> Enviroscope - Scanning Probe Microscope (AFM)

Manufacturer: Veeco (Digital Instruments)


Role of the equipment

A Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM) is an apparatus able to detect the true three-dimensional topography of a given surface with nanometer resolution laterally and Angstrom resolution vertically. The surface is interacting with a sharp tip which is scanned across the sample surface. The strength of the interaction is controlled by an internal electronic circuit which also processes the signals and delivers an accurate image of the sample’s topography.

The Enviroscope is specially designed to perform measurements in a controlled environment (inert gas atmosphere). It is also equipped with additional modules to perform current-sensing and electromechanical measurements at the nanometer scale.


Technical specifications

• Maximum sample size:
- lateral: 50 mm, height: 12 mm;
- measurement location within an area 6×6 mm² around the center.
• ~ 0.5 nm rms noise level (in Z).
• Maximum scanning size: X and Y: 80 µm, Z: 3.5 µm
• Imaging modes: contact (deflection feedback), intermitent contact (Tapping).
• Additional signals available during imaging: friction (in contact mode), phase (in tapping mode).
• Advanced techniques, Lift mode with PLL to track the frequency shif: Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM), Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM), Kelvin Probe Microscopy (KPM).



• Current measurement kit: preamplifier (Femto DLPCA-200) and DC bias source, (Keithley 2400 SourceMeter).
Noise in current achieved: < 0.5 pA.
• Electromechanical characterization kit: Lock-in amplifier (Signal Recovery 7265), DC bias source (Keithley 2400).
Noise in piezoresponse achieved: < 0.5 pm/V


Examples of available processes and services

• Routine characterization of surface topography.
• Material contrast through adhesion/friction or phase of oscillation.
• Detection of piezoelectricity and elasticity of materials.
• Detection and control of polarization via piezoelectric response in ferroelectrics.
• Mapping surface resistance, electric and/or magnetic field gradients at the surface, and surface potential.




BiFeO3. microstructures. The contrast reveals the piezoresponse / polarization.
(C. Harnagea / C. Cojocaru )


Contact : Catalin Harnagea