cantilever-based atomic force microscope
alignment-free cantilever holder
tip exchange in less than 2 minutes
interferometric cantilever deflection detection
built-in amplitude gauge
closed loop scanning (optional)
easy retrieval of regions-of-interest
“Magnetic force microscopy: investigating the physics of racetrack-memory devices“
read the Physics World article featuring the pioneering research of Prof. Stuart Parkin
The attoAFM I is a compact atomic force microscope designed particularly for applications at low and ultra low temperature, and in high magnetic fields. The instrument works by scanning the sample below a fixed cantilever and by measuring its deflection with highest precision using a fiber based optical interferometer. This deflection detection technique has the advantage that it comes with a built-in length gauge for the cantilever oscillation amplitude, since the interferometer contrast is directly proportional to the laser wavelength. Both contact and noncontact mode are applicable.
It is mainly employed for magnetic force microscopy (MFM) such as vortex imaging on superconductors or magnetic domain imaging at variable temperature, and for piezo-response force microscopy (PFM) on ferroelectrics and multiferroics. Other supported AFM measurement modes include Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM), conductive AFM (c-AFM), electric force microscopy (EFM), and other imaging modes. For more information, please have a look at our microscopy fundamentals.
The rigid design of the microscope module allows also for combinations with cryogen free pulse-tube based cooling systems for applications where liquid helium is not available or desired. The microscope uses a set of xyz-positioners for coarse positioning of the sample over a range of several mm, and dedicated mechanically amplified piezo based xyz scanners with a very large scan range even at cryogenic temperatures. Optionally, the attoAFM I is available with a interferometric encoders for xy closed loop scanning. Being made from non-magnetic materials, the microscope is ideally suited for low temperature MFM and PFM in combination with high magnetic fields.
Last but not least, due to the open signal architecture of our powerful and flexible ASC500 SPM controller, the needs of experts are addressed to have control over all signals, while maintaining a very user-friendly software interface that also supports measurement routines based on LabVIEW scripts. All in- and output signals are accessible via front panel BNCs, and can hence easily be monitored, stored and used for additional control. For more info please refer to the fundamentals section.
|type of instrument||cantilever based AFM with interferometric deflection detection|
|sensor head specifics||attoAFM I+ head feat. alignment-free cantilever holder, tip exchange in less than 2 minutes|
|alignment-free cantilever holder (default)||compatible with PointProbe® Plus XY-Alignment Series by Nanosensors|
|conventional cantilever holder (optional)||compatible with standard commercial cantilevers|
|Modes of Operation|
|imaging modes||contact mode, non-contact mode, constant height, constant force|
|slope compensation||2 axis scan plane correction|
|z feedback||PI feedback loop for amplitude modulation (AM), phase modulation (PM) or frequency modulation (FM) using included PLL, constant force|
|incl. standard techniques||AFM|
|optional upgrades||MFM, KPFM, PFM, conductive-tip AFM|
|measured RMS z-noise (constant force @ 4 K, 5 ms pixel time)||< 0.10 nm (expected for attoDRY), < 0.15 nm (guaranteed)|
|z deflection noise density||< 3 pm/vHz (dependent on laser system)|
|lateral magnetic resolution||< 50 nm (attoDRY)|
|z bit resolution @ 4 K||57 pm at 15 µm scan range|
|total travel range||5 x 5 x 4.8 mm³ (open loop)|
|step size||0.05..3 µm @ 300 K, 10..500 nm @ 4 K|
|fine scan range||50 x 50 x 24 µm³ @ 300 K, 30 x 30 x 15 µm³ @ 4 K (open loop)|
|closed loop scanning||optional|
|sample holder||ASH/QE/4CX quick-exchange sample holder with 8 electrical contacts, integrated heater with calibrated temperature sensor|
|Suitable Operating Conditions|
|temperature range||1.5 K..300 K (dependent on cryostat); mK compatible setup available on request|
|magnetic field range||0..15 T+ (dependent on magnet)|
|operating pressure||designed for He exchange gas (vacuum compatible version down to 1E-6 mbar on request)|
|Suitable Cooling Systems|
|titanium housing diameter||48 mm|
|bore size requirement||designed for a 2" (50.8 mm) cryostat/magnet bore|
|Compatibility with Electronics|
|scan controller and software||ASC500 (for detailed specifications please see attoCONTROL section)|
|laser||LDM1300 laser/detector module (for detailed specifications please see attoCONTROL section)|
|Options and Upgrades|
|closed loop scanning & global sample coordinates||interferometric encoders for scan linearization and closed loop sample navigation|
|ultra-large scan range upgrade||80 x 80 µm² @ 300 K, 125 x 125 µm² @ 4 K|
|in-situ inspection optics||tip/sample monitoring via in-situ LT-LED for illumination, mirrors, lenses and CCD camera (outside), field of view approx. 3 x 2 mm, resolution approx. 20 µm (depending on cryostat)|
|closed loop upgrade for coarse positioners||resistive encoder, range 5 mm, sensor resolution approx. 200 nm, repeatability 1-2 µm|
|additional AFM head with manual alignment||conventional cantilever holder, compatible with standard commercial cantilevers|
Fields of Applications
Systems for microscopy and nanoscale analysis of material properties at ambient and low temperature and in high magnetic fields.
Imaging and scanning probe microscopy of surface properties on the nanoscale at variable temperatures down to milli Kelvin and combination with high magnetic fields.
Dr. N. Andreeva
St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Russia
The attoAFM I is great for Piezo Response Force Microscopy of both large crystals and thin films because the microscope integrates flawlessly with external electronics and gives access to all the relevant signals. The system maintained regular weekly cooling cycles for a 2 year strech and still works great!