Innovating World’s Highest Resolution Atomic Force Microscope
Asylum Research, the technology leader in Atomic Force/Scanning Probe Microscopy (AFM/SPM), sought to stir up its market by developing and introducing a next-generation atomic force microscope that represented the first big technological breakthrough in the field in a decade. The company teamed with Nectar to design and engineer the Cypher AFM, the world’s highest resolution atomic force microscope.
Eliminating Environmental Impacts
Developing a closed loop, three-axis atomic force microscope that produces the most accurate images and measurements possible at the sub-nanometer level is particularly challenging, especially when Nectar was tasked with eliminating the effects of environmental vibration, which previously had required additional isolation add-ons for most labs. The Cypher AFM not only had to be extremely precise, but also had to be incredibly stable. Nectar undertook the challenge of pushing the envelope on atomic force microscope performance as opposed to minor tweaks and add-ons.
Steady Operation at the Sub-Nanometer Level
Nectar developed an integrated system enclosure for the Cypher AFM, which enables thermal management and control, as well as additional acoustic isolation for noisy environments. The firm’s engineers also worked with Asylum Research to create the SpotOn™ automated laser alignment system, which utilizes motorized laser and photodiode positioning to align the laser spot on the microscope cantilever and center the photo-detector. Nectar also designed the Cypher AFM for modularity and expandability to support future laboratory needs.
Aiding New Discoveries in Nano-Scale Materials and Biological Science
The introduction of the Cypher AFM marked the biggest technological breakthrough in the atomic force microscope market in 10 years. With positioning accuracies better than 60 picometers in the X, Y, and Z planes, users achieve atomic resolution in a closed loop—free of environmental noise and vibration—enabling them to realize the most accurate measurements, positioning, and nanomanipulation possible. The system’s integrated enclosure provides acoustic and vibration isolation, along with excellent thermal control, which contributes to image and measurement stability. The Cypher AFM is helping scientists and researchers make new discoveries in nano-scale materials and biological science.