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Home > Press > Asylum Research Introduces Ztherm Modulated Thermal Analysis with Sub-Zeptoliter Resolution

Sub-zeptoliter thermal decomposition of Insulin Fibers.  (a) shows a 1x2µm AC (tapping) mode image of insulin fibers deposited on a mica surface. After imaging, a series of thermal-bending compensated, low-temperature thermal cycles were performed in a 12x6 array of points.  A small selection of those locations are indicated by the colored markers in both (a) and (b). (b) shows an AC image of the same region after the thermal cycling was complete, showing numerous gaps in the fibers where thermomechanical decomposition has occurred.  (c) shows the local thermal expansion (top deflection plots) and resonant frequency shifts (bottom plots) associated with the thermal cycles, color coded by location.  Note the clear signal associated with thermal decomposition of the fibers visible in the resonant frequency shift curves.  The deflection curves show no significant response at the same temperature.  Note that some tip broadening has occurred during the thermal cycling that reduces the resolution between (a) and (b).  Because the heating cycles were made at constant load, compensated for the thermally induced bending of the lever, the resonant shifts can be primarily attributed to thermal decomposition, rather than simple mechanical effects.
Sub-zeptoliter thermal decomposition of Insulin Fibers. (a) shows a 1x2µm AC (tapping) mode image of insulin fibers deposited on a mica surface. After imaging, a series of thermal-bending compensated, low-temperature thermal cycles were performed in a 12x6 array of points. A small selection of those locations are indicated by the colored markers in both (a) and (b). (b) shows an AC image of the same region after the thermal cycling was complete, showing numerous gaps in the fibers where thermomechanical decomposition has occurred. (c) shows the local thermal expansion (top deflection plots) and resonant frequency shifts (bottom plots) associated with the thermal cycles, color coded by location. Note the clear signal associated with thermal decomposition of the fibers visible in the resonant frequency shift curves. The deflection curves show no significant response at the same temperature. Note that some tip broadening has occurred during the thermal cycling that reduces the resolution between (a) and (b). Because the heating cycles were made at constant load, compensated for the thermally induced bending of the lever, the resonant shifts can be primarily attributed to thermal decomposition, rather than simple mechanical effects.

Abstract:
Asylum Research, the technology leader in Scanning Probe and Atomic Force Microscopy (SPM/AFM) has announced the new Ztherm Modulated Local Thermal Analysis Option for its MFP-3D and Cypher AFMs.

Asylum Research Introduces Ztherm Modulated Thermal Analysis with Sub-Zeptoliter Resolution

Santa Barbara, CA | Posted on June 15th, 2009

Ztherm provides highly localized heating with sensitivity to ¡Â10-22 liter (sub-zeptoliter) materials property changes, more than an order of magnitude improvement in volume over that previously available with commercial systems. A standing problem with existing AFM-based thermal analysis systems is thermally induced bending of the cantilever that results in spurious deflection signals and variable loads being applied during heating. Asylum has developed a patent-pending cantilever compensation and control solution that corrects this problem, providing constant-load detection of thermally induced melting (Tm), phase transitions (Tg) and other morphological and compliance effects for materials studies and material identification - for areas less than 20nm x 20nm. In addition to standard thermal analysis capabilities, the Ztherm package can also be used to evaluate contact stiffness and dissipation as a function of temperature with advanced techniques such Dual AC Resonance Tracking (DART). The contact stiffness and dissipation - measured at the cantilever resonance - are much more sensitive to temperature dependent properties, including surface melting and transition temperatures, than conventional deflection-based measurements. In addition, integrated piezo actuation allows high resolution AC imaging of samples for surface topographical mapping before and after thermal measurements. The Ztherm option is compatible with and includes Anasys ThermaleverTM probes.

Dr. Roger Proksch, Asylum Research President commented, "Our new Ztherm option is the most powerful thermal analysis package on the market today, with sensitivity, resolution and capabilities beyond anything else available. With the ability to be used in combination with our new DART technique, we believe Ztherm will enhance existing research avenues and open up new directions for analysis of thermal effects and material identification on scales previously impossible."

####

About Asylum Research
Asylum Research is the technology leader for atomic force and scanning probe microscopy (AFM/SPM) for both materials and bioscience applications. Founded in 1999, we are a company dedicated to innovative instrumentation for nanoscience and nanotechnology, with over 250 years combined AFM/SPM experience from our scientists, engineers and software developers. Our instruments are used for a variety of nanoscience applications in material science, physics, polymers, chemistry, biomaterials, and bioscience, including single molecule mechanical experiments on DNA, protein unfolding and polymer elasticity, as well as force measurements for biomaterials, chemical sensing, polymers, colloidal forces, adhesion, and more. Asylum¡¯s product line offers imaging and measurement capabilities for a wide range of samples, including advanced techniques such as electrical characterization (CAFM, KFM, EFM), high voltage piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), magnetic force microscopy (MFM) with our unique variable field module, quantitative nanoindenting, and a wide range of environmental accessories and application-ready modules.

Asylum¡¯s MFP-3D set the standard for AFM technology, with unprecedented precision and flexibility. The MFP-3D is the first AFM with true independent piezo positioning in all three axes, combined with low noise closed-loop feedback sensor technology. The MFP-3D offers both top and bottom sample viewing for easy integration with most commercially-available inverted optical microscopes.

Asylum¡¯s new Cypher AFM is the world¡¯s first completely new small sample AFM/SPM in over a decade, and sets the new standard as the world¡¯s highest resolution AFM. Cypher provides low-drift closed loop atomic resolution for the most accurate images and measurements possible today, rapid AC imaging with small cantilevers, Spot-On¢â automated laser alignment for easy setup, integrated thermal, acoustic and vibration control, and broad support for all major AFM/SPM scanning modes and capabilities.

Asylum Research offers the lowest cost of ownership of any AFM company. Ask us about our industry-best 2-year warranty, our legendary product and applications support, and our exclusive 6-month money-back satisfaction guarantee. We are dedicated to providing the most technically advanced AFMs for researchers who want to take their experiments to the next level. Asylum Research also distributes third party cantilevers from Olympus, Nanoworld/Nanosensors, and our own MFM and iDrive¢â tips.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
For additional information, contact Terry Mehr, Director of Marketing Communications, or Monteith Heaton, EVP, Marketing/Business Development, Asylum Research, 6310 Hollister Avenue, Santa Barbara, CA 93117, 805-696-6466x224/227,

Copyright © Asylum Research

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