exchange, 2

Slide back the spring blade.

microscopes, features, attoAFM I+ head, tip exchange, 3

Perform the cantilever exchange; alignment grooves on chip guarantee perfect positioning.

microscopes, features, attoAFM I + head, tip exchange, 4

Close the holder and remove holder from the exchange basis, and insert it back into the AFM head.

microscopes, features, attoAFM+ head, schema

  1. Flip the AFM head upwards.
  2. Remove the cantilever holder.
  3. Perform the AFM tip exchange (for details, see description of the cantilever holder above)
  4. Once the new tip is mounted, reattach the cantilever holder:
    A guiding rod automatically centers the cantilever holder by fixing one degree of freedom, while the fiber ferrule is still far away from any potentially harmful obstacle.
  5. Feed the ferrule into the cantilever holder through another guiding sleeve. The ferrule is protected by a soft sleeve.
  6. Tilt the head back into the housing – it flips conve niently and firmly into its dedicated parking position.


There is no further mechanical alignment necessary – perfectly aligned, yielding the desired interferogram used for the deflection detection of the cantilever.