Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > Print your atomic force microscope

July 31st, 2007

Print your atomic force microscope

You might remember our Spotlight from a few months ago ("25 years of scanning probe microscopy and no standards yet") where we gave an overview of how scanning probe microscopy has flourished over the past 25 years. The most versatile implementation of the scanned probe principle is the atomic force microscope (AFM). It has become one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring and manipulating matter at the nanoscale. The essential part of an AFM is a microscale cantilever with a sharp tip (probe) at its end that is used to scan the specimen surface. The cantilever is typically silicon or silicon nitride with a tip radius of curvature on the order of nanometers. When the tip is brought into proximity of a sample surface, forces between the tip and the sample lead to a deflection of the cantilever according to Hooke's law. A multi-segment photodiode measures the deflection via a laser beam, which is reflected on the cantilever surface. Because there are so many promising areas in nanotechnology and biophysics which can be examined by AFM (force spectroscopy on DNA, muscle protein titin, polymers or more complex structures like bacteria flagella, 3-D imaging, etc. ) the availability of instruments is crucial, especially for new groups and young scientists with limited funds. The price tag of AFMs runs in the hundreds of thousand s of dollars, though. Until now, AFM heads are made of metal materials by conventional milling, which restricts the design and increases the costs. German researchers have shown that rapid prototyping can be a quicker and less costly alternative to conventional manufacturing.


Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Metamaterial device allows chameleon-like behavior in the infrared October 28th, 2016

Mechanism for sodium storage in 2-D material: Tin selenide is an effective host for storing sodium ions, making it a promising material for sodium ion batteries October 27th, 2016

The molecular mechanism that blocks membrane receptors has been identified: The work in which the Ikerbasque researcher of the Biofisika Institute Xabier Contreras has participated has been published in the journal Cell October 27th, 2016

Imaging where cancer drugs go in the body could improve treatment October 26th, 2016


Nanosciences: Genes on the rack October 21st, 2016

Smashing metallic cubes toughens them up: Rice University scientists fire micro-cubes at target to change their nanoscale structures October 20th, 2016

EM Resolutions announce the availability of Kleindiek Nanotechnik’s new cryo microgripper for cryo-FIB lift-out October 18th, 2016

The University of Applied Sciences in Upper Austria uses Deben tensile stages as an integral part of their computed tomography research and testing facility October 18th, 2016


Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Tailored probes for atomic force microscopes: 3-D laser lithography enhances microscope for studying nanostructures in biology and engineering/ publication in Applied Physics Letters August 11th, 2016

Smarter self-assembly opens new pathways for nanotechnology: Brookhaven Lab scientists discover a way to create billionth-of-a-meter structures that snap together in complex patterns with unprecedented efficiency August 9th, 2016

Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool': Rapid discovery power is similar to what gene chips offer biology June 25th, 2016

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project