Helping Solve Processing and Materials  Problems using Scanning Probe Microscopy since 1990.

CD stamper bumps, perspective view


Phone:  1-800-374-8557  Fax: 1-317-895-5652

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: Products and services for AFM, STM, and SEM
: Applications of AFM and STM
   : CD
   : DVD
   : HD-DVD
   : Hard Disks
   : Magnetic Tape
   : More
: Pharmaceutical materials
     : Collagen fibers
     : Collagen monomers
     : DNA Plasmids
   : Polymer molecules
   : Orthopedic implants
   : Opthamalic Devices
   : Diagnostic devices
   : And More
   : Powders
   : Naturally occurring (cellulose)
   : Blends
   : Copolymers
   : Material domains
   : Paper
   : Packaging materials
   : Cast, extruded, or molded polymers
: Coatings
   : Paint
   : Paper finishing
   : Can coatings
: Electronic Materials
   : Silicon
   : Silicon Carbide
   : Germanium
   : Gallium Arsenide
   : Wafers
   : Thin Films
: Automotive
   : Corrosion
   : Wear
: Energy Technologies
   : Corrosion
   : Calalysts
: New materials including ultra high strength magnets
: Optics & Photonics
   : Diffraction Gratings
   : Modified surfaces
   : superpolished optics
   : Ultrasmooth surfaces
   : IR
   : Visible Light
   : UV
   : X-Ray
: Telecommunications

: Metals

:Gallery of interesting images



Scanning Probe Microscopy for Materials Analysis in Industry

The Scanning Tunneling Microscope originally gained attention as a simple device for imaging atoms.  From that exotic beginning, there has grown a family of Scanning Probe Microscopes, of which the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is the most common.  Various versions of these instruments operate in air, in liquid, and in vacuum.  They record 3-dimensional topography, magnetic and electric fields, friction, adhesion, stiffness, optical spectra, and more.

STM Image of Carbon Atoms in surface of Highly Ordered Pyrolitic Graphite (HOPG)
STM image of Atoms on HOPG
(Highly Ordered Pyrolitic Graphite)

3D perspective view of AFM image of bumps on a nickel CD Stamper
3D representation of AFM image
of Nickel CD Stamper

Data marks on Magnetic Recording Disk
Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)
image of data on a magnetic hard disk.

AFM image of DNA Plasmid on freshly cleaved Mica.
AFM image of DNA Plasmid on Mica

Composite surfaces of industrial interest may be created either deliberately (examples include: microfabrication of thin-film recording heads and polymer processing) or accidentally (contaminants on or defects in the surface).  TappingModeTM/Phase images can map the material domains with spatial resolution down to 10 nm.  Such images can be a powerful aid in process control.

Phase imaging of the inner surface of an aluminum beverage can reveals differences in the polymer coating.
TappingMode Height and Phase Image of Polymer
Coating on the inner surface of an Aluminum
beverage can.  The dark and light regions in the
phase image (Right) reveal different material

Phase images show the mechanical phase of the tapping tip relative to the drive signal which oscillates the cantilever.  The phase image supplements the ordinary height image and often provides unique contrast related to material differences in stiffness and adhesion.

Nano-indentation and Nano-scratching have been developed to provide further information about stiffness and wear resistence with high sensitivity and spatial resolution.


In addition, with proper calibration specimens and our calibration correction software, standard, general use, AFM's can make accurate and highly precise measurements.

5 micron height image of a typical AFM Calibration specimen, in this case a Model 150-2D.
5 mm AFM image of a typical Model 150-2D Calibration Specimen.

Track Pitch of Calibration Specimen without calibration correction (typical)
Feature spacing (Track Pitch)
of calibration specimen without calibration

Track Pitch of Calibration Specimen after application of ASM's calibration software (typical).
Feature spacing (Track Pitch) of calibration
specimen with calibration correction.


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