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Park AFM Special Modes

Scanning Thermal Microscopy (SThM)

sthm-mode

High Spatial and Thermal Resolution Microscopy

Our SThM mode lets you easily find the local thermal conductivity of a sample by measuring heat transfer between tip and sample using a micro-fabricated probe.

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functional-characterization-mode

 

Temperature map of the Pole-Tip-Recession of an active hard disk slider
Scan size: 2µm
Using Probe: Diamond indentor probe
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using SThM Mode.

Magnetic Force Microscopy (MFM)

mfm-mode

High Resolution and High Sensitivity Imaging of Magnetic Properties

Our MFM mode measures the magnetic variations over a sample surface by detecting the interaction between a magnetized cantilever and sample surface. The cantilever measures surface topography on the first scan, then lifts and follows either the stored surface topography (lift mode, available only in selected countries) or a constant distance (or constant height) at a fixed height above the sample surface.

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mfm-hdd

(a) Topography (b) MFM Phase

HDD
Scan size: 5µm
Using Probe: PPP-MFMR
Imaged on a Park XE-series using MFM Mode.

Tunable Magnetic Field MFM (TM-MFM)

tm-mem-mode

High Resolution and High Sensitivity Imaging of Magnetic Properties

Our TM-MFM mode measures the magnetic domain distribution with respect to magnetic field change.

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tm-mfm-yig
YIG
Scan size: 30µm
Using Probe: PPP-MFMR
Imaged on a Park XE-series using TM-MFM Mode.

Chemical Force Microscopy (CFM)

CFM measures the chemical interactions between functionalized tips and sample to determine the chemical nature of surfaces and facilitate studies of chemical bonding enthalpy and surface energy. Tips are typically gold-coated and functionalized with R-SH thiols, R being the functional groups of interest such as -CH, -COOH, -NH, and -OH.

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Electrochemical Microscopy (EC-AFM, EC-STM)

In EC-STM/AFM, the nanoscale structures of electrochemical reactions on the electrode surface can be observed. Users typically perform voltammetry and corrosion experiments using an electrochemistry cell and a choice of potentiostat/galvanostat depending on the electrochemical application of interest.

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Park AFM Nanomechanical Mode

PinPoint™ Nanomechanical Mode

pinpoint-nanomechanical-mode

PinPoint™ Nanomechanical mode obtains the best of resolution and accuracy for nanomechanical characterization. Stiffness, elastic modulus, adhesion force are acquired simultaneously in real-time. While the XY scanner stops, the high speed force-distance curves are taken with well defined control of contact force and contact time between the tip and the sample. Due to controllable data acquisition time, PinPoint™ Nanomechanical mode allows optimized nanomechanical measurement with high signal-to-noise ratio over various sample surfaces.

Video: Characterizing Multicomponent Polymer with PinPoint™ AFM

 

PS-b-PEO-height

[Height]

PS-b-PEO-adhesion-force

[Adhesion force]

PS-b-PEO-modulus

[Modulus]

PS-b-PEO-stiffness

[Stiffness]

PS-b-PEO (Polystylene-b-polyethylene oxide)
Scan size: 10µm

Force-Distance Spectroscopy

Force Measurement of Tip-Sample Interaction

fd-mode

Force-Distance (F-d) curves is a spectroscopy technique measuring the vertical interaction between the tip and the sample surface while extending and retracting a Z scanner. Function of a cantilever deflection versus the extension of the piezoelectric scanner is he direct measurement of tip-sample interaction forces reflecting a mechanical property of surface.

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force-vs-distance

The various elastic properties that can be measured from Force vs. Distance curves.

Polymer on glass
Scan size: 10µm
Using Probe: NSC26CNSC36C
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using F-D Spectroscopy mode.

Force Volume Imaging

Force Measurement of Tip-Sample Interaction

Force volume imaging provides a detailed map of the sample’s material properties by plotting parameters such as stiffness, cantilever snap-in, and adhesion. Parameters extracted from Force Distance (F-D) spectroscopy curves are put into a matrix that quickly and easily allows researchers to gain insights about samples properties.

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Polymer-on-glass
Polymer on glass
Scan size: 10µm
Using Probe: NSC36C
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using Force-Distance spectroscopy mode.

Force Modulation Microscopy (FMM)

fmm-mode

Force Amplitude and Phase Imaging of Sample Elasticity

Our FMM mode measures mechanical property variations over a sample’s surface. An AC modulation is applied to the cantilever while in contact with the sample surface, allowing you to monitor changes in amplitude and phase and gain insights into qualitative elastic and viscous responses.

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crystal-facetts

[Topography]/[FMM Phase]

Crystal Facetts
Scan size: 10µm
Using Probe: NSC36C
Imaged on a Park XE series using FMM.

Lateral Force Microscopy (LFM)

lfm-mode

Mapping of the Frictional Force

Park AFMs are not only capable of detecting cantilever deflections in the vertical direction, but also the lateral, producing a lateral force microscopy image.

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lfm-polymer

[Topography] / [LFM Image (Left to Right)] / [LFM Image (Right to Left)]

Polymer on Silicon
Scan size: 2µm
Using Probe: NSC36C
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using LFM Mode.

Nanolithography

nanolithography-mode

Advanced Vector Nanolithography Using Closed Loop Scan System

The Nanolithography mode allows you to manipulate and create patterning on the sample surface through applied force or voltage. Tip position for lithography can be easily controlled by importing your own vector drawings or raster (bitmap) images.

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nanolithograpy-f1

Pattern created on the surface by plowing the surface with the tip (a) and by changing the surface with applied bias (b)

nanolithograpy-f2

Vector Nanolithography. The image is generated in vector by applying negative voltage between -5 and -10 V. Scanning rate was varied between 1 and 0.1 µm/s. The height of deposited oxide is about 2-4 nm.

Si
Scan size: 4.5µm
Using Probe: Contsc Pt
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using XEL mode.

Nanoindentation

nanoindentation-mode"

Our nanoindentation mode uses excessive force on the cantilever to indent the sample and measure its mechanical properties including hardness and elasticity.

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NanoIndentation-f1

NanoIndentation measures the hardness of a local region by pressing the indenter tip Into a sample.

nanoindentation-sioch
SiOCH
Scan size: 5µm
Using Probe: Diamond indentor probe
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using Nanoindentation Mode.

Spring Constant Calibration by Thermal Method

Maintaining the proper spring calibration is critical for AFM force data accuracy. That’s why Park provides spring calibration using the thermal method, giving you accurate readings every time.

 


Park AFM Imaging Modes

True Non-Contact™ Mode

non-contact-mode

Consistently produces high resolution and accurate data while maintaining the integrity of sample.

The True Non-Contact mode preserves tip sharpness and sample surface, and you can get more accurate results. In the True Non-Contact mode, a piezoelectric modulator vibrates a cantilever at small amplitude and a fixed frequency near the resonant frequency of the cantilever. As the tip is brought closer to the sample, the van der Waals attractive force between tip and sample changes the amplitude and the phase of the cantilever’s vibration. These changes are monitored by the patented Z-servo feedback system of the Park AFMs, which maintains a tip-surface distance of just a few nanometers without damaging the sample surface or the tip end.

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Nano-arrayed-particles

Nano-arrayed particles
Scan size: 1μm, 250nm, 120nm
Using Probe: AR5T-NCHR
Imaged on a Park NX10 using Non-contact Mode.

Contact Mode

contact-mode

The simplest scanning method to image the surface

The contact mode is the simplest way to acquire the sample topography. The topography signal comes from the Z scanner position, which maintains the deflection of the cantilever constant on the sample surface.

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contact_pmg-crystal

[Initial Topography]   /   [Topography change After 30min]

PMG Crystal in glyphosate solution
Scan size: 2μm
Using Probe: Biolever mini
Imaged on a Park NX10 using contact mode in liquid.

Tapping Mode

tapping-mode

In this alternative technique to non-contact mode, the cantilever again oscillates just above the surface, but at a much higher amplitude of oscillation. The bigger oscillation makes the deflection signal large enough for the control circuit, and hence an easier control for topography feedback. It produces modest AFM results but blunts the tip’s sharpness at a higher rate, ultimately speeding up the loss of its imaging resolution.

 

phase-imaging-crystal-facetts

[Topography]   /   [Phase]
Phase image of Crystal Facetts, collected simultaneously.

Crystal Facetts
Scan size: 10 µm
Using Probe: AC160TS
Imaged on a Park NX10 using Tapping mode.

Park AFM Electrical Modes

PinPoint™ Conductive AFM

pinpoint-conductive-mode

PinPoint™ Conductive AFM obtains the best of resolution and sensitivity during current measurements

PinPoint™ Conductive AFM was developed for well defined electric contact between the tip and the sample. They XY scanner stops while measuring the electric current with contact time controlled by a user. PinPoint™ Conductive AFM allows higher spatial resolution, without lateral force, with optimized current measurement over different sample surface.

 

pinpoint

1. The XY scanner stops during acquisition
2. Approach and retract at each pixel point.
3. Record the approach height and maintain the Z distance.

pinpoint-zno-nono-rods.jpg

The conventional contact and tapping conductive AFM have cons and pros.
PinPoint iAFM has the best of both spatial resolution and current sensitivity.

 

ZnO nano-rods
Scan size:  4 µm
Using Probe: Solid Pt
Imaged on a Park NX20 using PinPoint Scan Mode.

Conductive Probe AFM

contact-mode

Probing the Local Electronic Structure of a Sample’s Surface

Conductive Probe AFM simultaneously images topography and conductivity of the sample surface. The local conductivity of a sample is acquired by placing a conducting cantilever on the sample surface and applying a bias between the cantilever and the sample. Conductive Probe AFM detects the resulting current flow, which can be as low as a few pA. The typically low level of current measurement requires a detection scheme with a current noise level of sub pA. Park Systems offers three current sensing options, detecting current signals from sub pA to mA.

  • Ulta-Low Noise Conductive AFM(ULCA): < 0.1 pA noise level
  • Variable Enhanced Conductive AFM(VECA): < 0.3 pA noise level
  • Internal Conductive AFM:< 1 pA noise level
Read More conductive-sram

The contrast on the Conductive Probe AFM image indicates differences in the electrical property of the raised dots.
The topography of a DRAM surface and Conductive Probe AFM image with various sample bias.

SRAM
Scan size: 1µm
Using Probe: CDT-ContR
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using Conductive Probe Mode.

I-V Spectroscopy

iv-spectroscopy-mode

Park AFMs feature the ability to conduct current voltage spectroscopy on specified point of the sample surface. The low noise of Park Systems’ conductive AFM options allows for the detection of extremely small changes in a sample’s electronic characteristics.

Read More iv-spectroscopy-sram

 

SRAM
Scan size:2 µm 
Using Probe: CDT-ContR
Imaged on a Park NX10 using I-V Spectroscopy Mode.

Electrostatic Force Microscopy (EFM)

efm-mode

High Resolution and High Sensitivity Imaging of Electrostatic Force

Almost every surface property measured by AFM is acquired by the process depicted. EFM measurements follow the same procedure. For EFM, the sample surface properties would be electrical properties and the interaction force will be the electrostatic force between the biased tip and sample. However, in addition to the electrostatic force, the van der Waals forces between the tip and the sample surface are always present. The magnitude of these van der Waals forces change according to the tip-sample distance, and are therefore used to measure the surface topography.

Read More efm-fuel-cell

(a) Topography (b) EFM Amplitude at -1V sample bias

Fuel Cell
Scan size:20 µm 
Using Probe: NSC14 Cr-Au
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using EFM Mode.

Scanning Kelvin Probe Microscopy (SKPM)

skpm-mode

High Resolution and High Sensitivity Imaging of Surface Potential

Principle of SKPM is similar to Enhanced EFM with DC bias feedback. DC bias is controlled by feedback loop to zero the ω term. The DC bias that zeros the force is a measure of the surface potential. The difference is in the way the signal obtained from the Lock-in Amplifier is processed. As presented in previous section, the ω signal from Lock-in Amplifier can be expressed as following equation. scanning-kelvin-probe-microscopy-skpm-f3 The ω signal can be used on its own to measure the surface potential. The amplitude of the ω signal is zero when VDC = Vs, or when the DC offset bias matches the surface potential of the sample. A feedback loop can be added to the system and vary the DC offset bias such that the output of the Lock-in Amplifier that measures the ω signal is zero. This value of the DC offset bias that zeroes the ω signal is then a measure of the surface potential. An image created from this variation in the DC offset bias is given as an image representing the absolute value of the surface potential.

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skpm-graphene

Surface Potential distribution on graphene

Graphene
Scan size: 15 µm
Using Probe: Contsc Pt
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using SKPM Mode.

Dynamic Contact EFM (DC-EFM)

dc-efm-mode

High Resolution and High Sensitivity Imaging of Electrostatic Force

DC-EFM is capable of extremely high definition EFM results. Patented by Park Systems, DC-EFM actively applies an AC voltage bias to the cantilever and detects the amplitude and the phase change of the cantilever modulation with respect to the applied bias. DC-EFM provides the ability to monitor the second harmonic of the modulation which can be compared to the capacitance of a sample and enhances the electric force signal from the background intermolecular force.

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dc-efm-pzt-film

[Topography] / [EFM Amplitude] / [EFM Phase]

Pzt film
Scan size: 2 µm
Using Probe: PPP-EFM
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using DC-EFM Mode.

Piezoelectric Force Microscopy (PFM)

pfm-mode

Our patented PFM mode accurately measures electric domain structures such as polarity in ferroelectric or piezoelectric samples. This mode includes independent control of an applied AC and DC bias, and local amplitude/phase vs. DC bias spectroscopy.

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ferroelectric-polymer

[Topography] / [EFM amplitude] / [EFM phase]
Domain switching , appllied +20V to outer square and -20V to inner square.

Ferroelectric Polymer on ITO
Scan size: 10 µm
Using Probe: Contsc Pt
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using DC-EFM Mode.

Piezoelectric Response Spectroscopy

Our Piezoelectric Response Spectroscopy mode measures the local amplitude/phase response to a DC bias between tip and sample surface. The polarity of local piezoelectric domain switches depend on the sign and amount of applied voltage.

Read More pfm-pzt-film
Pzt film
Scan size: 2 µm
Using Probe: PPP-EFM
Imaged on a Park XE-Series using EFM Mode.

QuickStep™ SCM

quickstep-scm-modeIn QuickStep scan, the XY scanner stops at each pixel point to record the data. It makes a fast jump between the pixel points.

QuickStep™ to make faster SCM data acquisition

In order to improve the signal-to-noise ratio conventional SCM adopts very slow scan speeds as a means of giving the detector enough time to collect the data. QuickStep™ SCM differs from conventional methodology of slow continuous movement. Here, XY scanner stops at each pixel point to record the data and then makes a fast and rapid hop to the next measurement points. This effectively speeds up the scan rate while maintaining the same signal sensitivity of the measurements by conventional SCM at slow scan speeds.

Application note: Accurate dopant profiles of semiconductor device structures with QuickStep Scanning Capacitance Microscopy

 

quickstep-scan-rate QuickStep Scan (Scan rate 1.5Hz0
conventianal-scan-rate Conventional Scan (Scan rate 1Hz)

 

RAM
Scan size: 10µm x 3µm
Using Probe: PPP-EFM
Imaged on a Park NX20 using QuickStep Scan Mode.

Scanning Capacitance Microscopy (SCM)

scm-mode

High Resolution and High Sensitivity Imaging of Charge Distribution

Our SCM mode provides doping concentration information over the sample surface by measuring the capacitance change between tip and sample. the module enables a variable resonator frequency, which allows a wide RF bandwidth capable of monitoring a large range of doping concentrations by selecting the most sensitive frequency of the resonator for a specific doping range.

Read More quickstep-scm

The n-doped silicon sample has areas of varying dopant concentration, imaged by Park SCM.
The doping concentration of less than an order of magnitude is clearly distinguishable.

N-doped silicon
Scan size: 20 µm
Using Probe: PPP-EFM
Imaged on a Park NX20 using SCM Mode.

Scanning Spreading Resistance Microscopy (SSRM)

ssrm-mode

Probing the Local Electronic Structure of a Sample’s Surface

Our SSRM mode precisely measures the local resistance over a sample surface by using a conductive AFM tip to scan a small region while applying DC bias.

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scanning-spreading-resistance-microscopy-ssrm-f1

Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM)

stm-mode

Probing the Local Electronic Structure of a Sample’s Surface

STM measures the tunneling current between tip and sample, giving highly accurate sub-nanometer scale images you can use to gain insights into sample properties.

Read More STM-image-of-YBCO

STM image of YBCO super conductor

YBCO super conductor 
Scan size: 2 µm
Using Probe: STM Pt/Ir wire
Imaged on a Park NX10 using STM Mode.

Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy (STS)

sts-mode

Our STS mode provides current-voltage (I/V) spectroscopy data at user-defined points which can then be used to analyze the local electronic states of the sample.

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Time-resolved Photocurrent Mapping (Tr-PCM)

pcm-mode

Enabling Innovation in Photosensitive Materials Research

Our Tr-PCM mode measures photoelectric response to a time-resolved illumination without interference from unwanted light sources, including the feedback laser. This mode features a laser illumination module and acquisition and analysis software.

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time-resolved-photocurrent-mapping-f1-a

A typical photocurrent response to a time-resolved illumination.
The current between the sample and a voltage-biased cantilever is measured before, during, and after the illumination.

time-resolved-photocurrent-mapping-f1-b

 

Point-by-point mapping of photocurrent spectroscopy.
Photocurrent response in time domain is acquired in each grid point defined on a sample.


Park AFM Modes and Techniques

Get the data you need with Park's selection of scanning modes

Park AFMs feature a comprehensive range of scanning modes so you can collect a wide array of data types accurately and efficiently. From the world’s only true non-contact mode that preserves tip sharpness and sample integrity to advanced Magnetic Force Microscopy, Park offers the most innovative, accurate modes in the AFM industry.

imaging-mode

Imaging Modes

Park offers some of the most innovative imaging modes and technology. Our True Non-Contact mode is the world’s only truly non-contact AFM scanning mode while our standard scanning mode is among the most accurate available.


electrical-characterization-mode

mechanical-characterization-mode

Nanomechanical Modes

Easily measure the mechanical properties of your sample using our set of mechanical scanning modes. Each features Park System’s trademark accuracy so you always know
you’re collecting data you can rely on.


functional-characterization-mode

Special Modes

Park offers some of the most innovative imaging modes and technology. Our True Non-Contact mode is the world’s only truly non-contact AFM scanning mode while our standard scanning mode is among the most accurate available.


Park AFM Options