Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) instruments are available for scanning in air, or other gases, or liquids within a wide variety of imaging and measurement modes, plus nanomanipulation. All of our instruments have sub-angstrom vertical resolution, as lateral resolution is generally limited by the tip geometry, not the instrument.

AFM Equipment

AFM Resources

AFM tip distributors

NOTE: Commonly used tips and sample supplies are available for purchase in the MRL storeroom.
We most commonly use BS-Tap300Al tapping tips from BudgetSensors and for extra sharp tips, SuperSharpSilicon from Nanosensors. Both are carried in the storeroom.

Some other good sources of AFM tips:


Equipment Name Contact Location
Equipment Name Contact Location
Neaspec NanoFTIR/NIM AFM, SSNOM soares kawalsh 0022 Supercon

Chemical information from FTIR near-field reflection spectroscopy/imaging and topographic characterization with 20 nm spatial resolution

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Horiba XploRA-nano TERS/TEPL soares kawalsh 0022 Supercon

This equipment was funded through the Illinois MRSEC, NSF Award Number DMR-1720633.

The XploRA PLUS Raman Microscope head-based tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS) and tip enhanced photoluminescence (TEPL) from Horiba, Inc. is a fully integrated TERS/TEPL system based on SmartSPM state of the art scanning probe microscope (SPM) and XploRA Raman micro-spectrometer.

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Asylum Research Cypher kawalsh jcspear B12 MRL

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.

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Asylum Research MFP-3D AFM kawalsh jcspear B12 MRL

These two AFMs from Asylum Research feature closed-loop, low noise, high precision scanners, with Q-controlled AC modes (with phase imaging), piezo response imaging, contact mode with lateral force, and detailed force-distance measurements. These systems allow scanning in air or liquid environments, and have extensive nanomanipulation and nanolithography capabilities. Maximum lateral scan size on these instruments is 90 µm x 90 µm, and maximum vertical range is 15 µm.

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