Asylum Research Cypher

The Cypher is a state-of-the-art AFM from Asylum Research, featuring exceptionally low noise and fast scanning capabilities in addition to advanced scanning modes in air or liquid environments. Maximum lateral scan size on this instrument is 30 µm x 30 µm, and maximum vertical range is 5 µm.

In addition to modes requiring no additional hardware, the Cypher has the following accessories and upgrades:

  • AM-FM viscoelastic mapping
  • Contact Resonance viscoelastic mapping
  • HV-PFM (piezoresponse force microscopy)
  • Droplet cantilever holder
  • Air Temperature Controller
  • blueDrive photothermal excitation for improved cantilever stability
  • Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Recent upgrades and additions

Conductive AFM (dual-gain ORCA) cantilever holder
  • Conductive AFM—biasing the sample and measuring current through the AFM tip
  • Scanning with applied bias and monitoring current through the sample
  • I—V (current vs. voltage) curves at chosen locations on samples
  • Dual-gain preamplifier (1uA/V and 1nA/V) for versatility on samples with a range of conductivities
  • Current measurement range of 4pA to 10uA
Fast Force Mapping upgrade
  • Enables imaging of samples previously unscannable in an AFM—very soft or adhesive samples
  • Simultaneous topography, stiffness, and adhesion maps
  • A force curve at every pixel of an image for high spatial resolution, fast mechanical measurements
  • Hours -> minutes speed enhancement of force curve acquisition, enabling improved statistics for force mapping
  • In combination with conductive AFM, enables very fast I—V curve acquisition
    research image of nail adhesion
    adhesion map on dried nail polish droplet


Senior Research Scientist