Etalon Premium: pencil-shape tips for HQ AFM topography scans


We're glad to present the new product line in our assortment: Etalon Premium probes with pencil-shape tips for high-quality AFM scanning!

Etalon Premium tips have got conical apex and cylindrical body to minimize tip-related widening of objects investigated. Excellent geometry provides high resolution of AFM scans:
 - Conical apex of 5-8 nm typical curvature radius and cone angle < 30° suits well for imaging of small objects and nanoparticles;
 - Narrow cylindrical body with diameter of 300 - 700 nm and height 8 mkm allow getting detailed images of high objects, making Etalon Premium probes being similar to high aspect ratio probes models.

In our experience (and by reports of our customers), these probes show better scanning data for almost all types of surfaces. They are especially effective for high objects of 1 um and higher.

To check performance of Etalon Premium probes in application to high objects we scanned with AFM hemi-spherical particles of 2,5 um diameter. 
Below you may find comparison of topography scans of these objects, obtained with Etalon Premium (the left one) and standard pyramidal (the right one) probes.  Scan area: 12x12 um. Ridge of tip’s pyramid gives the same artifact in the bottom of each sphere on the right scan. As Etalon Premium probe is narrower, no artifacts are seen when it draws a surface on the left scan.

At the moment Etalon Premium probes presented only with HA_NC-based lever parameters. But in the first half of 2019 we plan to expand this product line by HA_C, HA_CNC, HA_FM and HA_HR Premium models. Condutive Etalon Premium cantilevers will be also designed soon.

More detailed technical data can be found on Etalon Premium product page. We hope that our new products will suit well for your investigations!



In the end of August together with our colleagues from Ostec-Instruments we were attending International conference Scanning Probe Miscroscopy - 2018 in Ekaterinburg.

We appreciate our colleagues from Ural Federal University - for warm wellcome and excellent organization of all events and lectures, and many interesting people who we met during the conference - for great pastime and valuable ideas for our next developments and common projects.

Test sample for AFM tip's radius investigation


The necessity of tip's shape estimation arises very often during AFM measurements. Even if manufacturer claims this parameter with high accuracy, fast tip's wear off during scanning leads to the need of its repeated re-calculation.

One of the most popular and cheapest methods to control tip's apex is so-called "blind" tip's shape estimation, suggested by J.S. Villarrubia in 1997. Now it is implemented in many different AFM-image-processing programs. But proper choice of a test sample for such investigation is also a tricky task. It should include many densely packed and respectively hard particles, which size will of the same order that tip's curvature radius.

Today we present our new product: TSD01, the test sample for tip's curvature radius estimation. TSD01 consists of large variety of densely packed particles with average diameter around 60 nm. Particles’ shape is not ideally round. Some of them are rather cylindrical, some ones have got vertical walls and sharp corners (like as on the REM photo). These features are necessary to collect enough statistics for further “blind” tip estimation using Deconvolution algorithm.

Another possible usage of this test sample - qualitative tip's quality control by simple comparison of TSD01 scans "before" and "after" scanning.

More information about TSD01 is presented on its product page. We will be also glad to discuss deconvolution method, its possible applications and correct usage of TSD01 for it. Please, contact us if any questions will appear.

Cantilevers with full diamond tips for routine measurements


Even full automatic atomic force microscopes are not so easy equipment to deal with. Based on wide and complicated theory of surfaces' interaction AFM method is full of uncertainties. And sometimes only the experienced engineer can say, what does "that artifact" on the image really mean. The one may spend several hours to find the correct parameters... But, according to our experience, sometimes it's enough just to change a cantilever!
AFM cantilevers with full diamond tips are just the ones, that could significantly improve your AFM images:
 - Hard diamond needles are more reliable as their wear off is several times slower than of silicon ones. So in most cases, scanning by a full diamond tip the one doesn't need to think about how a probe changes its shape between the first and the last lines of the scan...
 - Diamond is the material with low surface energy. Are you tired of horizontal and vertical hooks on scans, which appear when a probe "catches" sticky particles from a sample? Full diamond probe is several times less sticky for biological objects, as experiments of our colleagues have showed.
 - Narrow and hard tips also fit all conditions for conducting simple nanoindentation experiments with standard AFM parts.
Combining our own technology of manufacturing polysilicon cantilevers and method of attachment of CVD-grown full diamond needles, we're glad to present you the new products: AFM cantilevers with full diamond needles. Their excellent parameters, the same and better than of stadard silicon ones, allow them to get high quality topography images. And their reasonable price make them well-suitable for routine AFM measurements.
For more information, please, visit FD probes page of our web-site. Feel free to contact us if any questions will appear!

Vibration isolation solutions for AFM, SEM


Having many-years experience of work in Atomic Force Microscopy field, we know very well how important good environmental conditions are. And today we're glad to present in our assortment the new product line: vibration control equipment from our partners, Ostec-Instruments.

This product line is really new, and not only for ScanSens. While most of present-day vibration isolation platforms are based on piezo- actuators as active elements, our products utilize electromagnetic coils principle. This progressive technology avoids several problems, such as non-linear response and hard construction, peculiar to piezo- based devices. It allows intelligent integration of a vibration control platform depending on building and environmental properties. The same time specially developed construction provides active isolation in all six degrees of freedom.

For different devices we can offer three types of solutions:
 - Active vibration isolation platform of AVOS AR series for measuring devices of weight up to 200 kg (most of standard AFM),
 - Active vibration isolation systems (consisting of several independent platforms) of AVOS MD series for huge and massive equipment like SEMs, cryostats, etc.
 - Passive vibration absorption platforms of AVOS ST series for isolation of vacuum pumps from other equipment.

Already being sold in several institutes, AVOS platforms have showed excellent vibration protection for various AFM and SEM models. During examination at NT-MDT SI in 2017 the engineer could easily get atomic resolution on Solver NEXT device, placed on AVOS AR module, without any additional protection.

Please, don't hesitate to contact us if any questions will appear. Basing on conditions and possible vibration sources of your laboratory we will be glad to find the best solution that will remove noise from your scans.

Expanding the line of TERS products


It's already 7 years have passed since we manufactured our first TERS-active cantilevers, - and their characteristics and results constantly grow up and improve all this time. Just recently NT-MDT SI engineers have showed TERS in liquid on an opaque sample, using our cantilevers.

And now we're glad to present the new product - TERS demonstration, - which would be interesting so for new AFM-Raman researchers as for experienced specialists.

To detect Tip-Enhanced Raman Scattering is a tricky task, which becomes a deal of the independent research for every new type of sample. Before to start such a difficult investigation with the sample targeted it could be reasonable to polish metodology of the experiment with something more simple and reliable. As a starting point the one could took a combination of our TERS-activated cantilevers and specially prepared TERS_S sample. Using this couple experienced engineers from NT-MDT SI get Raman signal enhancement with almost 100% probability.

What could be better to start working with TERS? Only to speak with an experienced AFM-Raman engineer and to see how he gets Raman signal enhancement directly in your lab!

TERS_D demonstration service includes both 1 day of experienced AFM-Raman engineer's visit and 3 (or more) TERS-activated AFM probes which will stay at the customer's side after demonstration.
Using our TERS-activated cantilevers and TERS_S sample the engineer will demonstrate Raman signal enhancement in your laboratory. He will explain all his actions and make some important advices that should be remembered for further TERS experiments. Before and during the visit he will also examine configuration of your equipment and recommend some changes (if needed) to maximise Raman response in TERS mode. And of course he will be glad to answer on your questions about Raman measurements and TERS metodology.

You may find more info about our new product here.

Here at ScanSens GmbH we allways think about how to make recent acheivements in nanoscience more clear and available to everyone. We hope that the new service of TERS demonstration will help our customers to get excellent results in AFM and Raman using other our products, TERS cantilevers and test sample. If any questions appear, please, don't hesitate to contact our sales manager, Evgeniy Lisov (

You're always welcome!


New HOPG test samples available


Besides our wide assortment of AFM cantilevers and silicon grating some other products are also very popular between researchers from various countries. Highly oriented pyrolytic graphite is one of such products. This line of products was started many years ago in the restricted set of thickness and dimensions. From the very beginning we suggested that AFM scientists work with similar sample's holder and our assortment will be just enough to satisfy their needs. 

But now we meet very often requests from people, who are not assosiated with scanning probe microscopy at all. HOPG samples application field is very wide due to their structural flexibility and atomic smoothness.

So now, to meet all possible requirements, we decided to broaden our assortment of HOPG samples. We have added several samples of higher lateral size and thickness in all categories from A to H. As usually, you may check the whole assortment at the HOPG and test substrates' part of our web-site.

Single crystal diamond AFM probes with high aspect ratio



We’re glad to present the new product in our assortment: AFM cantilevers with single crystal diamond (SCD) tips. This type of probes is represented by a very narrow diamond (CVD-grown) needle glued to a standard tipless polysilicon cantilever.

AFM probes prepared by such technology show several features, especially relevant to AFM scans:

  • SCD tip’s cone angle is less than 10 degrees. Thus a diamond needle will get into deep trenches and between high particles, providing detailed topography images.
  • Single crystal diamond tip’s end is very hard. As the result wear of such cantilevers is several times slower than for standard silicon ones. Low deformation of a tip will be a great utility for elasticity investigations and simple nanoindentation or force lithography experiments.
  • SCD tip has got low surface energy and it works well for sticky biological samples.

SCD AFM cantilevers are constantly used by famous NT-MDT application scientists: Sergey Magonov and Marko Surtchev. Thus we’re absolutely sure in quality of these probes.

On the right image the one can see a scan of so-called “Black silicon” relief. Such surface can be constructed by a special etching experiment and is used in solar cells.

Main challenges in visualization of “black silicon” pyramids are their heights that reach 6-7 um. Standard cantilever can’t get between such high and densely grown structures. But as the one may see from the scan, SCD probes worked well. Sharp pyramid’s shape and well-defined flat areas between them approve high quality of the scan.

Now SCD cantilevers are presented in our assortment by the models HA_NC/SCD and HA_C/SCD with the same lever’s parameters as for corresponding ones of ETALON series. But by the request SCD needles can be glued to any types of tipless cantilevers of Golden and Etalon series.

AFM cantilevers with conductive coating TiN


We’re glad to announce that AFM probes with titanium nitride (TiN) coating have appeared in our assortment.
High hardness of this material and its melting temperature around 3500 C provides its utility in wide range of applications.
Our practice of AFM measurements shows that thin films of TiN spread over AFM cantilever’s tip’s end are stable in high currents and any standard force loads that arise in the contact AFM technique. First cantilevers with conductive TiN coating were prepared and investigated in 1998 as the result of the common project of our partners, NT-MDT and State Research Institute for Problems in Physics (V. Shevyakov, S. Lemeshko, V. Roschin. Conductive SPM probes of base Ti or W refractory compounds. Nanotechnology, 9 (1998) 352-355).
Now TiN coated AFM cantilevers are presented in our stock by models: NSG01/TiN and FMG01/TiN. If you need AFM probes with other resonance and stiffness parameters, please, don’t hesitate to write to (Evgeniy Lisov). In future we’re going to extend TiN assortment over all models of Golden series.


ScanSens presents conductive probes with the modified coating W2C+


Due to volume doping with anticorrosion elements the new coating W2C+, which was earlier proven to be stable under high currents and pressures, may also work for a long time in high humidity atmosphere.

Several experiments were carried out to check the result. Two sets of probes coated by W2C and W2C+ layers correspondingly were placed into atmosphere of more than 90% humidity for several days. Performance capabilities of the probes were tested by current-voltage curves and scans on HOPG. Before being held in humid air all cantilevers worked correctly showing good conductivity. But already after 8 days old-type coating have lost their conductive properties. The same time probes W2C+ didn’t stop conducting even after 16 days of storage in 90% and more humidity.

We’re also delighted to announce that since June 2016 we will sell only new W2C+ probes from our web-site. The same time, cost of this model stays the same.
More of all, we will be glad if our customers try these probes’ possibilities on practice. When the one orders any model of conductive probes from our web-site this summer we will add to the order a test box of 3 cantilevers HA_C/W2C or HA_NC/W2C at choice.


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