Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
ResearchZernike (ZIAM)FYSND

Atomic Force Microscope

General information

Our scanning probe microscopy (SPM) setup is a Veeco Multimode SPM. From the several available SPM modes, we use it mostly for tapping-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM). This allows us to image surface topography with nanometer-scale resolution at ambient conditions.


To gain access to the AFM room you need to present a card with access to the NanoLab cleanroom. Usage of this AFM setup is restricted to people who have received training, usually two imaging sessions, by the person responsible for the AFM.

It is highly recommended for users to read the instruction manual (see below). A short description of tapping-mode AFM can be found here.

  Download manual

Before you start using the AFM please make a reservation in our equipment scheduler. The reasonable time for acquiring an image can vary from a few minutes to about an hour.

Remember to first start the AFM computer, and later the Nanoscope (IV) controller. Switch off in reverse order.

1st     --->    2nd

All users must fill in (and keep in good shape) the logbook.

We use Tap300 tips for standard tapping-mode AFM . Only experienced users are allowed to change tips or AFM heads.

Use your own user folder when saving data on the AFM computer. When closing the AFM Nanoscope software, please do not save the 'Workspace'.

To open and analyze the AFM data on your own computer we recommend that you use a free, open source, multiplatform software like Gwyddion.

Please keep the door closed while the air conditioner is operating. The last user must turn off the AFM system and air conditioner.


Users must be aware of possible artifacts when measuring atomic-scale height variations in heterogeneous samples by tapping-mode AFM. A relevant case for our research is the thickness measurement of (few-layer) graphene samples.

We are capable of performing other SPM modes besides the conventional tapping-mode AFM. For example, we have low-spring-constant tips for contact-mode AFM, or tips with magnetic coating for magnetic imaging (MFM). We also have scanning heads for electric force microscopy (EFM) or scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). If you are interested in any of these operation modes please contact the person responsible for the AFM.


If you want to become an AFM user, you need to perform something else than tapping-mode AFM, you do not have a card with access to the NanoLab cleanroom, or you have a general question, please contact the person responsible for the AFM.

The person currently responsible for the AFM setup is Ivan Vera-Marun.

Last modified:09 July 2015 10.59 a.m.