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.

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